ROWEEN RAWAT’S vibrant and detailed illustrations draw numerous influences from mehndi patterns and the Great Wave of Kanagawa, to strong female protagonists such as geishas. Her work embodies cultural remembrance and freedom from societal expectations of art. Roween cites her parent’s scepticism and lack of understanding of the arts world as influences on her artistic techniques. She uses art as a therapeutic outlet and this sentiment of freedom is reflected in her work. Indeed, her practice can be characterised by the use of free hand techniques, often using inexpensive materials such as 0.5 nib pens and pro markers. Shunning the traditional canvas in favour for small sketchbooks and journals, she maintains these methods are the “best way to express your inner feelings.” Previously Roween had used oil pastels, and often created large scale pieces that were extremely meticulous and slow paced, frequently drawing for six to seven hours at a time.…Continue Reading
BILLY PARKER’S work infuses an infatuation for the 2D world with early noughties pop culture and seventies disco interior design – to create paintings that transcend tackiness with bold colour and forms. When asked what three words most accurately describe his artistic practice, Parker cites “Disco, Paris Hilton and Uggs”. This may just give you a sense of how he approaches pop culture in his paintings – using flat layers of matte acrylic colour to conjure up stylised images evocative of children’s paper dolls and New York disco inspired interiors. He can always remember being obsessed with drawing, reminiscing on how his childhood notebooks frequently featured mermaids and couples hugging at arms length. A child of the West End, he finds that even today his performing past – he speaks mainly of a background in performance art videos whilst at Brit School – feeds into his compositions. He assures me that he merely “fell into painting…Continue Reading
SONTI RAMIREZ uses photography to explore interlocking urban identities and environments from a micro-perspective. Upon talking to Sonti Ramirez, I am struck by her exuberant vivacity, which is clearly present in her highly curated and delicate photographs of minority presences. Her interest in photography began very simply, when she purchased an old film camera from Brick Lane. This provided her with a way to begin to visually documenting her local area of Camden – both its historical buildings and its residents. Always driven by a story, she applies the same approach to her work today, as she tries to “figure out people’s identities via spaces”. She explains how she wants to use her photographs to reclaim the concept of “otherness” from its negative connotations, and evoke complexities and details that others tend to not notice. Mainly, her interests lie in the how the spaces we inhabit influence our collective identity, both past and…Continue Reading
Flora Machin’s series of paintings chronicling particular personal experiences and memories (as well as some events seen in the news) are an expressive show of emotion, heightened through the use of her bright colour palette and beautifully jarring illustrative style. “My technique developed out of (usually very emotional) aspects of life, in that they were inspired purely by thoughts, nothing physical, giving them their non-realistic aesthetic. I was focused more on expressing my feelings, rather than whether the paintings looked ‘good’ or not”.