…a tale told by an idiot | TOBY URSELL

An exhibition of new paintings Toby Ursell

Show: 19-22 March 2020 (now extended for 3 more weeks – open Fri-Sun 10am-5pm)
This week: 10am-5pm

‘I shall never play the Dane’, Withnail, ‘Withnail and I’, 1987

All painting is about other painting. To paint is to plunge oneself into a dialogue with past masters, to hack at the coalface of the canvas and mine out a position. Long, lonely hours in the studio, the weight of art history bearing down; the possibilities are endless. There are no rules anymore, yet you can only do what you can, which is inevitably a disappointment. Romantic and self-pitying, maybe, but the good subjects have all been taken and in an age of the Hollywood remake, what do you paint?

Toby Ursell embraces this quandary that forms the heart of this exhibition. It is not meant as parody or irony – more an homage. Painters have always looked backwards as well as ahead. Rubens to Titian, everyone in the Renaissance and perhaps most famously Picasso to Velazquez, Rembrandt, Manet… but now he’s part of the problem too.

‘…a tale told by an idiot’* is painting about painting: meta painting on one level, but that sounds very dry. Traditional subjects like a woman in profile become retro cartoons, Titian is given the Picasso treatment and references an 18-30 holiday. ‘The Artist’s Model’ exposes herself but perhaps, as artists always paint themselves it is a self-portrait. Ursell is laying bare a love of Picasso and Velazquez and though he realises he will never be great, he will go down trying.

By presenting these well known, some would say ‘done to death’, subjects and playing with hierarchies, Ursell is perhaps taking another stance: that it is the ‘how’ and not the ‘what’ you paint that is the real subject. Photography does representation, painting something else.

‘A finished painting is a dead painting’, Picasso.

Verisimilitude in these paintings is fleeting, becoming pigment, ground and brushstrokes very quickly. It is here that Ursell tries to communicate something human. Its all sex and death; he wants to make you cry but is happy if you smile.

* from Macbeth, spoken by Macbeth, William Shakespeare, 1606.



An exhibition of drawings & sonic art by TAMSIN SPARGO.

Show: 16-19 April 2020
Open Evening: Friday 17th April 7-10pm

Murmuration is an exploration of time and the process and act of drawing. By producing drawings with fixed time constraints, ranging from brief periods to feats of endurance, Tamsin Spargo’s work functions as a record of a period of time and of her existence and movements within that period of time. The works do not attempt to construct recognisable forms, but instead strive for ambiguity and gesture, hinting at the artist’s own physicality and patterns of motion.

Making use of repetition, iteration, and a variety of drawing methods, Spargo examines the process and purpose of drawing, questioning what exactly a drawing is. Is the work on paper a final result or a side effect? Suggesting that a drawing also encompasses other elements such as the movements of the artist or the sound of materials hitting the paper, factors such as background noise, the passage of time, and the sound of the drawing being made are explored. These explorations offer a glimpse into the drawing process and the embodied experience of the works.

Spargo’s work seeks to expand the definition and functionality of drawing. By using sonic art in addition to drawing itself, the artist presents the opportunity for immersion and insight into the process.

Tamsin Spargo lives and works in London. She studied Fine Art and Critical Theory at Middlesex University and is currently a postgraduate Fine Art student at the Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design. Her work includes drawing, writing, and sonic art, and has been exhibited and sold internationally. F: frozeninfinland | IG: @tamsinspargo


 A group exhibition by The Uncovered Collective showcasing





Show: 23-26 April 2020

Launch Night: Friday 24 April 7-10pm

We are living through a meaning crisis. As we continue to abandon religious modes of being and traditional moral systems, post-modern relativism has made us question truth claims and shattered our notion of grand narratives. What are we left with? Contemporary viewpoints have existential angst built in to them as part of their very nature; objectivity holds open the door to nihilism.

Uncovered Collective is asking artists to respond to these themes, how do you deal with or embrace issues of meaning? (or lack thereof). Shall we thrive and take life by the horns knowing that it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme or dwindle into the depths of despair. Knowing that fundamentally nothing is important? Are we capable of re-installing and maintaining a level of communal consciousness?

Featured artists:

Belinda Chan @gorillabelinda_art

Cherish Marshall  @cherishmemarshall

Marley Treloar @marleytreloar

Mitchell Smith @catastropheofexistence

Nicola Siebert Patel @nicolasiebertpatel

Paul Healey @includedthird

Robert Verrill @verrillrobert

Shenna Yang @xinan_yang

Stanley Black  @a.k.astanleyblack

Stephen Nulty @stephennultyy | @uncoveredcollective


An exhibition of works by emerging artist KALIMA KAI

Show: 30 April – 3 May 2020
Launch night: Friday 1st May 7-10pm

In these collected works, Kalima goes beyond the barrier of language, playing with words and turning them into a composite element in her paintings. Under worn out aesthetics and an aged surface, we are invited to observe the calligraphy and go deeper within.

From the mere tangled letters, stripped of meaning, to the message raising awareness of the difficulties we face as a society in our time, these canvases raise the curiosity as only a written text is able to.

This project takes its inspiration from the homonym book by Carl Safina, the text ‘Sensing the World: An Anthropology of the Senses’ by David Le Breton, and the film ‘The Elephant Man’ by David Lynch.

Born in Orihuela (Alicante, Spain). Kalima finished a Degree in Fine Arts by the Complutense University in Madrid. She is currently living and working in London, England. Her work is primarily painting but she has been involved in other projects spanning installation and film photography. | @kalima.kai


An exhibition of photography by EMILIA CARRILLO

Show: 28-31 May 2020
Open Evening: Friday 29th May 7-10pm
Artist Talk: Sunday 31st May 2020 1pm
‘Photography and Survivorship, a personal experience’

This exhibition displays a series of portraits taken in London over the course of two years. Centred around individuals, who were unsure or unaware that they were being looked at, these images were shot using a mobile phone, as a way to help the photographer in her purpose of preserving the candour of the moment, by remaining virtually unnoticed.

The nature of this particular style of shooting makes it unlikely for the artist to build a rapport with the subject before capturing their image. Any personality trait or backstory that, in more traditional forms of portraiture, might assist in the creation of the final photograph are here forfeited in favour of the viewer’s personal take on each one of the characters.

By inviting us to imagine the story beyond the frame, Carrillo seeks to explore our perception of others, and how it is influenced by our own circumstances, suggesting that the anonymity of the men and women here depicted speaks more about the observer than the observed.

Born in Quito- Ecuador, Carrillo relocated to London in 2018, a couple of years after completing a Master’s degree at King’s College London. Her career has always revolved around image, working as editor, producer, and post producer in several Ecuadorian television stations and production companies. Her name is credited in the Award-winning films The Longest Night (Gabriela Calvache, 2019) and Measuring the World (Detlev Buck, 2012). This is her first London exhibition. She is a breast cancer survivor and a fitness enthusiast.

This show is dedicated to Emilia’s sister, Irene, who is currently undergoing treatment for a brain tumour. The profits made by the artist will go directly to Irene, to help her continue with physical rehabilitation and chemotherapy. | Instagram: @emilia_carrillo_photo


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