Tuesday 3 August 2010


SunBear Gallery, 4 Lorne Street (opposite Boda), Edinburgh

Preview: Friday 6th August, 6-9

SunBear Gallery
presents a specially selected and multifarious collection of paintings by emerging artists from across the UK whose practise primarily explores painting in the context of contemporary art.

Featured artists:

Alexa Hare is interested in the study of music culture, sub-culture and fandom. Her work has an outsider quality generally experienced by the fan - a longing to be part of something bigger, something revolutionary, something cool. For It’s 1992 every day all day all over again, Hare appropriates from 90’s sub-pop music videos. Specifically taking windows from ‘Tad’s’ grunge-conscious “Wood Goblins”.

Andy Slater works in a range of media, including artist’ s book, embroidery and installation, however the main body his work is interior and garden-scape  painting. Recent themes have dealt with beauty, wonder, and misogyny. He is currently investigating land ownership, urban planning, and traffic islands.

Conor Kelly’s paintings explore the continuing question of the art object as historiographical device. Owning up to a corrupted authorship within this branch of knowledge, his practise attempts to unravel certain dominant representational systems.

Emily Beckmann strips back visual information to its rawest and most immediate forms, and cross references disparate associations to provoke conflicting emotional responses.  Although apparently culturally and historically non-specific, her work can generate a sensation of indefinable familiarity.

James Metcalfe is a portrait painter with a deft ability for getting a likeness, but his paintings also have a deeper, unsettling psychological quality suggesting an understanding of his sitters seeing beyond superficial appearance.  

Jonathan Murphy’s recent paintings concern themselves with the rich territory between abstraction and figuration. His ripe, fecund paintings are richly painted excavations revealing an image and growth toward an autonomous and abstracted object.

Levi Hanes’ painting, IRNS, comes from a series focusing on the abstraction of landscapes through photographing city lights at night.  The title refers to the location (IRNS stands for Irish Night Scene) but the ambiguity of specific visual location signifiers adds to the dislocation of the image.

Leigh Chorlton's Retro Renaissance is an empty space that was once filled with delusions of grandeur in the lofty spiritualism of renaissance painting or a modern ideal. Retro Renaissance expresses sadness in the loss of a grand idea or ideology that no longer holds weight; a sadness that is then substituted with humour in order to either ignore the empty space, or at least make it tolerable.

Liesel Thomas’ painting Remnant depicts the remains of an ornamental domestic Victorian railing destroyed during wartime recycling in the efforts to conserve natural resources. It is a totemic piece which aims to draw attention to these fast depleting, often unobserved, tiny yet monumental remnants of historical importance.

Tim Dodds’ recent series of paintings depict encyclopaedic collections of recognisable objects alongside ambiguous forms in dreamlike / nightmarish undefined landscapes. His painting is a form of imaginative exploration through which he rediscovers the myriad realms of art history and occasionally glimpses the vistas of untrodden terrains.

Tim Le Breuilly’s paintings reference figuration and landscape through motif but are in essence abstractions dealing with texture, surface and painting as object. A playful materiality within the work sometimes incorporates exposed, or slashed canvas.  Re-working over time gives some of the works a sense of history imbued within the canvas.

Vivienne Hollis’ painting, ‘In a Picture Tree, In a Blossom Garden, Far East of Anywhere you Know - Take me Home',  is based on the notion that anything is possible in the imagination, and painting creates an avenue for the imagination to exist in a visual reality.

Further information:
SunBear Gallery is an artist run space currently based at 4 Lorne Street, Edinburgh. Started in 2008, it has exhibited artists from Edinburgh and further afield. As well as its founders Thomas Aitchison, Tim Dodds and Tim Le Breuilly other artists include: Spartacus Chetwynd, Luke Collins, Adham Faramawy, Ursula Llewelyn, Steven Murray, Katie Orton, Emmett Walsh. It has also launched a publication co-curated by experimental cartoonist, Malcy Duff. www.sunbear.org.uk

Edinburgh College of Art (eca) is a charity registered in Scotland, number SC009201