Here is the time-lapse video of Fadi Mikhail's heat winning painting on this years Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year!
Private View: Wednesday 6th September 6.30pm - 8.30pm
‘From Folkestone to Cornwall’ this show is a visual journey through places which inspire both Sam and Hannah in their own personal practice. As artists they tread some of the same paths along coastal routes and have both produced artistic responses to the landscape within various areas along the coastline.
Sam’s work is an exploration of texture and colour; he builds layers upon layers, mixing industrial materials with organic ones, creating colour drawn from ground coffee, liquorice, sugar, blending them with oil paint and then exposed to intense heat. Sam’s work relates well to the semi-abstract nature of Hannah’s landscapes, whose paintings are equally layered with loose, expressive and gestural mark making, exploring the textural qualities of oil paint and the illusion of texture in earthy, dramatic charcoal vistas.
An Interview with Sam Peacock
HCA; Hi Sam, good to have you showing at the gallery. What works are you showing from your collection?
SP; Hi Mark and Hannah, thanks for hosting me at the gallery, its a pleasure to be showing work with Hannah, an artist I have known from the start of my career and someone I am happy to show my work alongside. I will be showing 6 large pieces from the “Province” collection alongside a few smaller works produced alongside the larger works. The large pieces are all inspired from the landscape within 12 miles from my studio on the south coast.
HCA; You have been working on creating installation works at present for Novotel in Canary Wharf, how is what your showing with us different?
SP; The Novotel work was a commercial project for one of the largest hotel chains in the world. I worked to spec for that project. Working alongside Hannah gives me chance to return to my roots as a landscape painter and create pieces that work alongside Hannah’s own amazing collection of impressions from her area of expertise which is Devon and Cornwall.
HCA; Some of our clientele would be interested to know what materials you use and why. Can you explain to us some more about your process?
SP; I have worked with steel since the mid 90’s. Making sculptural pieces and eventually evolving the process into what you see now, which are flat mild steel landscapes. I use fire and coffee in all the work and this gives me the textural effect I need to full express the journey the painting goes through before its concluded. I began using coffee as a source since working in Florence for a show there, I try and use Arabica coffee as it leaves a good aroma even when its dry. One of the reasons the Novotel commission worked so well is that my work had an immediate connection with Canary Wharf and the coffee trade that once dominated the area.
HCA; Thanks for you time Sam, we look forward to hosting you alongside Hannah in September. Highgate contemporary represent a varied range of artists and are based on Highgate High Street, Highgate, London. N6 5JG and are open Tuesday -Sunday.
Roberto Pagliarulo: classical allusion & colour
Roberto Pagliarulo’s paintings – featured in a solo show from 22 March to 13 April at Highgate Contemporary Art in London – balance allusion to ancient Italy with a pure celebration of form, beauty and colour. There is a real confidence to his solid blocks of flat, complementary colours; Tyrian purple is juxtaposed with burnt orange, Persian blue with marigold yellow, and each image is infused with a Mediterranean light. He accentuates the elegance of everyday objects, such as a basket of apples, with his calligraphic style and rhythmic outlines.
At the same time, there is a sense that every object has been included for its symbolic evocation of Rome’s rich history. Born to an Italian father, Pagliarulo’s inclusion of classical busts, sculptures and mythologised figures, all playfully posed, point towards antiquity. Yet, these paintings escape self-consciousness, which pervades much contemporary art. Neither are these nostalgic images; instead Pagliarulo renews the tradition of classical landscape and still life painting with vitality and charm. In this exclusive interview he speaks about his Italian roots, use of colour and ‘paintings within paintings’.
Your paintings are filled with a Mediterranean light – is this an expression of your Italian identity? Do you find/paint your subjects in Italy?
I was born and raised in England but my father is Italian (and my mother is English), so Italy and the idea of Italy is part of my identity. My love of Italian scenes, be they coastal views of the Amalfi or the ruins of ancient Italy that you can find in Rome today, must at least be a part of that identity. Currently, I do find a lot of my subjects in Italy or in its past and when travelling have my sketch pad or paints with me.
There is also a surreal quality to your work; where do the ideas for your playful compositions come from?
I suppose it is hard to say where one’s ideas come from; how does anyone really know? They do in large part just come naturally. However my ideas are a product of what I am interested in and I do enjoy playfulness in my paintings. So, for example, my mother is an actress and since an early age I have been interested in theatre. Shakespeare and Pirandello often used plays within plays in their works and in some of my paintings for example, the large still lives, I place paintings within paintings as a playful concept.
I love your rich use of colour, combined with a decorative feel, which reminds me of Matisse’s Fauvist works. Do you believe in art for art’s sake? Do you use your painting as a form of escapism?
I remember reading Gerhard Richter saying that although it sounds absurd, he believed art has the power to change the world we live in. I’ve always loved that expression. Nietzsche too said, creation is alleviation from life’s suffering. So yes I do believe in art for art’s sake and that it can be a form of escapism. More simply for me, however, my painting is about joy and the colour of life and of beauty.
Is the scale of your works important?
I paint in all different shapes and sizes from the very small to very large scale, such as my triptych which is a number of metres long. I do get a great sense of satisfaction when I step back and look at bigger pictures and find my eye wondering in all different directions.
In your recent paintings I can see your fascination with roses – is there a particular significance or symbolism accorded to this?
I’ve simply always been drawn to their elegance and beauty.
I know the artist and Slade School of Fine Art tutor Paul Richards is a mentor to you. Given you lack of formal art training, did he teach you to paint in the way that you do?
I’ve always drawn and painted since a small child and was an art scholar at Haileybury College, where I won the College’s art prize for my A level work. Paul came to my first solo exhibition in London in 2009 where I first met him. It was marvellous for me that a senior tutor at the Slade School of Art was excited about my work. He helped me in two respects; firstly, I took his encouragement as an endorsement of how I was painting and secondly, he also gave me a few technical tips which I’ve kept in my mental tool-kit.
Does your academic background – as a historian with a doctoral degree in literature – influence your practice?
One’s art is an expression of oneself. My keen interest in history and literature have brought a richer and deeper meaning to some of my paintings. You’ll see some explicit reference to antiquity and ancient history in my still lives.
Roberto regularly exhibits in London and his work is held in a number of collections. Recent London exhibitions include: June 2016, Haileybury Festival of Arts, exhibition and lecture by Roberto on “Colour, Composition and Meaning”, December 2015 & January 2016, Group Show, Highgate Contemporary Art Gallery; 6 July–4 September 2015, Summer Farrago, Highgate Contemporary Art Gallery, Group Summer Exhibition; 17 June–3 July 2015 Colour: an exhibition of the works of Roberto Pagliarulo, Highgate Contemporary Art Gallery; October 2014, The Affordable Art Fair, Lena Boyle Fine Art, Battersea Park; January 2014 The London Art Fair, Lena Boyle Fine Art, Business Design Centre, Islington.
Inspiration behind the work
Jonathan Davis is a visual abstract artist working in mixed media, creating both two and three dimensional work. Jonathan is concerned with the processes of making and producing abstract surfaces, investigating the visual and aesthetic potential of everyday materials. This show focuses on his two dimensional pieces.
Formerly an architect and urban designer, Jonathan’s work captures elements of design from his former career, producing works in both colour and monochrome that have a distinctly urban, almost industrial aesthetic.
Jonathan uses pure transition elements as pigments which he often combines with acrylic paint, applied to canvas and panels. His innovative processes set up conditions for generating phenomena through the interaction of transition elements with reagents. His painting techniques exploit these pigments’ propensity for change thus bringing about new states which result in a variety of partially predictable colour, mark and texture.
Threadneedle Prize finalist David Storey is a British figurative painter. His psychologically charged paintings are about memory, with half-remembered people and places emerging from complex layers of texture and colour.
Do take a look at his beautiful work on our website!