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OUTPUT Open 5 - Painting
Sept 18 - Oct 4

The OUTPUT Open is a regular part of our gallery programming - an opportunity to present an overview of creativity in the region through the practices of a group of emerging artists. This year, our selected artists have focused on work in the mediums of painting and video, so we have split the exhibition in two accordingly.

The OUTPUT Painting Open (Sept 18 - Oct 3) presents the work of Chris Oliver, Zahra, Harry Garner, Sian Cooper & Rob Davies.

These artists, who are all at different stages in their career, will showcase the breadth of skill and invention that our region’s art scene can provide in both traditional and new media. The bold, engaging works - mostly painted in 2021 - which make up the Painting Open show a range of styles and approaches spanning figuration, abstraction and the space in-between. While these artists were not selected with any theme in mind, their practices have a lot in common: a thread of narrative runs throughout the exhibition, and a desire for audiences to find their own meaning in the work.

About the artists

The largest work in the show is Chris Oliver’s “Memories of St. Ives”, an abstracted exploration of the artist’s recollections of a trip to the Cornish town. The bold colours and repeating patterns bring a psychedelic energy to the landscape, which is dotted with forms, shapes and colours loosely inspired by memories of the trip - abstracted Oasthouses and giant pasties. While rich in personal significance, Chris is keen that viewers should bring their own experiences and interpretations to the work, finding their own solutions to its various mysteries.

Instagram @chrisoliver_art
Website chrisoliver-art.co.uk

A lifelong painter, Sian Cooper’s current work consists of physical outcomes for her research practice, exploring how mythology and folk tales can aid in
understanding the self. Each is inspired by a particular feeling or moment in the artist’s life, using a visual model of storytelling to create a feeling of intimacy with the audience.

Instagram @siancooperart

The objects and scenes in the carefully-observed oil paintings of Harry Garner hint at a narrative occurring just outside the frame. The artist explains; “Painting
should never be straightforward or communicate in full sentences. I am interested in ambiguity, my hope is to provoke the viewer to become more than a passive
consumer, but to have a very active part in the painting.”

Instagram @garner.harry

Three paintings by Zahra explore the culture of storytelling, and how verbally-exchanged anecdotes can become distorted through multiple tellings. The artist uses acrylic paint to capture and edit imagery from stories and memories. Striking, brightly coloured figures emerge from and recede into hazy backgrounds, as memories.

Instagram @zxhrartt

Rob Davies has been a practicing artist since 1993, and in that time has exhibited widely around the UK. He creates semi-imaginary landscapes and environments he describes as ‘reflections of the mind,’ where fantasy intrudes upon reality. The sublime emotional character of these pieces is enhanced by the visual contrasts of
gestural marks against bright white backgrounds in both watercolour and oil paint.

Instagram @robddaviesfineart
Website robdaviesfineart.com
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Untitled - Sian Cooper

As It Always Was - Zahra

Jewel - Rob Davies

Dreamers Often Lie - Harry Garner

Memories of St. Ives - Chris Oliver

The Welcome Wagon - Zahra

Rusty Vines - Rob Davies

Imposter - Harry Garner

Expect Delays - Zahra

Falsehood - Harry Garner

Untitled (Detail) - Sian Cooper

Despicable Look - Harry Garner