Artists: John Wilkins, Nicholas Hatfull, Elizabeth Graham & Ben Wheele
The Sunday Painter Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition, Ready Meal. Incorporating sculpture, painting and print, Ready Meal brings together work from London based artists’ Elizabeth Graham, Nicholas Hatfull, Ben Wheele and John Wilkins.
In this exhibition, food makes a cameo appearance. Far from being a motive behind the work exhibited, it functions here more as a readymade, or a fully prepped motif, that is to be processed and recomposed. Placed within new visual arenas, mechanically separated from the original source, and adorned with new contextual and referential readings, the work is free to bask in its own autonomy, like a slice of Billy Bear ham.
Elizabeth Graham’s sculpture incorporates objects with previous functions: kazoos, party streamers and inflatable paddling pools for example. These objects are not just stumbled across, but eked out with careful consideration for colour and formal detail before being subtly and playfully adapted. For Ready Meal, Graham exhibits a recent work; Jelly moulds are cast in tinted plaster, mirrored, and kept apart by an old chair leg. After becoming formally and contextually blurred the objects still pertain a strong sense of familiarity and function, which make them all the more intriguing.
In Nicholas Hatfull’s recent work, a more dismantled approach to painting attributes his ongoing interest with the merging of distinct areas of Italian culture. Associative thoughts by the artist are visualised; appropriated imagery taken from Fellini’s Dream Diaries and the paintings of Gorgio de Chirico and Carlo Carrà merge with graphic motifs lifted from labels of San Pellegrino bottles. The result is the subtle exchange of attributed meanings: the metaphysical becomes a packaged commodity, and vice versa.
In Ben Wheele’s practice animation, sculpture and digital manipulation come together to describe a vivid world of disturbing humour and sensory overload. For Ready Meal Ben Wheele exhibits an Archival Inkjet Print depicting some kind of hellish party spread or banquet that has been digitally deconstructed and decomposed. Baroque in nature, both pleasing and repulsive, the existence is made all the more awkward by it sitting precariously on a self-proclaimed pedestal of an Athena style fine art print.
Within John Wilkins’ paintings a basic recurring hotdog motif is deployed, and to great extent, reduplicating and transforming, morphing into a face, a pair of legs or disguising itself as a Frank Stella Painting. Always hovering on the surface, in front of the heavily layered backgrounds the stylised motif replaces the brush mark, as if he had toggled a Photoshop setting to ‘sausage’. Humorous and witty these painting go far in gesturing towards the absurd nature of painting, whilst at the same time revelling in this symptom.