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...And Quickly Turn to Myth

Freya Pocklington & Robert Nicol

15 May - 6 June 2015

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There's a common response to figurative art that is so typical it almost passes unnoticed. The question itself is very simple: is that real? Be it photorealist or highly stylised, the desire to know whether an image is based on real life, represents a real place, or is a likeness to a real person, is universal. But what about beyond the picture? When presented with stories and facts from our information-saturated society, is the same question of reality still so prevalent? Or perhaps we like stories in a different way to pictures, and even appreciate that their veracity is somewhat malleable? With such questions in mind, we are pleased to present “And Quickly turn to Myth”, an exhibition by Freya Pocklington and Robert Nicol...

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...And Quickly Turn to Myth

Freya Pocklington & Robert Nicol

15 May - 6 June 2015

There's a common response to figurative art that is so typical it almost passes unnoticed. The question itself is very simple: is that real? Be it photorealist or highly stylised, the desire to know whether an image is based on real life, represents a real place, or is a likeness to a real person, is universal. But what about beyond the picture? When presented with stories and facts from our information-saturated society, is the same question of reality still so prevalent? Or perhaps we like stories in a different way to pictures, and even appreciate that their veracity is somewhat malleable? With such questions in mind, we are pleased to present “And Quickly turn to Myth”, an exhibition by Freya Pocklington and Robert Nicol.

Freya Pocklington's drawings depict characters on the verdant fringes of society. Disarmingly charming in their execution, Freya's work is closely bound to the idea of outsiders: how they come to be so, how they are perceived by others, and in particular the role that the media can play in creating outsiders by turning the everyday into the sensational. Many of her ideas come from internet news stories which over time have seen their subjects raised up and misrepresented, till everyday people are turned into spectacles to be gawped at, leaving them isolated and misunderstood. Freya explores this process through fragile characters in incredible, fantastical environments, surrounded by accumulations of unrelated objects that echo the noise of information excess. There is always an animal element, be they as crazy friends or facial masks, hinting on the one hand at the feral enjoyment that bizarre spectacles can create, and also relating to Freya's research into the role that animals can play in helping fragile people to recover.

In contrast, Robert Nicol's work is an exploration of imagination and storytelling, and how impossible the freedoms of fantasy actually are. Rendered in a bubblegum pop palette and with a sense of Quixotic optimism, his works depict improbable characters inhabiting Lilliputian landscapes with joyful abandon. But in Nicol's world, freedom is absolute and without limitation. Like a game that has gone too far, his scenes take place after the first flush of innocence has faded. Cutesy people turn vicious and violent; inanimate objects come to life as a vindictive mob. Some of his characters still plod ahead with their broken Elysium, hopelessly committed to a futile existence in a world much more complex and sinister than they could ever have imagined. It is one that is blind to concepts of good and bad, underlining that no matter how well-intentioned, the human psyche remains, at its core, both dark and light in equal measures.

Freya Pocklington (b. 1984, UK) graduated from Edinburgh College of Art (BA Fine Art) in 2006 and Wimbledon College of Art (MA Drawing) in 2009. In 2014 she undertook a residency at Somerset House with The National Open Art Competition, after previous residencies at The Florence Trust and Chichester Cathedral in 2010. Recent exhibitions include Breese Little (2014, 2015), The Discerning Eye at the Mall Galleries, London (2014), The Library of Lost Books at Birmingham City Library (2013), The Florence Trust (2011), Minas Installation, Art Amsterdam, Galerie Ramakers (2010) and Jerwood Drawing Prize (2008). Freya's work is in the collections of The British Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Edinburgh College of Art, The Royal Scottish Academy, Chichester Cathedral, West Dean College, Convento de São Francisco, and Glasgow Airport.

Robert Nicol (b. 1980, UK) graduated from Glasgow School of Art (BA Fine Art, 2001-04) and The Royal College of Art (MA Communication, Art and Design 2005-07). Selected solo exhibitions include Vous et Ici, GALLERY, Amsterdam (2013), Erebus and Terror, Cole London (May 2012), Breaking Wheel, Cole London (September 2010) and Fulham Palace Commission, The Fulham Palace Gallery, London (2008). Selected group exhibitions include Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue?, Flowers East, London (2013), Stranger, Flowers East, London (2013), Necessarily True, Garage Rotterdam, (2012), A Private Affair, Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston (2012), Art Rotterdam, Cole London (2012), Manchester Contemporary, Cole London (2011), Scenery and Landscape, 37PK Haarlem, (2012), Wit, Fear and Sarcasm, The Fine Art Society London, (2011), Art Hong Kong, Cole London (2011), Art Amsterdam, Art Consultancy Tanya Rumpff, (2011). Nicol is a Lecturer of BA Illustration, Camberwell College of Arts. Freelance illustration clients include The Financial Times, The World of Interiors, United Airlines, Elephant, Lawrence King Publishing, The Telegraph, Condé Naste, the Royal College of Art, House & Garden, Penguin Books, BBDO Advertising, BBH Advertising and CIMA.

 
       
   
 



 
 

 

 
 
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