Recently, Spindle was invited to the opening night of Tales of the Unexpected at Transition Gallery at Regent Studios, off Broadway Market. Having seen the phrases ‘bad painting’ and ‘outsider art’ on the exhibition invite (albeit in the context of categories the artists wanted to avoid) I was hoping there would be some amusing and ‘naïve’ work on show.
The four artists – Stuart Pearson Wright, Amanda Doran, Kathleen Thompson and Boudicca Collins, according to the invite, ‘deliberately sidestep the standards of good taste to challenge the conventionally acceptable’. Their concern is not with accurate representation or conventional subject matter, but more with self-expression and play. Basically, they paint whatever and however they like, and enjoy it. The resulting paintings are colourful, bold, funny and slightly sinister (hence, I assume, the exhibition title Tales of the Unexpected, which is taken from Roald Dahl’s collection of macabre stories, which often have an unexpected twist at the end).
As a fan of collage, I particularly enjoyed the subtle additions to Stuart Pearson Wright’s paintings – for example, a tiny number 32 stuck to the ‘Lego’ house in Living in Legoland, and (to a lesser extent) the golden pubic hairs glued to the crotch of his Olympian. Pearson Wright’s work, of the four, is the least in danger of being categorised as ‘bad painting’ – his painting Olympian, in particular, shows great skill.
Tales of the Unexpected is on at Transition Gallery until 24th November.
Words: Zoë Bryant