Andrew Ekins/ Vincent Hawkins/ Sarah Kogan/ Mali Morris/ Stephen Nelson

Curated by Sarah Kogan

Private View 17 March 2020
6pm to 8.30pm

Blyth Gallery
Imperial College London
Level 5 Sherfield Building
London SW7 2AZ

Exhibition:18 March to 1 May 2020
Open: Monday to Sunday 9am to 9pm
Closing event: 26 April 2020 3pm to 5pm

Supernova is a multimedia exhibition featuring the work of five British contemporary artists working in two and three dimensions. Curated by guest artist Sarah Kogan, the exhibition will be shown at Blyth Gallery, Imperial College London, in Spring 2020.

The title of the exhibition, Supernova, eludes to the moment that a star implodes, shooting materials into the cosmos and creating the raw ingredients of life. This metaphor of material process, resulting in new life being formed, is pertinent to the content of the exhibition: whilst the work of each selected artist explores the importance of materiality in the process of making, there concurrently exist, throughout the exhibition as a whole, subtle manifestations of expressive meaning.

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The work of Andrew Ekin's explores form and material structure to expand the significance of the physical presence of his paintings. Themes of mortality and decay, memory and loss, growth and renewal are embedded in the use of paint skins, which are stacked and manipulated to shape a puckered fleshy landscape, alluding to the grime of human presence and the materiality of a body of land. The work employs a sculptural language to create an allusion between geo-topographical landscape and that of the human condition.

Andrew Ekins graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2001, receiving the Socrates Travel Award to Egypt and the Ina & Hugh Chaplin Trust Award. He has exhibited widely and was shortlisted for the Contemporary British Painting Prize (2019), John Ruskin Prize (2017), BEEP Painting Prize (2016) and the Exeter Contemporary (2014). Notable awards include: Arts Depot Prize (2016), Selfridges "Bright Old Thing" Award (2015), Oppenheim John Downes Trust (2004), Rootstein Hopkins Foundation (1997). His work is represented in public and private collections including KADIST Foundation, Fondazio Trussardi, Chisenhale Gallery.

Vincent Hawkins works primarily on paper, beginning with simple, random marks or washes to which he responds spontaneously as the work evolves. The ground on which the paintings are presented is, at times, a shifting shape which is folded or collapsed, projecting off the wall. This mercurial spatial quality appears symbolic of the process-led nature of Hawkins work, where thoughts and ideas move without gravitational pull, as if weightless. In the pieces exhibited in Supernova, the viewer experiences an intriguing sense of speculation, reminiscent of an endless game of hide and seek, as the potential of each piece is concealed inside the form.

Vincent Hawkins (b. 1959) has exhibited extensively in Britain and internationally with solo shows in Chicago and Paris. He was a finalist in the John Moores Painting Prize (2012), a Prize Winner in the 2006 John Moore's 24 and has also exhibited work in the Summer Exhibition at The Royal Academy of Arts, London. Hawkins is represented by Sid Motion Gallery, where he had his first UK solo show in May 2019.

Sarah Kogan's paintings are generated by ideas of landscape, abstraction and memory. The layered surface of the work is created by the use of a variety of techniques including pouring, drawing or the removal of paint by scraping or wiping. The emotional content of the work lies within its implications of death or loss, with subject matter related to images of war, outer space or a more internal psychological sense of place. There is often an ambiguity in the use of repeated motifs such as crater, cluster, abyss or illuminated cavity. In addition, Kogan's interest firmly lies within the materiality of the paint, the ground onto which it is applied, and the use of these elements as a vehicle to imply transcendence, romanticism and the sublime.

Sarah Kogan is a British artist represented by Karsten Schubert London. Kogan has exhibited in the UK and internationally, including exhibitons at Room 2, Karsten Schubert London, Royal Academy Original London Print Fair, 58th Venice Biennale and MACC, Italy. From 2016-18 Kogan's First World War art installation, Changing the Landscape, was supported by public funding from The National Lottery through Arts Council of England and toured nationally. In addition, in 2018 Kogan curated the multimedia exhibition, Space Shift, for APT Gallery.

Mali Morris is a painter whose work resonates with intense, saturated fields of colour. The luminosity of each layer of paint creates a dance between both a constructed and a deconstructed plane, beckoning the viewer in to the dynamics of pictorial space. There is a palpable sense of expansion and breadth within the interplay of shapes, some of which sit positively on the surface, whilst others are excavated through layers of colour revealing hints of another world, or interior space. Morris refers to these as 'clearings'. There is an evocative ambiguity in the way these paintings are structured, speaking instinctively to our understanding of how we move, both in a physical sense, and in emotional ways. In Supernova, Morris will be exhibiting Different Kinds of Light, a seminal painting from the 1990's, in addition to other work from this period and a more recent piece.

Mali Morris was born in North Wales in 1945 and studied Fine Art at the Universities of Newcastle upon Tyne and Reading during the 1960s. She has exhibited world-wide and is represented in public and private collections. She was elected to the Royal Academy in 2010, and is currently Professor of Painting there. She lives and works in London.

Stephen Nelson creates three-dimensional anthropomorphic pieces through a skilful understanding of his use of materials, both found and created, whilst imbuing all with a potent sense of loss and mortality. They are an archive of observations, of experiences and gestural references, taken from things that physically exist in the world, and also those glimpsed through his own prism. They straddle a playful sense that the objects may transmute into further forms, whilst having clearly settled into a state of being - almost as if the inner life of inanimate objects might prescribe and reform themselves. Nelson's current work focuses on a new series of three-dimensional realisations of a series of watercolours of skulls, created whilst living in Palermo.

Stephen Nelson was born in Liverpool. He has exhibited in the Uk and internationally, including exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Society, London, Camden Arts Centre London, Estorick Collection London, and the Royal Academy of Arts, London. He was the Arts Council of England Helen Chadwick Fellow in Sculpture, studying at the British School at Rome and as a Research Fellow at Oxford University. He is also a curator and since 2015 he has run a not-for-profit gallery space, MACC, in southern Italy.