ECLIPSE OF A DODGY LAMP: A Debut Solo Show by Kate Burling | It's 2020 For F*ck Sake – A Thirteen Artist, Back-to-Back Solo Exhibition Marathon
Limited outside interaction deepens self-interrogation at the expense of being present and disciplined in reality. Kitchen items, instruments, houseplants and books are layered into shadowy areas of these paintings and act as symbols of personal upkeep and ritual.
With no studio space available over lockdown, I created these pieces in the living room of my flat. The paintings were balanced around the room to be developed simultaneously. Over time they became significant parts of the interior, lived around and continuously reworked.
They depict obscured figures encased by their own rooms and possessions. I often painted at night under a yellow ceiling light, and the resulting shadows had a significant influence on the development of these scenes.
The works act as mirrors, exploring the human condition in times of enforced stillness. Limited outside interaction deepens self-interrogation at the expense of being present and disciplined in reality. Kitchen items, instruments, houseplants and books are layered into shadowy areas of these paintings and act as symbols of personal upkeep and ritual. They melt and slump into menacing, ghost-like silhouettes which haunt and warp my human subjects.
The works blend mysterious and familiar imagery, intertwining harsh shadows from chiaroscuro painting with subtle geometry from commercial graphics and soft furnishings associated with home craft.
Kate Burling is a painter from South London whose work depicts human-like figures in spaces. Her paintings gradually build on layers of warped imagery, developing relationships with each other over the length of their evolution. Using rich colours and textured brush strokes, she blends references to domestic comforts with menacing silhouettes.
Other recurring references are old family photographs, horn-like instruments, kitchen objects and life sketches of slumped figures. These accumulate in imagined scenes, largely concealed in shadow, with objects and figures fading in and out of familiarity.
Guts Gallery and Soft Punk Magazine are proud to collaboratively present “It's 2020 For F*ck Sake”, a thirteen artist, back-to-back solo exhibition marathon, running from 24 September 2020 to 21 December 2020, first in a railway arch under Haggerston Station, and now with a return to lockdown, online through VR content.
Born from a desire to refuse the conditions of silence, paralysis, and erasure brought on by our current social and political climate, this exhibition series has been conceived as a means of exhibiting some of the most promising practitioners of the new generation, creating space for display, experimentation, and artistic ownership in an otherwise compromising market.
Actively aware of the scarcity of shows for underrepresented emerging artists, each artist exhibiting has been given full license over the space. However, this is an exhibition marathon founded in community — while each artist has a solo show, the broader ethos is one of collaboration, accessibility, progress, and collective shouldering of one another.
Once more returning to “lockdown” as of Thursday, 5th November, the remainder of the solo exhibitions will be launched and viewed through virtual reality, a viewing room via Guts’ upcoming Artlogic website and of course, Instagram. All of these platforms will be made live at the same time each week on the date the private views were due to take place. We would like viewers to engage with the works as you would in our physical space, curating an environment specific to each show and artist.
At a moment when the arts sector is on the brink of a major crisis, we are committed to continue putting our community first, paying fair wages, and providing sustained support for artists in any way we can.