About the exhibition

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6th - 31st

January 2021


An exhibition of 10 emerging & mid-career painters.

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The exhibition will be available online from the weekend of 9th/10th Jan

Michael Chance

Geraint Evans
Bobbye Fermie
Archie Franks
Joana Galego
Melissa Kime
Rachel Mercer
Tim Patrick
Fraser Scarfe
Eleanor Watson

Carousel Next Door

71 Blandford Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 8AB


An exhibition of 10 contemporary early and mid career painters for whom working from observation is key to their practice.  All alumni or studied with the Royal Drawing School, Royal College of Art and the Royal Academy, many are already established in the careers and exhibiting regularly.

The aim of the show is to bring together and show these artists who share approaches and processes that are rooted in encounter.  Their work is all founded in drawing and painting from observation, where meditation on the visual leads to representation of seen and imagined worlds.  For some of the artists, this encounter with the seen is just a touchstone to launch into a more imaginative realm.  For others, it is the pursuit of representing that subject in front of them that galvanizes them to paint. In it’s humblest aim, it is a show of painters who are working now and who share a common approach; to be present with the subject, to begin their practice at the point of encounter.

Foreword to the exhibition

Julian Bell

December 2020

You're not sure what ghost this is that bears down on you, you're not sure what depths that dark holds out beyond the curtains. Rachel Mercer's and Bobbye Fermie's paintings - the canvas such a cold-sweat tussle, the watercolour so poised and expectant - stake out the enclosure that the present ten imaginations inhabit. This Is Where We Meet is a meeting in a pressurized chamber. There is a weight coming down on these artists that all of them acutely sense, even if they might lend it differing names. The city; the city's tangles of lives and detritus and histories; the city's demise, perhaps; most generally, the awareness of a fraught, turbid communal experience that it is the artist's business to register.

More particularly, the pressure is sustained by the companionability that this clutch of young artists have nurtured, a few years on from their graduations. At their backs there is also a shared grounding in observational drawing, for the most part via the liferooms and suchlike classes of the Royal Drawing School. A shared power. Just look round this show if you ever worry that the experience of using line to interpret visual data might tie an artist down to a constricting tradition. Each of these ten has pushed forward to establish a distinctive personal language - or in the case of the capacious Michael Chance, several! - and the circle that binds them is virtuous, one of mutual encouragement. Exhibiting at this stage in their careers, they exhibit a particular earnest intensity: witness the poignantly emotive interiors of Tim Patrick, or Joana Galego's intricate reveries about relationships. Equally, we encounter the will to reflect on the contemporary condition, pursued contrastingly on the one hand by Geraint Evans in his magnificently panoptic The Closer We Are and on the other by Archie Franks in his wry, painfully funny fragmentations.

Pushed from behind by responsibilities to the world at large and likewise by peer group pressure, the artist naturally hopes to press onward into uncovered ground, discovering fresh and wonderful marks and images. Melissa Kime plunges furthest into the oneiric, mythic reaches that picturing possesses and that counter the notion of making fact its basis. Closer to the centre of that spectrum are the exuberant graphic achievements of Eleanor Watson and Fraser Scarfe - hers dazzling indoors performances, his all gusty and gutsy plein-air. This is not a lightweight show, but that does not mean it lacks in delight. There is pressure, but there is also release.

View the works here, or download a catalogue here.