MONSTER MAKERS


The Artists in the original Monster Club exhibition, the spectacular sequel Little Monsters and beyond...

Jamie Fowkes



Arrggh 2017 watercolour

I predominantly produce paintings from models I create.  I choose subject matter that I find interesting such as a child's toy model monster and make a low grade version by recreating them out of everyday objects and materials such as cardboard, foil and found objects.  These models serve as the subject matter for my paintings.
The models that I make are not exact recreations from the subject, however I aim to create the essence of the subject without paying too much attention to every tiny detail.  The rough quality of carelessly made models, translate into carefully crafted, beautiful paintings.  My process of creating artwork often results in the paintings to be considered ‘Baroque’ in style.  My aim is to distil the beauty in these items that the models are made, through the medium of paint or graphite.  A beauty that is often overlooked.

Painting and drawing to me are very intimate practices, expressing my subject matter with intricate marks of paint and subtle colour nuances or pencil lines that are both flowing and rhythmical, help to creat artworks that are detailed and descriptive, but also displays my sense of a stylised beauty in painting and my passion for the medium.





Alex Robertson


Skin of Paint  2017 mixed media

We are mainly bags of water held in place by a strange flexible layer that both defines us, attracts us.  

 Robboart.co.uk  (Under construction)


Harjit Dogra


The paper light/shadow boxes were inspired by classic silhouette  animation and  my obsession with paper. For this paper and light was the medium. The construction of the pieces involved several elements which all had to precisely and delicately assembled. This included the drawing of the concept which had to be on separate layers for the effect, the cutting of each individual design, the layering and spacing of the paper and the construction of the outer box. The dichotomy of the  final  piece in it’s lit and unlit state is truly magical.





Anita Roye





I am interested in the extended field of painting, which often sees the paint leave the canvas and enter a three dimensional world. Exploring the exterior environment as a place to exhibit art is of particular interest to me. A sense of ambiguity enables a great deal of scope for subjective interpretation.

These Connections have resulted from a playful investigation into materials, creating very visceral, gloopy type sculptures which can be seen hanging on to door frames etc..




Ian Andrews (2)





These mixed media pieces are typical of my working methodology. They began life as drawings over 18 months ago during my recuperation from a total knee replacement.

To distract me I was given a catalogue of animal prints from the British Museum containing works by both famous and anonymous artists. They became the starting point for a range of graphic inventions fuelled by drugs, pain and boredom.

The originals were left for over a year in a pile under the sofa but suddenly became relevant again when I was producing a performance around the theme of the food that required “characters” to interact with an installation.

The drawings were reworked, enlarged, cut up and collaged! They were then framed, (in deliberately recycled, old-fashioned frames,) but in many cases this was not the final act as the glass was broken, sealed in resin and work continued on the uneven surface.

New drawings are now springing up from this sequence linking them more strongly with the work being produced as part of the residency at Stryx entitled “Guess who’s coming to dinner?” but of course this theme itself grew from my work with Dan Auluk and his FEATURE collaboration.

http://ianandrewsfineart.tumblr.com/




Emily Sparkes



Nutella #2 oil on canvas 18 x 24 cm 2016

It Came from YouTube!

The Creature from the Chocolate Spread Lagoon!

Taken from Youtube user CemreCandar ’Bathing in 600lbs of Nutella’, this painting explores how the use of the Internet and digital technologies makes monsters through the likes of memes, video clips and other shareable images, by emphasising absurd humour, hyperbole, and hysteria. Furthermore, our contemporary dependence on the screen can also provide a rationale for a re-examination of the canvas and of painting.

Emily Sparkes lives and works in Birmingham. She is currently working towards a practice-based PhD, following on from an MA in Queer Studies in Art & Culture.




Rebecca Walker



















House (detail) 2017

My work investigates decaying buildings which are often dark and disturbing. This piece carefully replicates the damage and destruction that has unfolded in a once occupied mental hospital. The raw truth of this piece and the miniature size scale enables the viewer to immerse themselves in a new world. It allows an escape route from reality with the hand-made wooden objects and painted detail. An experiential journey is then formed through a place that was once feared by the public and may still be. It brings to life the forgotten world and lets you experience the isolation for yourself.




Grace A Williams






Escamotage
Digital Photograph
90 cm x 70 cm
Grace A Williams, 2014

Escamotage ~ Sleight of hand, Trickery, Conjuring, Vanishing

Taking its name from the Bautier de Kolta illusion Escamotage D’une Dame - an 1800s magical vanishing trick in which the female body was spectacularly disappeared under a heavily patterned covering - Escamotage negotiates the language of the Persian rug as a motif for female vanishing.  Fraternizing the violence of enchanted disappearance with the bizarre hidden mothers photographs of the Victorian age – in which mothers concealed themselves under carpets in order to hold their children still for portraits - the Persian rug is ever present for its ability to simultaneously reveal and conceal an exposure of the female form.


Bio

Grace Williams is the current Gertrude Aston Bowater award holder for practice-led PhD research based at the Centre for Fine Art Research, BIAD. Traversing photography, film and installation her research explores the performance & sexual politics of the female body within the fields of Mediumship [channeling conduits] Magick [Occult, black magic] Magic [vanishing women] & pre-narrative cinema, with a specific focus on the materialising mediums within the Thomas Glendenning Hamilton photographic archive.



Ian Andrews



Mixed media drawing and construction


“I NO LONGER BELIEVE IN ANYTHING….”

As a child, monsters played a large part in my imagination, whether they were lurking under the bed or in the wardrobe and a vacuum cleaner was always loud and frightening no matter how much control my mother seemed to have.

Art always takes me back to my childhood. Making work always feels dangerously close to “playing with my toys”, although if  “genius is childhood recovered at will” perhaps I shouldn’t worry so much.

This piece came about in a typical random fashion. Starting from an image of a performance artist lying on a gallery floor, it acquired a book with flying pages motif while being part of an enormous collage, all of which was stripped away to leave the figure, transformed into Georges Braque, imagined dead in his studio…  assaulted by a vacuum cleaner? Well someone has to clear up the mess!

Perhaps he is not dead and the noise will awaken him. I’d love to meet Georges, it’s a dream I’ve had since I was young. As Georges himself said……

“You see I have made a great discovery: I no longer believe in anything. Objects do not exists for me except insofar as a relationship exists between them and between them and myself. I have reached a sort of intellectual non-existence…. which makes everything possible! ”                 


http://ianandrewsfineart.tumblr.com/


Art Club



Art Club young artists:
Sonny Ataria-Wright, Josh Bather,  Antonia Creavin-Jerwood, Reuben Dunbar, Nathan Gardner-Brookes, Phoebe Gardner-Brookes, Sanna Javid, Tony Lewis-Taylor, Alannah Lucas, Gabriel Moran,  Aleysha Saddiq, Muhammad Saddiq, Charlotte Thompson.




Prabhat Basu



Fragmented Facts is a series of works which was inspired by powerful images of victimhood from different newspapers. Each image that I used depicts the brutality of everyday life: A man pleading for his life in a religious riot, an old woman waiting for her family’s return, a young boy who lost his leg in a war zone or a young girl crying for the violent loss of 16 members of her family.

Seeing these shocking images I felt powerless and I wanted to retell these stories through different visual means. The resulting work presented a juxtaposition of two main elements: one, the realistic depiction of the victim in monochrome tones and the other, the painting of an imaginative hybrid form emerging from my mind and prompted by the suffering of an innocent face.


Thus in Fragmented Facts the works are a fusion between what was there – an actual event of an injustice, and what my emotional reaction and my unconscious mind created.



Sarah Fortes Mayer



Head 2014 polystyrene foam, body double, chemistry stand, wig. 

My work is always connected to the human form, I make body parts to full figures exploring the human condition using tried and tested methods, but also exploring new materials. At the moment I am enjoying working with expanded polystyrene foam, a material usually used in the construction industry. I think Sigmund Freud would say my work is uncanny as it gives you that uneasy feeling of knowing what it is, but somehow it is all wrong. The work shown here has a Mary Shelley feel to it as the head emerges from the mould that is supported by a test tube stand.




Ole Hagen



Screen Shot The Origin of the Universe (2013)

The title of Ole Hagen’s The Origin of the Universe (2013) promises something that seems impossible. In a seven-minute amateur theatrical the work is supposed to tell the story of the origin of all things. But the artist isnt alone. He claims to have asked the immaterial essence of all things if it can put on some costumes and line up for the show.

The scientific version of the story claims that people and materials have their origin in stardust, with consciousness beginning by chance at a later point. In Hagen's video this account is turned on its head. His story of origin is more mystical than scientific. Regardless of what we may think came first, human understanding is grounded in the bodily. People (including the artist) are two-legged creatures with seven holes in their head, and they can only see straight ahead. So the show is adapted to their requirements.

We encounter a series of sculptural tableaux and a narrating voice which, with the aid of a disco beat, conducts a play between the two-dimensionality and depth of the wings. The camera adopts a central frontal perspective. Within this perspective the show plays out physically and analogically in relation to a single continuous recording. As opposed to a cinematic language based on cutting rhythms, here the physical reality of the things is in charge of the action. According to the artist, the theatrical is an authentic expression that the world is ordered. This reveals affect as something real that moves between the theatrical wings. The tension between the immaterial and the literal and figurative is what in this case makes the cosmic story comic.

http://www.olehagen.com/



Hannah Honeywill



Bruised 2014 Re-shaped chair and plaster

I celebrate two queer bodies. One is kneeling and the other has an unsteady stance on the floor. Twisted, bent and altered - they are my Frankensteins, but here my intention was that illness is the monster.

We are all rubberneck fascinated by what we might glimpse, there is an excitement and morbid anticipation to witness the impact of re – shaping and transforming from what we expect.

Theses sculptures are a joyous diversion to mark the beautiful monster-ness of difference.

http://www.hannahhoneywill.co.uk/



Shelley Hughes



'Nuts' 2011 Taxidermy squirrel, finger.


I predominantly create installation based immersive works, inhabited by an excessive assemblage of sculptural bricolage 'hybrids', found objects, textiles and painterly collaged photography.
The juxtaposition of disparate materials and objects belonging to distinct eras – some remaining ambiguous, others untransformed, posess a potential to evolve or adapt.
Themes of interest include the female form, perception and distortion of beauty, and voyeurism – with elements of novelty kitsch and theatrical macabre.
Manifestations of the uncanny, surrealism and sensations of presence create a disquiet layering effect – seductive, disturbing and unnerving...confusing boundaries between the animate and inanimate.
My influences are an amalgamation of an obsession with dolls, a love of horror, a childhood fascination with taxidermy and the bright lights of glamour..
Your nightmares are my dreams.

https://ladyscream.com/




Alexi K



Portrait of Stephanie Germanotta as a Disembodied Cybernetic Consciousness, ( Subtitle: Tribute to H.R. Giger ). Pencil on Paper, Work in Progress. 2014

It's been very refreshing to have an excuse to produce a piece of art that is totally outside my current style. This is my tribute to the great master surrealist, H.R. Giger.
Giger ( pronounced 'Geeger' ), is the genius behind the Oscar-winning cinematic vision of nightmare personified: Ridley Scott's 'Alien'. 
Giger's dark, slick, nightmarish airbrushed paintings, are characterised by biomechanical reproductive organs, detached female heads, and various elements where you're never sure if they're supposed to be organic or machine.
I was disappointed that he died in March of this year, because I was hoping to meet him. So this drawing is my attempt to out-Giger Giger, to make up for his absence. His art is often used by Metal bands on album covers and t-shirts, in order to convey instant 'darkness' in the listener's mind. I want to be as over-blown as those bands.
This particular composition features Stephanie Germanotta ( Lady Gaga ). Why her? Well apart from the fact that she is a closet metalhead - and might therefore appreciate the gesture - you could say she is a successor to fellow New York pop singer Debbie Harry, who - you guessed it - had an album cover designed by Giger - the famous 'KooKoo' album, which depicted Harry's face skewered by Giger-rendered metal spikes. Maybe I'll try to fit in one of those spikes here? Not sure yet, we'll see how it goes...come back in a couple of weeks.

See also: Alexi's web magazine MONOBLOG - a web magazine of dark art and music.
Alexi is also a co-founder of THE COBALT BLUE Birmingham contemporary art co-operative.


Matthew Krishanu



Crow 3, oil on board, 20 x 15cm, 2013

My Crows


I paint crows for several reasons.  I think they look (and sound) great – I find them arresting when I walk through the park or along a pavement.  I like their shape and colour (deep blue-greys, blacks) – the curve of their beaks and their jagged feathers.

Painting them is fun – I mix media, work thick or thin, scumble, scratch and layer the paint.  I think they work particularly well in oils too – fat layers of paint, flat backgrounds, bulging eyes.

They have a mythical resonance – Ted Hughes’s Crow, trickster tales from Aboriginal Australians, Poe’s The Raven – they are embedded in culture across the globe.

Lastly, they remind me of my childhood – in Bangladesh and India crows are everywhere, cawing, flapping, chewing on gizzards.  You can’t but look.






Paul Langford



The Pity of War

War is the Monster
The Monster that will never die
Feeding on man’s insecurities and greed.
Spewing its evil vomit of hate, its appetite never sated.
The Great War, a war to end all wars they said. A generation slaughtered, no lessons learnt.
Hiroshima. The end of war, no need of fighting now.
Always hungry the monster never sleeps.


Our beautiful world violated, morphs into the ugly beast, surviving on a diet of terror and mistrust.
Man stands by, an impotent voyeur – apathetic time for women to take over while there is still time.

The mahatmas words ring true “The only path to Peace is through truth and love”
Where is forgiveness? Nailed on a cross and left to rot

The Monster sleeps no more.
The Monster lives in us all.


Paul M Langford October 2014

http://www.paulmichaellangford.co.uk/




David Miller   
 

The Prosopangosia Suite
2012-13

Behind a forgotten door, a door wood-panelled to blend seamlessly with a wood-panelled wall, lies a cool darkness. Muted mumblings, exhausted posturing and the slowly gathering horror of a long lost eternity have infused the air. The Prosopagnosia Suite is populated by aristocratic debris, emerging from the burr walnut veneer, cobwebbed, smoke ridden and gnarled. These forgotten faces are barely recognisable; the has-beens and the never-weres. Were they the figures behind the scenes or the facades engrained in history?

The portraits are discovered in the veneer after long periods staring at the swirling grain and tones of the wood. Following lines in the grain, the background is painted out in dark oils, revealing a motley collection of portraits. The result is then photographed and printed in black and white. For me this practice is reminiscent of laying in bed as a child, with the dim orange light of a suburban night-time seeping through the curtains, transfixed by the landscapes, figures and faces hidden in the 1930’s burr walnut wardrobe at my grandparents house.


http://terracegallery.org.uk/



Andy Newman 




Platos Cave

This drawing is taken from a subconscious dream and the tensions and anxiety generated by a feeling of claustrophobia. It aims to ask if you can step out of a possible Platos Cave into the supposed light. But is all as it seems? Is the light is leading into a potentially closed court yard and a trap. The open door suggests possible safety or peril and the choice is not certain. Is your guide safe? Or does your guide posses monstrous intentions?'





Paul Newman



From the Secret Garden Project C-Type Photograph 2009

'The plants must win. It will be a new world. Silent and beautiful.'
 Dr Who The Seeds of Doom 1976




Rebecca Nuttall


The Dollifiends


Childhood trauma and nightmares initiated my practise, with interests including gothic fairy-tales, such as Hansel and Gretel and the Pied piper. This led me to use such narrative devices, and adapt my dolls to tell an autobiographical narrative about family dynamics, the innocence/corruption of children and the Uncanny; how these informed the creation of identity and imagery.

The tendency of children to confide in their childhood favourite toys, renders the dolls as substitute friends or foes, it is this idea that influences themes within my dolls as they inhabit that uncertain position or space where love is not always unconditional. As children’s  toys (i.e. those that get held or hugged), often show signs of significant wear and tear, the ambiguity of these marks was appealing – that they could be caused by excessive demonstrations of love or harm. The use of actual children’s drawings to create embroidered designs on the skin of the dolls –is reminiscent of self-harm; the infliction of marks – both physical, mental and social. The bewitching yet antiquated appearance of the dolls is also intended to relate to the human condition; engaging with the audiences memory and individuality.


The narrative of my practise concerns themes of compassionate infanticide, to spare children the pain of adult life. Although the aim of my dolls would appear to   provide alleviation, the intention would not automatically be benign. There monstrous motives, are only stimulated by children’s imaginations and psychology of our physical world into their magical distorted imaginary.istorted imaginary.




Craig David Parr



In my object based performances, I attempt to examine the parallel between the archetypal artist and the ‘mad scientist’ and the points in fiction and popular culture when these boundaries dissolve. I have spent the last year creating the blueprints for a social history of the town of Trumpton, a 1960’s children’s television utopia. In my work the town’s residents have become the occupants of the artist’s studio, breaking out from their frames and own meta-narratives, they are scaled up and de-characterised to become grotesque walking puppets that roam the detritus ridden landscape. In this studio-laboratory the artist, subject and object all become interchangeable as heads are switched in a parody that brings a more humorous element to the classic creator tales of Frankenstein, the Golem and Prometheus.




Amelia Seren Roberts






Yuyu Wang



The Summer Wood, Digital Printed Photograph20x20x20cm 10x25x40cm 10-11/ 2013

My work explores the properties of human’s body and understanding the world through physical senses. Most time I rely on somatic experience in conjunction with solid materials and visual resources to make decisions. I am interested in the uncertainties, between the softness and the hardness; the fragility and the tension; the organic form and the artificial shape; the physical pleasure and the discomfort; the desire of destroy and the ability of protection.


These two objects covered by two photos I took in last summer when I was in my hometown Taiyuan. The cube shows a head with bit bald, and another one shows a watermelon with the hair from the bald part of the head. The work is quite personal because it related with my own experiences for that summer. The situation of the summer was: I did not make a really good plan for the summer; it was really hot out there, so I did not want to go to anywhere; some friends in China started to lose contact with me, so I started to think where I belong to; and so on.

I felt these two images translated my feeling about whole summer. Then they became two objects, the object could display on the wall or embrace in arms.

Rafal Zar 


Black Pudding Feeder 2013 90 x 80 cm

What I am interested in art is monstrosity of human behaviour. There are no monsters where are no humans. I am intrigued by acts of violence from school yard bulling to bodies of newborns abandoned in carrier bags.. I am acutely affected by extremes. Images of half-dead bodies being shoved into incinerators in death factories during WW2 or heavily mutilated people of Rwandan Genocide. 

This is what we really are, I am afraid. In our societies some always have powers over others and they don't hesitate to exercise these powers.


I watch what people do to other people. I don't understand. I try to make sense of it. I paint it. I try to tame it but I can't tame my own nature…






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