Jamil Naqsh | The Muse, Messengers & Miniatures
11 Jun - 11 Jul 2015
Jamil Naqsh’s work is increasingly an elaboration of a private mythology – but a mythology that is, nevertheless, deeply rooted in the culture the artist belongs to. This mythology is, above all else, romantic. Romantic, both in the sense that it involves a backward glance, or a series of backward glances, to the Indian subcontinent’s princely past, and also, in a very different way, to the tradition of courtly love that flourished within that social context.
Neil Douglas | So it Goes
16 Jul - 01 Aug 2015
In painting, there is no opponent, and the painter spends his days shadowboxing.
Neil spends his days in a studio on the fringes of Manchester’s city centre. Appropriately it has the architectural features of a garret. For all of Neil’s streetwise credentials, and his political allegiance to the working man, he knows that painting must happen in a special space, away from the public gaze. Painting is not an entertaining performance. Again, this makes Neil unfashionable. But what has become integral to Neil’s practice is painting as material alchemy, and in these paintings he has used an array of unconventional materials, from concrete to ground glass.
Let’s be specific. “In Bloom” is a triumph of Neil’s relentless experimentation. We can trace his painting of blossom back through this show. It is always a poignant symbol of loss as much as of regeneration. Neil has his own reasons for the subjects he chooses but it is never the role of the viewer to question what motivates an artist, only bear witness to what they have made. More importantly, what distinguishes painting from illustration is a distance between the origins of the subject matter and what it subsequently is transformed into. It is the difference between an image being of something, and a painting being a new reality.
Excerpt from the catalogue introduction by Clive Head