It’s great to see what the talented members of Artist N Virtual have been up to lately – and in the last few months, you’ve been up to a LOT!
Today, we wanted to bring together news from a few members as a reminder of just how much you can get done in a relatively short space of time.
Egyptian artist Hayam Elsayed produces work in her studio across a range of mediums. A keen student of the Old Masters, Hayam is fascinated by human emotions, sensuality and space and seeks to explore these through the female subjects in her paintings.
Back in December last year, Hayam’s work was included in the La Galleria Winter Show 2020 – a prestigious annual group show which brings together artworks that are “strong, meaningful and refreshing expressions of contemporary art.” Of this experience, she writes:
“We chose certain pieces of my work to be displayed. The first day was about making sure we had everything we needed. Overall, the experience was great, and quite a few people gave me great feedback about my paintings. It was also really interesting to see what the others were able to create. I was very proud to see my work on display as I put in a lot of time and effort into the final pieces, so it was a very rewarding and exciting experience.”
One of the pieces that Hayam had in the show was “The Flower Lady” (above).
“I love this one” Hayam says, “it is very close to my heart. The painting is a representation of a female figure with complete self-love. Painting this beautiful model, I followed my core feeling to translate what I saw onto the canvas. I like using the colours green and white but also effects with red and creme. This makes it a modern and sensitive portrait.”
Hayam’s work has featured in a number of shows in recent months including the Society of Scotish Artists’ 30 x 30 Online Edition, SCOPE Miami’s Immersive Edition and a group exhibition at Almashrabia Art Gallery.
Anglo-French artist Caroline Banks is currently based in London. Her work involves gesso, ink and gilding, and explores the energy and memory of gesture through expressive mark-making. In December 2020, Caroline had work featured in St Saviour’s Winter Show, including the piece shown above.
“This painting is part of an ongoing series” Caroline explains, “exploring the gestural nature of drawing as well as the concept of memory, of trying to grasp something important yet undefinable.
“The solid shape of the circle painted on a natural linen canvas is then overlaid by a circular motion with a loaded brush, but this time looser and not touching the surface. The marks made are then gilded with copper leaf, giving a three-dimensional appearance that also changes with the light, introducing a fourth dimension: time.”
Since the St. Saviour’s show, Caroline has been busy with a range of projects, most of which have taken place online:
“I’ve created Play With Drawing, for psychological wellbeing. It’s aimed at people who just need to relax and play with mark-making. There’s currently a private Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/playwithdrawing and I’m also running workshops on Zoom… I’ve now been invited by several organisations to run more events around this theme – it’s really pertinent at the moment.”
Caroline intends to show work with The Other Art Fair and The Affordable Art Fair this year, provided the events are able to go ahead.
Gareth Hughes paints predominantly in a figurative manner with oil paints and canvas, as well as digital paintings. He gravitates towards creating work for his own personal and others’ fulfilment, and with an overriding wish to help parts of society. Much of his recent work has been in aid of charitable causes such as ‘Hope for Justice’, the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and the NHS.
Gareth has had work in a number of recent exhibitions including the Being Human 2020 Exhibition (part of the Being Human Festival 3030) and a “Get Carter: themed exhibition in Lincolnshire. His most recent news involves his participation in the forthcoming Wilderness Project exhibition at St Pancras New Church in London. This event is organised by The Haven + London, a charity which provides mental health and welfare support for London creatives.
The exhibition is scheduled to take place between 22nd March and 4th April 2021 and will showcase the work of artists from a range of backgrounds all exploring what this past year has meant, how it has challenged and transformed us and what it means to emerge from the other side. As Gareth explains:
“I associated instantly with the ‘Wilderness’ theme. In the first lockdown of 2020, I accumulated primary source photographs of a variety of medical staff on a Covid ward in the United Kingdom. Whilst I knew the location of the infirmary and also the names of the subjects (along with their back stories), I have increasingly gone back to the original images and painted the people as representatives of the population of key workers generally.
“The canvas works that I have submitted indicate a ‘Janus’ format (with the works gradually changing in viewpoint, looking towards the left as we see them, straight at the viewer and then towards the right) and were all produced at the very end of December, on New Year’s Day and the start of January over five successive days, with each canvas painting taking a day to complete.
“The paintings are therefore looking at the past, the here and now, and the future as we all reflect upon the ravages of Covid and the human spirit which reflects a selflessness, an on-going stoicism and sometimes a desolated outlook. I opted for a basic, monochrome palette in each work with flashes of other colour, indicating the light at the end of many months of loss, rays of hope when sometimes there would seem no end to the distress.”
Selby Hurst Inglefield
Having featured in their Winter Exhibition, Selby Hurst Inglefield now has work on sale at The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle. Selby is a recent BA Fine Art graduate from Central St Martins UAL, whose practice is currently textiles-based, using the technique of rug punching/hooking to create wall tapestries.
“A lot of my work” Selby says, “is based on notions of nostalgia and searching/attempting to find comfort and safety within my practice. I work a lot with ideas of nurture to represent this safe feeling within my practice. I often portray this idea of safety with animals or mother and child figures. My work also has underlying themes of reality and fantasy linked within.
“’Umbilicus’ is about how I often feel myself like a child trapped in this adults body, and how I have this naive childlike fear panicking through my ear and how I wish to hold them, to tell this child everything will be okay and I can protect them, but I can’t because it’s me.”