Jackie Berridge and Sam Francis Read are both artists based in the East Midlands who make paintings, drawings and prints which reference fables, fantasy media and iconography - combining anthropomorphic characters with an often-dark sense of humour. Behind the façade of the narratives and characters they use, both artists are interested in human behaviour, social isolation and the group dynamics that can occur anywhere from the playground to the boardroom.
Jackie presents a series of paintings and drawings that feature paradise-like landscapes that are the backdrop for clusters of people and solitary figures. Jackie is particularly fascinated by the subtle nuances of body language – beginning initial sketches by people watching. Scenes are filled with strange animal-headed characters bringing an element of theatre or carnival into her paintings.
For this exhibition, Sam uses his printmaking practice to explore themes of anthropomorphism and the cautionary tale. Sam is interested in proverbs from ancient and modern popular visual culture - ranging from gothic woodcuts to digital clipart. The blocks used in this series of prints have been cut using traditional techniques along with contemporary methods such as Computer Numerical Control.
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