Painting & Resistance Exhibition at The Apex

A new exhibition at The Apex from 24 August - 19 September 2021

At the crux of this new exhibition, hosted by The Apex Gallery Bury St Edmunds, is a short process film shot by Nikki Goldup. The film features Keith Hopewell painting a large blank canvas, laid flat on the ground, wearing a mask, gloves & protective clothing. The black paint being applied is unusually transmitted by the rolling of an oversized aerosol moving back & forth.  This leaves tracks and over-spray wherever this ‘vehicle’ traverses. It is an oxymoron of both calculation & unpredictability that allows the composition to fall into place, until the container is left emptied of its contents. This sort of hands-free painting technique, along with the ritualist dance-like quality of his working process, evokes an eerie feeling of absence & presence, reminding us of our experience living in the strange new reality formed by the pandemic. 

Keith displays the resultant works within the large architectural spaces of The Apex gallery. Minimalist and meditative, they capture the essence of movement and time, an oxymoron of simplicity and but also macro detail, framed within the format of his large-scale compositions. 

Formerly based in York, then London, Keith has travelled extensively across the world during his career as an artist and music producer before settling in Suffolk. 

‘Lockdown provided that moment to stay in one place and develop this new series of work. What seemed to be a career on hold when the galleries and venues closed, provided a pause where I could enjoy the beauty of Suffolk and focus on new ways of working, outside and on a large scale,’ said Keith. 

Nikki Goldup’s work in the exhibition, is a forensic investigation of the traces & artefacts left by her own and Hopewell’s practice, but also a reflection of the Suffolk countryside and the buildings in which the art was made. Her materials include discarded canvas tests, wood off-cuts & horsehair. Here Nikki explores object-language & hyper-textual relationships, responding to Keith’s process & methodology, opening new lines of enquiry & interpretation. Throughout her work she amalgamates textile, spray paint, found object and print, creating minimalist pieces that sit well with Hopewell’s larger scale works. 

‘We live and work together, so there are always inevitable parallels in our work. The Suffolk landscape, the light and colour all work their way into our practice. Being fortunate enough to have the space to immerse ourselves in both natural and urban environments, traveling around Suffolk and the rest of the UK certainly weaves its way into the work. This isn’t always apparent to us until a piece is finished,’ said Nikki. 

This exhibition is about working in flux & the democratisation of historically stigmatised mediums such as textiles and spray paint. The artists focus on the performative elements of painting and art making as a lived experience. They consider this the only real route towards the true essence of why we make art. The exhibition will include a curation of paintings, print, photography, textiles and film reflecting the diverse practice of the artists. 

The exhibition runs from 24 August - 19 September 2021 at The Apex Gallery 1 Charter Square Bury St Edmunds IP33 3FD.