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I get up early to paint. It started as a way to orient myself around the working day, but now it has become habit. I bike down a canal to get to my studio. It is small and intimate, with a single window that frames the clouds outside. I put on my headphones and think about a need for companionship. A need for space. A need for respect. Work in call centres, work in restaurants, in warehouses, building sites, art galleries. A friend who puts their arm around another‘s shoulder. Tense exchanges between colleagues. I look at the dynamic between the two characters in the image. I think about the expression on an ice-cream seller’s face at the weekend. I wonder what must have put him at such odds with the gifted happiness of his occupation. I am on a train home watching an old man pull a beer from his bag and take a sip. A rolled cigarette is tucked behind his ear. It is yesterday, and I am hanging the work of another artist in the home of a collector. The place is a maze of creativity and history, organised around a single personality. I hope I can make them happy. I am in a board room and I am wearing the suit that I was born to wear. I have fulfilled my potential, an example for my social class to aspire to, but I have lost myself in the process. 


I look outside at the Euclidean Berlin cityscape but disappear into the forests and the fields where I grew up, the racecourses where I used to hang out and drink, the hard pebbled beaches on the South coast of England. I am not nostalgic but my past is part of this story. I am trying to boil it down to the sediment in a single image. As I do, I connect with artists and a history that has come before me. I am in good company

 

Education

MA The Slade School of Fine Art (2013-2015)

BA from Newcastle University (2006-2010) 

Prizes

The John Moores Painting Prize 2020, Shortlisted (2021) 

The Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Prize, Shortlisted (2021)  

Anthology, Charlie Smith, Longlisted (2017)

The XL Catlin Art Prize, Finalist (2016) 

The Clifford Chance Purchase Prize, Finalist (2016)

Adrian Carruthers Award, Finalist (2015)

Selected Exhibitions

Why Do You Give Me No Answer (2021), s-l-i-c-e, Ufer Studios, Berlin

The Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Prize (2021), Coventry Cathedral, Coventry

The John Moores Painting Prize (2021), The Walker Art Museum, Liverpool

Fracture, Lewisham Art House, London (two-person show with Katie Hubbel, 2017)

The XL Catlin Art Prize, Londonewcastle Project Space, London (solo presentation, 2016)

All Have Noses, Fat Relic, London (two person show with Rhys Thomas, 2016)

Clifford Chance Postgraduate Printmaking Exhibition 2015, Clifford Chance, London (2016)

Imagine: Curated by Tomma Abts and Alastair Mackinven, Londonewcastle Space, London (2015)

The Slade School of Fine Art MA/MFA Degree Show, UCL, London (2015)

Response, VARC, Tarset, Northumberland / Eldon Square, Newcastle upon Tyne (2012)

Imitation Arsonist, NewBridge Space, Newcastle upon Tyne (two person show with Charles Thorburn, 2011)

Dionysus, Hangar 51, Newcastle upon Tyne (two person show with David Teager-Portman, 2010)

 

Selected writing

 

An Other Point of View, The Philistine, CANNED Magazine, Issue 3 (2012)

Simon Le Ruez, In-between Territories, Vane, (2012)

The Spectrum, with Cathy Lomax, Paulette Terry Brian, Hugh Dichmont and John Beagles, Spectrum Almanac (2011)

Gustav Metzger, Art for the Public, Tyne and Wear Museums (2009)

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