How Can That Be it?
Joint show with Johnny Burrage (poster above designed by myself. Johnny did a companion version in his own take on the anti-design brief).
"with How can that be it" Johnny Burrage and Omar Majeed use materials in a way that questions the artistic conventions around making statements about important subjects as diverse as psychology, politics and the art world itself."
A show loosely themed around expectation regarding production and playing with constructing meaning by collating found elements. Johnny's work is to me quite oblique but is very deliberately and consciously constructed while I have been working more intuitively, somewhat oblivious to what the work connotes until after the piece is made. The large drawings involved a period of meditation prior to gestural and swift application of ink, using quasi-asemic writing and automatic drawing. Titles were added directly after. Titles for the sculptures were not added until after the private view, which was presented with work arbitrarily numbered and no catalogue.
h.Art 2019 - All Saints Cafe
We had the private view at All Saints the evening of 6th September. There was a healthy turnout and I exhausted myself talking to people about anti perfectionism (which was in evidence setting up, colliding with Karen’s more honed perfectionism with laying out prints) automatism and the unconscious. By seven o clock I needed a rest and a good meal, but it was a lovely occasion. All Saints' is an interesting space in a curatorial sense because it is simultaneously a secular social space where teas and coffees (and decent gluten free brownies) are sold, and a consecrated church. When we were setting up last Sunday the smell of incense from the just completed church service permeated the space. This led to me feeling that my more religiously themed pieces (in a broad sense) would be apt for show. ‘Grace’ is both the name of the sitter and a state given by God in which we succeed, but can fall out of. ‘For those in peril on the sea’ is titled from the traditional hymn, but represents the contemporary struggle of refugees trying to cross vast seas risking all for sanctuary, ‘La Judgement’ (titled in French for gravitas, and to lend an existential air, at risk of pomposity) demonstrates a possible end of world scenario with Christ, angels and demons, and a horseman of the apocalypse floating around an appropriated Eiffel Tower. ‘Praise’ is an evocation of the Muslim prayer or salat. Lady Shark however is a whimsical cartoonish portrait, a sort of anti-art totem. ‘They walked in line’ is titled for a Joy Division tune, and evocative of figures going to their doom, whether Hell or a gas chamber. ‘Rose abides in chaos’ stands apart by jarring slightly in the holy space, a paradox of coarseness and elegance, strength and vulnerability, beauty and ugliness. A nude reclines (a traditional enough motif, the recumbent female) amidst a graffito eruption of strange and esoteric symbols. I wasn’t sure I should show it, but a little controversy isn’t a bad thing…