“Public murals often serve to reinforce a sense of unity amongst groups of people by celebrating the heritage of a place and the diversity of its residents” artist Ruth Angel Edwards explained as she presented her vast painting Life in a Peaceful New World where seven people stand, squat, hold buckets and work staple guns, saws and cement. They are strong and colourful, their faces animated by emotion woven into the canvas by a mastered palette. They are a collective.
“The aim was to try and create a situation where the subjects felt an ownership of the work,” the artist says. Ruth’s work is considered; photographing individuals at work and then arranging them into idealised situations, they are staged moments that are both celebratory, humorous and affectionate whilst also posing wider questions about the nature of group identity. Transformed from collaged photographs into large painted canvases and then displayed within their original studio setting, they appear utopian, reminiscent of 1950s Ladybird book illustrations or religious pamphlets. They are moments of fictional perfection.
Set up in collaboration with the East London based artist studio group Sauna Gallery, the female figures in the paintings are central to the work and capture perfectly those euphoric moments that sometimes happen when working in a group when you all suddenly realise that you are part of something so momentarily brilliant yet entirely transient by its nature that you can’t help but be a little bit ridiculous.
- New Originals: introducing the London Rollergirls
- The best things on the internet, readers' comments and who to follow on social media
- Our A-Z Guide to the UK's 2016 Graduate Shows
- LGBT in advertising: “What we need now is bravery"
- Images packed with life, leather and charm in Bex Day's new series for Pylot
- Photographer Josh Cohen captures New York’s hidden gems
- The new Sagmeister & Walsh website has a live feed from a snake enclosure and a new naked photo (NSFW)
- The Co-op returns to its old “clover leaf” logo from the 1960s
- Sexual, surreal and disturbing: the weird work of super-skilled Claudia Maté
- Don't Hug Me I'm Scared - an exclusive interview with Duck, Red Guy and Yellow Guy
- Anna Ginsburg explores sex and female orgasms in this hilarious animation (NSFW)
- Ace new Laura Callaghan work calls BS on the idea that we can be "whatever we want to be"