Running until 16 July, Cob Studios opens its doors to an astounding joint exhibition, Good Luck. Questioning ideas of maturity and immaturity, the work put forward by two harmonious artists is set to challenge all previous associations with contemporary aesthetics.
Hetty Douglas and Alfie Kungu are a painting duo whose work coexists for all the right reasons. Nottingham-born and south London-based Hetty depicts both the light and dark that comes with existence. Contrastingly, Alfie is a Bristol-raised painter who draws childlike figurative characters alongside traditional techniques. With diverging styles and a shared ethos, their most recent demonstration of artistic compatibilities will be showcased in their first solo display, Good Luck.
“Alfie and I have had a close relationship for a couple of years now. We have previously exhibited together but it was more of a test to see how our work sits – which we were so excited about seeing. I guess it looked so complimentary and that’s what brought us to Good Luck,” says Hetty. “[We are] the first to send each other details and progress on anything we paint. We thrive off each other and it’s something that’s quite motivating.”
The subject matter of immaturity and maturity couldn’t be more fitting for both artists. “Maturity and immaturity are very relevant to these works,” says Alfie, as Hetty continues to explain more about the concept. “We both feel that this is our most mature, our strongest and our most essential work to date. Not only technically but emotionally. However, it is also immature; the use of characters in Alfie’s work are inspired by fictional characters to escape the day-to-day, which sits alongside the release of texture, colour and playfulness of words in my work…it’s a willingness to not conform and make work outside of ‘conventional’ painting techniques,” Hetty explains.
The 12 paintings exhibiting at Good Luck will be hung with intention. Addressing the theme and medium to its full extent, the never-ending cycle of belonging, competing and being part of something meaningful is expressed to an edge of rawness. Hetty describes how her work has transitioned in this sense: “I think since my last show I’ve been focusing more on things that matter to me, and giving less of a fuck about what I think might aesthetically please people. I’ve been dwelling on my past – be it upbringing, connections, relationships, or my attitude, and then comparing all of the above to my present self. It’s important not to be afraid and just create what you want to create.”
What to expect from Alfie? “I’m focusing a lot more on the relationship between the abstract and the figurative elements of my work, so they are more playful,” he says. “The characters that I paint are not specific people. They are more a reflection of everyone that you see out on the streets or going to work — the characters are exaggerated but the emotions aren’t.”
“I think that our work has a good balance: my paintings are quite full-on and Hetty’s are subtler. We share a love for texture which can be found in both our works – so together it’s a winning combination!”