Following last year’s successful collaboration, London Underground’s Platform for Art programme is delighted to be working again with the Royal Academy Schools.
Line-Up is a showcase of five talented artists – Maisie Kendall, Liane Lang, Robert Rush, Sinta Tantra and Amy Woolley – who graduate from the Royal Academy Schools this summer. The exhibition is an opportunity for the artists to show their work in a unique public environment and is testament to Platform for Art’s commitment to working with artists in the early stages of their career. It coincides with the Royal Academy Schools final show in June.
The Royal Academy Schools formed the foundation of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1768 and is the oldest art school in the country. Renowned throughout the world as a centre of excellence, its past students include JMW Turner, William Blake and, more recently, John Hoyland and Anthony Caro. Over three years of postgraduate study, students learn about a range of contemporary ideas and approaches, enabling them to develop their individual practice.
The works presented at Piccadilly Circus station demonstrate the broad range of styles and techniques practised at the RA Schools.
Maisie Kendall’s paintings combine a delicate, multi-layered technique with an inventive and energetic instinct for colour. Their ornamental motifs come from a wide range of found source material, which has been embellished and transformed into exotic new abstract images. They combine the decorative and the dilapidated, the frivolous and the symbolic.
Liane Lang’s large-scale photographs are staged scenes featuring figures that appear life-like but are actually created from latex and foam rubber. These carefully made and lit scenes are reminiscent of classical paintings. They seem nostalgic and romantic and have an unsettling air of fear and destruction.
Faceless Crowd is a pair of images of what seem to be groups of people. In fact they are still-lifes rather than group portraits, composed entirely of artificial elements – wigs, rubber limbs and other props. They evoke the experience of being in a crowd, feeling alienated and creating a protective distance for ourselves.
Robert Rush samples styles of painting from the past and present, both figurative and abstract. He takes his inspiration from art, design, decoration and other cultural references, such as the language of cartoons. The eclectic blend of high and low, light and serious, triggers all kinds of associations, producing images that resist our complete understanding and which seem like clues in a puzzle.
Sinta Tantra combines colourful hand-cut forms made from vinyl, painted shapes and delicate wall drawings to produce chaotic yet captivating images. The bright colours, contrasting textures and the relationships between different elements are vibrant and sensual. Her work is a hedonistic celebration of excess and decoration. Her influences include the intricate craft tradition of Bali (where she was born), the geometrical purity of 1930s modernism, and the self-conscious stylings of the capital’s fashion scene.
Amy Woolley’s work combines sculpted and readymade objects in scenarios that suggest that they have identities and personalities. These are hinted at through material, shape or functional qualities. She sets up scenes that explore opposing states such as synthetic versus organic, or functional versus useless. The objects seem to perform tasks and play roles, creating narratives in which the hard and the soft, the three-dimensional and the flat, seem to be in conversation.
Visit www.royalacademy.org.uk for more details about the RA Schools and their exhibitions