Overflow: Ainsley Wilkie, Paul Copeland and Christopher Watt

9th April – 23rd April 2024
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Ainsley Wilkie, Paul Copeland, and Christopher Watt’s painterly practices have differing aesthetic outcomes but often share a conceptual centre. The collection on show at Six Foot Gallery is born out of their individual responses to sensory overstimulation and their resulting attempts to explore, overcome and recontextualise these feelings. The pieces on display are those that the artists feel intersect at the point of using painting as a tool to express similar ideas.

THE ARTISTS

Ainsley Wilkie
The process at play in Ainsley’s work is to imagine a place that is synchronised with a feeling of inner tranquillity, in reaction to outward environmental factors that can bring overwhelming stimuli. A therapeutic approach that also aims to examine the role of the ‘artist’s hand’ in the making; its absence and presence, the contradiction of making brush marks and then actively trying to remove all trace of them.

Ainsley’s work is intuitive, consisting of combinations of ink washes, acrylic, watercolour paints, and found materials. The compositions are carefully considered collections of these mediums that gradually come together over longer periods of time before they are considered to be complete.

Instagram: @wainsley93


Christopher Watt
Christopher’s work is meditated around the concept of escapism. The approach is an examination and response to the current cultural landscape: one where the idea of achieving transient freedom through hyper-individuality and bombardment of media has never been more ubiquitous. He has recently become more preoccupied with creating pieces which imply narrative – moments in a larger story that has been momentarily paused.

His pieces borrow from the world-building tropes used in popular media (comic books, modern surrealist cinema, science fiction, video games, Instagram art, etc) as well as making various references to both high and low-brow contemporary and historical art. The embrace of different influences, styles, and techniques come together to form a visual language that is bold and sometimes arresting; one that demands the viewer fill in the blanks in a narrative, while perhaps simultaneously initiating feelings of dread and wonder in different measures.

Instagram: @auldbreezey


Paul Copeland
Paul Copeland is an artist from Paisley whose work is often abstract and, at other times, illustrative. He has exhibited with Zaina al Hizami in London and previously at Six Foot Gallery in 2018. He describes his work as embodying the self-coined term of ‘saturationism’:

‘The intention with saturationism is to envelop the eye in too many places to go at once. It is about what is occurring between the eye and the mind when you view the piece. You scramble to make sense of the image, finding yourself drawn to certain areas. So you reorient your vision, or blur your eyes slightly, or are forcibly drawn to the detail in the piece. You then may trace across the detail in the piece and find a narrative is woven into it. You may take a step back. In essence, a complaint that there is ‘no focal point’ or that the image is badly structured is often intentional. This style of work is inspired by nature itself – when you gaze at a leaf, there is no end to the detail, only the point at which your eye can no longer interpret said detail. When we gaze upon anything, no matter how bland, our synapses are scrambling to make sense of it. This work reflects a process that is occurring in the brain.‘

As it pertains to saturationism, the micro is the dots and dashes. The macro is the gestural content, and the descriptions of objects in space. The meta is an understanding of how these elements may be perceived from different vantage points, and what that means for the piece as it sits in space.

Instagram: @paul.copeland_