In July 2022 Aloys will curate a solo exhibition of the work of Bristol-based Artist and Art-Psychotherapist Ben Anthony at The Island Gallery, Bristol. For the exhibition Aloys has selected artworks, designed exhibition posters, coordinated printing, written exhibition copy, promoted the exhibition online and managed the installation and de-installation.
Scroll down to learn more about the exhibition.
“There’s all this new fragility in the world, in myself, in everything”
Fragile presents selected new and existing works by Bristol-based Artist, and Art Psychotherapist, Ben Anthony. Containing a mixture of abstract paintings and political pieces the exhibition explores diverse themes such as climate change, othering, conflict and personal suffering; informed by the artist’s more than 30 years’ experience working in Art Psychotherapy. The artist states of his practice “As an Art Psychotherapist I have been affected by the people I have worked with over the years, nearly all of whom have endured one or more forms of severe trauma”.
Many of the artist’s works are a result of his internal reactions to the perilous state of the world, such as Climate Change 2071 and Little Me: Self Portrait in the Climate Emergency, expressing the artists feelings towards the ongoing climate crisis through the use of colour and abstract forms. Another abstract work inspired by the climate crisis takes its name from a quote; “Walking into a minefield” was a phrase used by the chairperson of UN Climate Committee, referring to the effects of the global Covid-19 Pandemic, growing inequality and crucially how these issues relate to the climate emergency.
These abstract-yet-political works are contrasted with more personal reflections such as Perilous, showing three forms balanced upon one another reflecting the noted fragility of our world. Other paintings such as Humdrum draw direct links to the artist’s profession, being inspired by the theory that Bipolar Disorder is the result of a human reaction to the monotony of everyday life.
Anthony has also explored repetition drawing in works such as Protest Resistance and Mother, using the forms of repeated words and phrases as a drawing medium, allowing the lines of text to form the path of the image and acting as a form of automatic drawing. The results are reminiscent of seismographs and capture the tremors and fluctuations in the artist’s hand whilst thinking about the subjects being repeated on the page. These works ask the viewer to engage more closely to render the words legible, giving an opportunity to ponder their deeper meaning.
The exhibition presents political works driven by the artist’s pursuance of allyship. The Othering Series; Muslim Woman 1, 2 and 3 highlight the othering, prejudices and stereotyping Muslim women face, drawing upon experiences shared by those close to the artist. Another piece Crime Scene is comprised of an exhibition catalogue from Tel Aviv Museum of Art Visits Berlin, gifted to the artist as a thank you present from a trainee psychiatrist, with added crime scene tape and Boycott Israeli Apartheid Sticker. The artist stated of receiving the gift: “I couldn’t bring myself to open it, with all that was going on, and continues to happen towards the Palestinian people, it just felt like a crime scene”. The work functions as an act of solidarity with the Palestinian people, simultaneously highlighting the practice of Artwashing on the part of the Israeli State and its associated businesses.
Below are two posters Aloys designed for the exhibition.