Gareth Bunting: Age of the Anthropocene

Nature+boundNature Bound   ink on silk

IMG_0226What Silence Brings   ink on paper

Gareth+Bunting-+All+for+a+shopping+mallAll for a Shopping Mall              ink on paper

the+fairest+of+them+allThe Fairest of them All  ink on paper

“George Orwell said that ‘Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else’. This poignant quote resonates through my work. My dreamlike landscapes with distorted perspectives and complex juxtapositions of symbols and objects in narrative challenge the viewer’s perception of reality. Much like Orwell I am fascinated by how humans act en masse, and make work based on my experiences in different places, I investigate my identity as a brit abroad much like Orwell, and have titled some of my works as a nod to Orwell, from ‘Burmese Daze’ to ‘Voyage to Kathmandu’ There is is a sense that you are not the only viewer when you are looking at my work, there are CCTV cameras, borders and barriers, illegitimate authority, people engrossed in their mobile phones and devices, and a world in which people are brainwashing themselves into conformity and ignorance without even realizing, doing the governments job so they don’t have to.  I try to visualize complex political systems and the social indoctrination of the masses by carefully positioning crowds of people within landscapes, often forming unnatural seeming forms and patterns which contrast with beautiful organic forms, I highlight political separation and the social angst and loneliness which comes with it, and the use of modern day technology in indoctrinating ourselves into an Orwellian dystopian world.”


Artist statement

                                  Gareth Bunting is an artist and keen traveler. He is interested in how places exist in the mind, and painstakingly draws dreamlike and sprawling landscapes from memory, with a kind of dry brush ink technique. His existential and personal ‘landscape portraits’ are his own world, which is used tell stories along lines, paths and roads and investigate his identity as a westerner abroad, as well as current social political and environmental issues. The lines are blurred between the real and the unreal putting into question many human-made concepts we live our lives by every day. His play on narrative, scale and perspective, and love of fractal patterns express the place of humanity among the fragile landscapes, and the responsibilities we have living on them. His work seems to highlight the

age of the Anthropocene

, and depicts the impact of humanity on the natural landscape, and our constant battle to try to go against the grain of nature, to our own failure. The landscapes seem dystopian at first, but they are fluid and constantly in flux, ever changing being destroyed and rebuilt, and offer hope for the future.
He has recently started working in VR, creating vast surreal 3D worlds, which he can use to immersive the viewer into 3D worlds of his artworks, to add more meaning, narrative and a sense of space into his work, and question the nature of reality itself.

Krasimira Butseva: Bulgaria; the shadow of Communism

Krasimira_Butseva 2
Krasimira butseva_1Krasimira_Butseva_3Krasimira_Butseva_4
“George Orwell’s practice influences my work to a very high extend, as I am interested in exploring traumatic events belonging to the past political system of my home country Bulgaria. Gazing to the events which my ancestors lived through, and remembering the memories with which my grandmother and parents raised me I see an inseparable link to Orwell’s writing. During my Master’s degree at the University of Portsmouth I began working on a project about the forced labour camps from the communist era in Bulgaria, this interested me because I have never knew previously of their existence – from school, popular tv, books or ordinary conversations. This was a part excluded from the history textbooks when I studied there and was not something to be talked to, or believed. I began visiting the locations where these tragedies took place, various landscapes untouched since the closure of the camps, left as they were and only changed from nature. I also met with survivors from the camps who shared the life they had back then and how they managed to survive, as well as they explained the reasons why they were initially sent. People used to be imprisoned for listening to western music, wearing jeans or telling a political joke, which made me think even more of 1984 and a specific quote by Orwell: “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”.  Through my project Balkan Ours I study the effects of the Russian revolution and the idea to create a ”better place” on Earth but instead shifting to the opposite – dystopian reality of suffering, striving and controlling through fear. The propaganda was only capable of maintaining the false perception of normality, while terror and struggle ruled the everyday life.”

Investigating politics, history and memory in her practice, Krasimira Butseva constructs narratives which aim to recount past events, trauma and justice, and human behaviour. Krasimira works with personal, found and archival imagery, text and video in the creation of multi-layered narratives which take form in installations and books. In her work ‘Slices of Red’, she studied personal and collective memory of the everyday life under the Iron Curtain and created collages from a found family album.
Krasimira completed both of her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Photography at the University of Portsmouth with the highest grades in her class. She is one of the co-founders of Revolv Collective , as well as the exhibition organiser of London Independent Photography and is currently a part of the Lifeboat residency. She has been awarded the Santander Mobility Award, Ginnel Foto Fest Student Award and APHE Photo Meet Bursary, as well as shortlisted for The RPS International Photography Exhibition 161, Aspex Platform Graduate Award and Brighton Photo Fringe 2016. Her work has been shown in various spaces across London, Brighton, Portsmouth, Gosport, Ipswich, England; Sofia, Plovdiv, Lovech, Bulgaria; and Pingyao, China.


Sam Vickers: Public Space and Individual Paranoia


edit2The Sacrifice of Modernism        collage

monument+to+the+EUMonument to the EU

“The Orwellian aspect to much of the recent work is evident in the use of psycho-geographic ideas. Much of Orwell’s power as a writer lies in how his characters are affected by their surroundings and the constant fear of betraying their inner truths.  The four images in the collection represent real or imagined public spaces from four separate works. The first is taken from “The Coincidences”; a photographic collaboration about coincidental identity. The second is a collage entitled “The Sacrifice of Modernism” and deals with the sinister architectural undertones of two different eras. The third is a digital rendering of the “Monument to the EU” , my own vision of the near future.

14+exposures14 Exposures

The fourth is “14 Exposures”; this work investigates our private lives and is considered the most Orwellian of the four. The fact that it manifests itself as a series of accusations places it into the ‘paranoia’ surrounding truth and falsity.”

British artist Sam Vickers produces systematic, conceptual work that questions our collective environment, identity and the permutations of ‘the fake’ . Taking his cues and influence from Dutch and American artists of the 1970’s, his pieces deal with the perception of our own structural reality through the use of location, document and collage.

His most recent piece, a political work entitled “Monument for the European Union”, mixes sculpture and photography to address the possibility of a near-future without the EU.

Vickers studied Sculpture at Bath Spa University and graduated in 2010. After a period as a graphic designer in London producing record sleeves and other illustrative projects, he is currently living and working in Turin, Italy.

Room 103 Saul Hay preview posters

Online posterPoster design by Alan Pergusey

Room 103 SO poster.001Poster design by Susannah Oliver


S+SPoster design by Salt + Shaw



Poster design by Antoni Garcia Serrat


image1Poster design by Emma Saunders


fb Tony BakerPoster design by Tony Baker


poster for Veil at Saulposter design by Dave Stephens


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAimage by Paul Steffan Jones


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPoster design by Glenn Ibbitson


invite2Poster design by Kerry Baldry


SAULHAYPoster design by Roberto Cambi


kathb WilkinsonPoster design by Kath Wilkinson

Targeting the Individual: Jaqueline Jones

beginnings and endingsBeginnings and Endings

man by the fenceMan by the Fence

“My painting is about atmosphere, space and colour. Colour itself is of prime importance to me and I revel in its properties.

the tunnelThe Tunnel

I am currently concerned with the figurative in my painting. The emotive presence of the individual in an environment. This I convey in texture and brushstrokes to evoke the mood of the passing present. Transitional states of time fascinate me and I aim to capture this at all times.

My art is concerned with working in confined spaces. Limitations imposed on the individual. Such as technology becoming used for surveillance. Facial recognition A1 robots at border controls could soon become a reality.


Most of the individuals in my work are viewed from a distance. Some appear not to have faces, as if vaporized.

George Orwell’s novel 1984 has always fascinated me and is in most ways ahead of time.”

Images shown here are of ‘works in progress’ and will be updated here upon completion

Jacqueline Jones is a painter based in Wales. She writes poetry and composes electronic music. She also occasionally works as a film extra.

Find Jaqueline’s Facebook page here

The Price of Sugar: Susannah Oliver

Susannah Oliver

A Spoonful of Ignorance

“Honestly, I have not previously considered how my work relates to or is influenced by that of George Orwell, more than to be generally aware of his personal influence plus that of his writings to the world as I perceive it. There are themes in common, the power of the word, identity and personal agency, the world as it intrudes into our daily lives through the media and the screen. But what do I know about George Orwell – truthfully, not a lot.

True, I read “Animal Farm” at school and was dismayed, but perhaps not surprised at its end. With my Welsh English teacher we also studied “Lord of the Flies” and “Of Mice and Men”, but I preferred “Pride and Prejudice” and the “Flambards” series and “To Kill a Mockingbird”, all softer and less intellectual perhaps, but they were all written by women and each one spoke to me. My English teacher opened a door for me, unlike my art teachers, who never rated my creations, she saw something in  a poem I wrote and suddenly I had someone looking at me, I wasn’t one of the nameless, studious, quiet ones in the class any more, I was noticed and I had a voice.

She was perhaps cleverer than I would ever have given her credit for. She gave us as our first assignment, ‘How to Make the Perfect Cup of Tea’, perhaps set in some form of literary tribute to Orwell, after his article “A Nice Cup of Tea” published in the London Evening Standard, on 12th January, 1946. I think I got a pretty good mark for my essay, but George Orwell, if I ever knew he was somewhere behind the actions of my teacher, didn’t figure to me, my teacher did.s1

In ‘A Spoonful of Ignorance’ I ask the viewer to consider how their family teaspoons may have dipped into the misery of the Triangular Trade.

I am a sculptor, teacher and ‘maker’. I have been known for my public commissions in steel, but this has never been the only material I have used, or medium I have worked in. Generally what I do is make things, I aim to make things that delight and engage, but which do have a practical role or impact in people’s lives. I use everyday objects to create work that attempts to draw others into conversations on wider concerns. Art can be fun and lighthearted, yet very serious. The fluorescent and glittered soldiers in ‘Fields of Particularity’ echo the drawers of collected butterflies and moths in Victorian museum stores, pinned in some obscure and unknowable order by an unseen and unaccountable collector. The figures are all individual. With children the soldiers become playthings. The child becomes the collector, they can make them stand, lie, die, dance, kiss, stand in groups, fight, oppress, include, exclude. I ask the children which soldier figure they identify with. 

My art has at times been concerned with sexual politics and identity politics and  the stupidity of war.  As President of my Art School Students’ Union I marched against the Alton Bill and Section 28 and many years later in 2003, I joined what some called and what certainly felt like, the largest march in London, against the decision of the government of another Mr Blair, to go to war in Iraq. Then I watched as the men and women brown and green marched into transport planes on my TV, I have since watched as oppressed people marched for freedom and as besieged families fled in terror in inflatables. Now I don’t march, I petition with a ‘click’.



The chess board piece ‘Battleground’ considers the well-fought-over places that are  the grave sites from previous wars and the location of bloodshed yet to come. ‘Battleground’ [the Chess board] and ‘Realpolitik’ [the two sets of pieces] were created as separate works, but as visitors started using them together,  they were exhibited together in the last two shows. However, in some ways, I still see them as separate art pieces, rather than as a single ‘chess set’.

In spite of, or perhaps because we have both at some time been teachers, I am hesitant in comparing myself with Mr George Arthur Blair – perhaps I feel I have more in common with Eileen O’Shaughnessy, his first wife, who apparently stemmed Orwell’s tide of decline and helped make his greatest works possible? She in the background, she who wrote a poem (“The End of The Century 1984), which others  have linked to Orwell’s later novel entitled with the same year.

All art is political, all life is political, by the stances we take and the choices we make, even those who choose not to vote because they feel disenfranchised. I have chosen to work in education, I choose to make my statements personally, I choose to engage in politics in person.”

© Susannah Oliver 2018

Susannah Oliver is a sculptor and teacher trained at Winchester School of Art and Homerton College, Cambridge. ” I have been working as a public commission sculptor, an artist in schools and community workshop artist for twenty-three years. I have completed public sculpture commissions in Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire.In allied work I have worked as a sculptor’s studio assistant, helped run a new media gallery, lectured in media and been a museum educator”.

link to Susannah Oliver’s website

Room 103@Saul Hay: artist’s posters


“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” George Orwell  Nineteen Eighty-Four

Each participating artist is encouraged to produce their own e-poster to distribute through their own social media outlets. It is hoped they use one of their own images contributed to the exhibition as the basis for the show information. This is  Kerry Baldry’s contribution: -quick off the mark with a satisfyingly stark, gritty image.

Room 103 @Saul Hay Gallery: Preview 11th October 6 – 8.30pm

kathb Wilkinson

We are delighted to announce details of the preview for the forthcoming showing of a selection of work from Room 103 at the Saul Hay gallery, Manchester.

it will take place at 6pm to 8.30pm and will be opened by Richard Blair, son of George Orwell.

Contributions from the following artists:

Tony Baker                  

Paul Steffan Jones

Liam Ainscough       

Clare Ferguson Walker   

Salt and Shaw     

Antoni Garcia Serrat       

Mary M. Mazziotti      

Dave Stephens

Emma Saunders      

Nigel Pugh  

Kerry Baldry 

Kath Wilkinson  

Alan Pergusey   

Mark Elmore  

Sonia Boué

Roberto Cambi 

Glenn Ibbitson  

Railway Cottage  33a Collier St. Castlefield,                                                              Manchester M3 4LZ                                                                                                                                                                                                     Weds – Sat 10.30 to 6.00                                                                                                           Sun  10.30 to 5.00                                                                                                                  tel.0161 222 4800

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