Student stories: Angela Johnson invites you to a London exhibition
Over the last few years I have been really inspired by ‘Art & Instinct’ written by the artist and teacher, Roy Oxlade. When I discovered it, it was like finding the missing piece to the puzzle of my personal practice. I found his ideas deeply resonated with feelings I had struggled to articulate, and I revisit the book time and again for inspiration and to expand my thinking about making work.
I went to see the fantastic exhibition of his work at Hastings Contemporary before Covid hit, and when I was reading an article about him by Henry Ward in Turps magazine, I was suddenly struck by an idea. What would it be like to get a conversation started about the influence of Roy Oxlade’s teachings on contemporary painting? How incredible would it be to have a room of work by artists influenced by Roy’s legacy, and to see how those works interacted with one another?
After having this thought I sent an exhibition proposal to Karl Bielik at Terrace Gallery. I have long followed his work (he was short-listed at John Moore’s in 2016) and is a member of the Contemporary British Painting group. Much to my happiness, Karl said yes to the exhibition. Then Covid hit, the galleries closed and I imagined the show was unlikely to ever happen.
I am incredibly pleased to say that I was wrong, and the exhibition is taking place in September 2021. There are 20 artists involved, and I am thrilled to have been asked to be one of them. It would be amazing to see anyone from the OCA at the private view on Thursday 16th September. The gallery is a garden room in a pub in Leyton (nearest tube is Walthamstow and then it’s a 15 minute walk) so there will be no shortage of drinks and lots of the artists showing at the exhibition will be there that night. I am hoping it will be a really special event with lots of discussion about painting so it will be wonderful to see you there!