Art in London: Louise & the Supernatural at DegreeArt.com

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www.DegreeArt.com present Louise McNaught’s solo residency and inaugural exhibition ‘Supernatural’. Open daily from 12 - 6pm and runs until 28th July 2013.

The pursuit of art can be found to be confusing but also ever so fascinating; it is, however, an interest not many have time to dig in to, and possibly something that not everyone can afford…but Elinor Olisa and Isobel Beauchamp wanted to change the game. So, together, they funded and opened the pioneering DegreeArt in 2003, and by doing so provided us with one of the first online galleries of high quality and affordable art. In 2007 they opened the doors to DegreeArt’s gallery space “The Execution Room”, on East London's Vyner Street. Not only do they sell art to the common man online - alongside art events, exhibitions and art fairs - they also hand-pick and nurture new talent to provide a helping hand in how to market, present and sell art. One segment of the DegreeArt platform is the residency program, this particular concept is built on the possibility for the public to not only enjoy but to interact with art - through workshops, talks, discussions, performances and by meeting the artists.

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Currently, The Execution Room is playing host to artists, Louise Mcnaught, where she is carrying out her residency. Louise graduated from the University of Greenwich in 2012 with a Fine Art Bsc and takes her inspiration from all things wild, strong and beautiful in nature. She paints on a whole range of supports (glass bottles, light bulb, newspaper, music scores and celestial maps) as well as canvases. Her art is suitable for everyone; from experienced collectors to art-newbies. When browsing through her work you are guaranteed that something will catch your eye due to the variety in style, mixed-media and the playfulness that runs through her work. Louise has a way of giving animals an elevated status by using neon paint in her work, illuminating and highlighting the most eye-catching features.  

Louise at work on "Wild Spirit"

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I met with Louise at the exhibition space in DegreeArt to have a chat about Supernatural, and she greeted me with a smile and hands full of gold leaf remnants. The room is currently filled with natural light, and the painted walls and scattered materials provide a colorful and shrine-like back-drop to her paintings which feature nature’s finest and most interesting animals (stags, zebras and a wide variety of humming birds). I can’t help to ask her if she has ever seen all these creatures in real life? “The stags I’ve watched and photographed in deer parks, the zebras I’ve seen in zoos all over the world…I think the only animal I haven’t been familiar with is the humming birds.” The interesting thing with the artist residency program is that the work is always changing. During my visit – Louise was working on a large scale picture of two stags fighting. In front of the painting there was a camera set up to take a picture every couple of minutes to then be used in a stop motion animation giving a “behind the scenes” insight into her work.  Louise frequently uses social media and videos to showcase her work, giving the viewer the chance to follow the process from the beginning. “Wild Spirit” one of the bigger paintings in the exhibition, measuring 185x185 cm, on which a grand stag has center focus on the canvas surrounded by butterflies- painted with fluorescent paint for that magical glow - is a prime example of this as Louise showed the whole naissance of the painting on her Facebook page (pictured above). Is she not scared someone will steal her ideas? “I think if an artist wanted to copy my ideas they would do so anyway, there is no secrets in the way I paint. I have in the past been contacted especially by students on various levels wanting to use my paintings as inspiration for projects and assignments.” I guess that’s the best compliment for any artist.

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Chantelle May Purcell, the Sales & Art Residencies Manager also told us a little about their plans for the following year: “Our hopes for next year are to provide an even more experimental program that will see international exchanges as well as group and solo residencies that challenge the notions of display and presentation and work to provide an educative, accessible archive.”

The Supernatural exhibition is currently running until the 28th of July at The Execution Room on Vyner Street in East London. Louise herself is there on most days until 6pm and will be holding artist talks on the 25th of July 6pm-8.30pm; her art work is also presented online at www.Degreeart.com. The pricing starts from £55 for her smaller jewelery.


For more info visit: www.degreeart.com/events/louise-mcnaught-supernatural