Local Landscape

Local Landscape

5 December – 13 December 2013


Local Landscape brings together artists Luke Francis Haseler and Paul Sakoilsky who use oil painting to change their perception of the reality they inhabit. Both Paul and Luke will be making new work in the space as part of the exhibition. A film featuring interviews with both artists by Alexander Mclean will be included in the display. Local Landscape will also include a lecture, In the Shadows of Romance by John Cussans

Opening 5 December, 4 – 7:30pm

Friday 6 December, 4 – 7pm
Thursday 12 December, 4 – 7pm
Friday 13 December, 4 – 7pm (Lecture by John Cussans, 4 – 5pm)

Images: (left) Luke Francis Haseler Mischief and Melancholy, 2013 (right) Paul Sakoilsky, View [Spring Delay], 2013, photo copyright © Paul Sakoilsky all rights reserved

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Luke Francis Haseler
We sometimes see things that force us to experience the unrepeatable in nature; things are here and then they are gone. This could be something that makes a strong impression on us either because  it appears beautiful or bizarre, Luke uses paint to try and convey this experience through the play of light, colour, gesture and composition.  He uses a traditional frame-work of painting which he re-fashions and adapts to conjure his experience for others to see. Luke described his work to me like this: –

“I am preoccupied with the bizarre and beautiful nature of people. This on-going obsession with portraiture is an attempt to distil and preserve the complexity of a human personality. To translate this through paint retains a certain magic; the composition is a theatre of reflection, an endless dialogue between light and colour, describing the illusion of flesh. To ever succeed is to provide a timeless record of that which has drawn breath and passed on.”

Is a London based figurative oil-painter, currently exhibiting and taking commissions. His practice is fundamentally concerned with preserving forms that are attractive for their beauty or bizarre nature. The focus lies with the communication of form through light play, colour, gesture and composition; a traditional framework re-fashioned for the desired effect. He has studied at Central St. Martin’s Byam Shaw, Falmouth Art College, the London Atelier of Representational Art and the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, a city which the artist spent two years building his portfolio. Haseler is also co-founder of Vermilion Hook, an independently run collective of artists who for the last year have been re-purposing disused spaces for showcasing their work in atmospheric gallery environments. Their latest show will be held in the basement gallery of Mark Powell’s Bespoke, 2 Marshall St. Soho, open to the public for December 2013.

Image: Red Flower, 2013


Paul Sakoilsky
‘View’ is the diary of minute observations of the environment directly surrounding Paul’s studio in Bow.
“There’s a freedom in the fact that I’m facing the same view over and over again – in the serial nature of this project. For example, I’ve discovered the amazing Tower Hamlets Cemetery, where you get these fascinating juxtapositions between wild-growing woodland and high-rise tower blocks, and then ‘natural’ clouds and contrails of airplanes landing and taking off from City Airport. All this has led to a questioning not just of formal aspects of painting, but also of local environment, history of the area, of freedom and economics.”

Since 2007 Paul has also produced a series called the Dark Times. These are painted over the top of newspapers making use of bits of headline and print – something familiar transformed to enable us question what we’re being told. ‘View’ also invites us to ask questions about the world, particularly how much is taken for granted, but does so by focusing on the detail of our immediate surroundings. During the exhibition, Paul will also be making new work from the environment of the gallery’s home in Bethnal Green.

Born in 1964, Sakoilsky was brought up in the Far East and East Anglia, where he created his first performance art works. Obsessed by poetry, Sakoilsky came to London in 1982, where he played in bands, made experimental films/audio-works, wrote prolifically, and met the poet George Barker (then in his 70s), who briefly became a mentor. Sakoilsky organised poetry readings that evolved into performance pieces, and, from 1994 to 2002 was based at 30 Underwood St Gallery, where he had a studio, performed and curated, whilst also studying at the radical Philosophy Dept of the University of North London. In 1997, the Arts Council funded Sakoilsky to travel to Austria to co-curate the first UK exhibition of Hermann Nitsch. A defining body of autobiographical and extreme performance work followed, shown mainly in Central Europe, to include the Cry series, Mother Hysteria and the Kunst-Clown Action series, his first solo show in Budapest, as well as academic articles on Nitsch and the Dialogues text series. Since 2007, Sakoilsky has worked increasingly in the medium of paint. Series of works include The Dark Times project, Poor-traits/Portraits, Unfamiliar/Familiarised, Discus and the Reg series. From 2010-2012, he was Resident Artist at Red Gallery, Shoreditch, for whom he also co-curated the landmark show East End Promise: A Story of Cultural Migrants. He has a son, Joseph, and daughter, Anastasia 

A special interview with Paul discussing the way his work has evolved is available here

Image: View (7-9am, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Napoli), 2012, photo copyright © Paul Sakoilsky all rights reserved

Alexander Mclean
Alexander Mclean is a video journalist who has made numerous films of musicians and artists that reflect thoughtfully on their work and the circumstances under which they are produced. Watch some of Alex’s previous films and interviews with Public Enemy, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and more at his Youtube channel:


John Cussans
Lecture: In the Shadows of Romance

Location: Portman Gallery
Date: Friday December 13th
Time: 4pm

This lecture discusses the Romantic myth of the modern artist with reference to the lives and work of Vincent Van Gogh, Austin Osman Spare and Ana Mendieta. Attention will be paid to the role of their childhood experiences, the passions and obsessions that drove their work and how they responded to the issue of artworld recognition. Finally I will ask how such romantic myths relate to what the art theorist Stephen Wright has called the ‘exit strategies’ of contemporary artists seeking to escape the ‘attention economy’ of the established artworld. 

John Cussans is Associate Research Fellow in the Department of Visual Cultures and Visiting Tutor in the Department of Fine Art at Goldsmiths College