Occupied Realism

Occupied Realism

March 15th – March 23rd 2012


What is realism? In art it is often described as a picture, image, film or text that is as close to reality as possible. But what is reality? Is reality what a camera records, in a photograph for example, or what we actually see, experience and feel? It is clear the picture or image of something is different from the thing itself.

When people think of realism there is often an unquestioned view which sees only one reality. This reality is seen as being outside of you and people may think it can be shown in a way that everyone agrees with. But is this always true for everything? Our view of reality changes according to our position in life. Think of the different realities of a slave and master, would they have, necessarily, the same versions of what is real and important?

What is considered to be real and true is important to question, it is often not neutral or unbiased. Think of a newspaper for example, sometimes the truth is distorted or exaggerated. Also some news stories are mentioned more than others, who decides what’s more important?

Occupied Realism brings together three different artists who question what we see as real or accept as part of life. They use three different media, film, painting and real action with documentation. We also want to ask questions about the reality of using art as a social voice – who is able to do this in society?

Artists: Nathan Eastwood, Alexander Mclean, Jonathan Trayner

Drawing, Text and Curation: Andrew Cooper

Occupied Realism booklet available to download here



Alexander Mclean’s East End interviews on display


Production photographs from The Stein Collector

See more of Alexander’s East End interviews and other films here


Nathan Eastwood’s workspace situated within the gallery


Humbrol enamel on board (33.5cm x 40.5cm)

See more of Nathan’s work here


Christopher Campbell-Mhlope winning the election in Jon Trayner’s workshop


Still from Jon Trayner’s film

See more of Jon’s work here