How many exhibition works:
No 20 Arts is delighted to present FROM DARKNESS, a solo exhibition of new works by Tom de Freston. Coinciding with the publication of his book, Wreck (Granta), this exhibition presents paintings and sculptures which explore themes of horror and suffering, alongside beauty and melancholy.
In his artist statement, Tom de Freston writes: “For the past four years, I have been collaborating with the Syrian writer Professor Ali Souleman and documentary film-maker Mark Jones. Ali lost his sight to a bomb blast in Syria in 1997 and we were attempting to translate his experiences of war and displacement into a collection of paintings. To make the unseen seen. Then, a month before the first lockdown, a fire gutted my studio, destroying twelve years’ worth of work in a matter of hours. Amongst the burnt debris, I had a moment of instinct: this would not be an end, but a new beginning.
The paintings in FROM DARKNESS are the result of an entirely new approach. Ash and debris have been mixed into paint, embedded into resin-covered surfaces. Works are imprinted with hands and feet, outlined absences which speak of a past presence. Grids are laid down, stencilled, sprayed to form cumulative spaces and suggestions of architectural interiors. Power washers have been taken to the surface, revealing hidden passages of paint. It’s an approach to mark-making akin to exploration, to looking to map new terrains.
They are paintings which invite us to enter them, to step inside the canvas, or at the least to occupy the gap between. As such they are invitations into psychological hinterlands, awaiting your arrival."
20 Cross Street, London, N1 2BG