Wandsworth Art Curated: Raksha Patel

Local artist, Raksha Patel , was invited as part of Wandsworth Art to curate a selection of her favourite artist profiles. Here’s her curated list –

Raksha image

I am a painter living in Battersea whose work stems from imagery found locally. I transform the familiar to create new narratives, banality is seen in a new light, as spaces and objects embody an alternate persona.

I begin with documenting the environment, this is then re-examined through a process of dissecting, re-assembling, and combining with (discarded) objects before painting.

My local landscape consists of Battersea Park, the architecture of Wandsworth’s estates, and its public art, all of which provide a medley of both alluring and grotesque imagery. I studied painting at the Slade School of Art in the mid 90’s, and since then I have exhibited widely. I have taught in contemporary art in schools, galleries and universities. I am currently exhibiting in the RA Summer Exhibition and at The Stash Gallery.  

My top Wandsworth artists selection stem from my interest in works that spark new ideas, explore narrative and give me space to consider locality from alternate perspectives

Matt Mounsey – I find Matt Mounsey’s paintings intriguing. His various works offers a sense of heightened vitality, life in spaces that are both fictional and real. The dark monochromatic paintings, with their liquidy paint give me permission to wallow in damp, rainy, urban places, where it’s fine to indulge in the darkness of winter. These contrast with colourful imagery taken from adult cartoons, sci-fi album covers, and fairgrounds where nightmares become a reality. They are playful and reveal a sense of honesty, which is fresh.

Sunshine Negyesi – Sunshine Negyesi’s sculptures prompt me to examine the materials that she uses with scrutiny. Each of the carefully considered elements within her work is loaded with notions of history, identity, place and body. Fragments of fabric are akin to the body, like skin it has its own persona, scent and texture that is embodies memory, emotion and pain carried from generation to generation. Her titles direct us to look at colonial histories, its legacy today and who forms the fabric of London. I enjoyed the lively, experimental nature of Negyesi’s work, her placement of string, textile, photography, rusting nails; materials with disparate qualities that sing in harmony in exploring personal and collective identities.

Azharullah Khan Mani – Azharullah Khan Mani’s painting Shed reflects a place of refuge, a space that’s quiet at the end of the garden path where we can get away and be with our own thoughts. Shed offers a sense of comfort through its warm colours and the loose brushwork that is reminiscent of the hazy evening sunshine.

Suzi Morris – The creamy, fleshy tones in Suzi Morris’s paintings have a romantic dreamlike quality allowing us to consider our inner selves, mental states and the content of our bodies. Her work makes me think of parallel universes between the intangible and recorded facts, giving space to consider my own existence and body.

Sally LoughridgeThree Girls on a Train offers me much joy. It is fresh and reminiscent of innocent childhood play. We are so used to seeing images of glum commuters on squished trains, whereas these girls invite us to play. The youngest takes a sneaky pick on her older sister’s deck of cards, we see what her sisters don’t. It reminds me of Millais painting ‘The Heart are Trumps’ which hints at competition except this is all fun and a journey to a possible new adventure.

Anna Woodward – Greek tragedies from renaissance paintings form the inspiration in Anna Woodward’s paintings. They pulse, and give the viewer energy, a sense of spirit. It is easy to lose yourself in this world of painterly shapes and play hide and seek with the glimpses of figures that emerge, fragment and disappear into a maze of pattern and colour.

Izabel Wocial – Izabel Wocial’s installations are made from the innards of domestic and industrial buildings. I enjoy her work as she questions and pushes ideas of drawing. She uses pipes, tarpaulin, tape and string, to create lines across a space, making our eyes dance over the various colourful materials, there is an element of humour as she uses domestic objects and items that we usually place little importance to. I found myself thinking of the harmonies in Kandinsky’s compositions or Mondrian’s works.

Micheal Alan-Kidd – Micheal Alan-Kidd shed light on important socio-political issues in our society, rather than focus on the new developments, this painting looks at the destruction of communities and the tragedy of re-gentrification. The surreal and slightly cartoonish quality is unnerving as although we may want to laugh the image that he paints is a reality for many families.

Mark Nader – Mark Nader gives new life to objects that we might find in dusty museum cabinets. Here ‘objects’ are experienced from a perspective that hints at their original purpose, the spirit and force embedded in the stone and clay. His compositions have a medley of Persian rugs, exotic plants, and objects used in worship by ancient civilisations. We are driven to consider how European collections have come to be, the powers of Empire and the exploitation that we do not see.

Alice Wilson – I find a quietness in Alison Wilson’s work. Her sculptures combine a range of materials that each evoke a sense of nostalgia and a reflection on their past live. Fragments of fence, tree bark and faded photograph are reminiscent of suburban life, walks from school or work that give time to ponder upon flaking paint, a garden shed, a bench or a fence. Places that are welcome but simultaneously are off limits.