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Denise Evans

Fine Artist

Welcome to my fine art portfolio exhibiting 30 years of my work. My works have been shown at the Museum of Modern art and are held in private collections in both the United Kingdoms and the US.

 

At the heart of my artwork is the autobiographical, it is by drawing from my own personal journey and experiences in life with soul baring honesty that I seek to reveal essential truths in my imagery which unite us in own unique and personal journey.

My artworks give vision to the silent internal journey we go on as we deal with the realities of our lives, realities above that can form scars below.

 

This journey has led me to explore different forms of mediums to better express what lays below. In some work the weathering of iron particles on my surfaces communicate change and the irreversible nature of decay. A surface which should be ugly becomes one of beauty when seen in a different way.

Madonna

Iron, copper and watercolor on handmade watercolor paper

Madonna

A watercolor scarred with encrusted rust haloed by copper

Preservation Copper Book

13" x 17"

Photographic self-portraits distressed by iron are preserved within a handmade book with a cover made of solid sheets of copper bound by leather. Distressed photographic portraits become the leaves of the book, their text punched through from behind to be seen in reverse.

It matters to me the surfaces, mediums and materials I use in my works and their properties, Preservation (a multi-media photographic installation and copper book shown at the Museum of Modern Art) used rusted photographic self-portraits and sheets of glass to give mirror like reflections in the artwork. A work that challenged the viewer to look beyond their own reflection to see deeper at the destruction that can occur in our lives. Rust leaving behind channels of decay as a witness to exposure that once occurred.

Resurrection

Oil painting with iron, copper, and mica on Irish linen

5' x 4' x 6" depth

My paintings too are not spared from my obvious distress, the metals iron and copper exist beside a metal that does not corrode, one that expresses value; gold. Raw earth pigments in their natural form are used along with mica that glints on linen surfaces. I like using gold and mica, there is always value and insight to be gained after going through a journey of decay. Experiences do not leave us empty, quite the opposite they leave behind wisdoms that could never have been gleamed before such destruction, before such decay.

Mine Heart

Oil painting with copper, gold leaf, and mica flakes on Irish linen

The galleries below flow through the years of my artworks from Family Album 1987, a multi-media installation about my life being raised in a working class family in the East-End of London, to my later works of paintings and works on paper in the galleries of Sleep and Neuro-Landscapes, images that express the living change of a neurological disease which has bitten my life away.

  • Neuro Landscapes
    Neuro Landscapes
  • Neuro Landscapes
    Neuro Landscapes
    Since 1999 I have been living with a neurological disease whose symptoms have mimicked progressive multiple sclerosis and left me housebound and unable to walk since that year. Its neurological nature has ripped me away from family and friends. And a lesion on my brain waiting for surgery is temporal lobe epilepsy running concurrent. It is the hardest thing I have ever endured, the physical pain, numbness and disability which is constant, and electrical shocks in my brain come in waves to wipe away memory and alter reality as if it were a mirage.
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  • Sleep
    Sleep
  • Sleep
    Sleep
    Landscapes Nocturnal's imagery comes from the ongoing years of being unable to sleep as pain became my companion through nights and fatigue during days. These works speak of the fatigue and fragility of sleep.
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  • Wings
    Wings
  • Wings
    Wings
    From Landscapes Internal came my recognition of a physical and neurological change, wings which should be of flight turned into wings of comfort and wings of embrace. These artworks speak of that change.
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  • Landscapes Internal
    Landscapes Internal
  • Landscapes Internal
    Landscapes Internal
    Landscapes Internal entered my imagery during the winter of 1999 at the beginning collapse of my world as I knew it. My work was expressing interior landscapes I was yet then to recognize existed, or maybe I intensionally ignored, it wasn't until I'd lost all balance I was confronted to listen to my body, which could barely move from fatigue, pain and a numbness so dense I sort medical care. I had a neurological disease no one could diagnose and a lesion on my brain doctors ignored. The works in 'Landscapes Internal' went on during my years expressing how limiting my life was becoming and the landscapes I was wandering seeking voice and meaning.
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  • Mother & Child
    Mother & Child
  • Mother & Child
    Mother & Child
    From decay, after five miscarriages and never being able to have children 'mother and child' remains imagery I return to, beyond obvious reasons of imaginary for me, it also expresses the ideas and ideals we nurture within ourselves, things we give life to.
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  • Preservation
    Preservation
  • Preservation
    Preservation
    Preservation is a photographic installation & copper book, the installation consists of thirteen large photographic self-portraits, which have been treated with iron filings and water to create scarring and encrustations of rust on their surfaces. This has left some of the images barely readable as portraits. At the heart of the piece is a concern with silence and pain. The images illustrate a process of scarring and decay, of loss of recognition and the irrevocable nature of damage. Preservation was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art Oxford, England (MOMA).​
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  • Dreams on Paper
    Dreams on Paper
  • Dreams on Paper
    Dreams on Paper
    The artworks in Dreams on Paper seek to give voice to imagery and narration of dreams which overlays everyday reality.
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  • Family Album
    Family Album
  • Family Album
    Family Album
    I was 22 when I created Family Album, an autobiographical multi-media installation of works on paper and a written autobiography of my early life. The installation was a tribute to my family and working class background in the East End of London.​
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Biography

I was born in the East-End of London in 1964. After my foundation and degree in fine art in London and received my PhD at the Slade School of Fine Art (University College London) in 1989. My artworks have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art and won numerous prizes, are held within private collections in the United Kingdom and the United States. After traveling in the US during 1996, I settled in Missouri in 1997. Towards the end of 1999 I became ill with a neurological illness, which changed my entire world and left me housebound. The road from independence to disability I still seek to comprehend in my artworks. The artworks within these galleries follow 30 years of my artwork in paintings, drawings, fine art prints to multi media installations that begin with a book.

Education

1980-1983. At the age of 17 I began studying at Kingsway Princeton College, London, England and completed 3-year foundation in fine arts..

In 1984-1987 I began my 3 year fine art degree at Byam Shaw School of Fine Arts, London, England graduating with distinction.

1987-1989 I then began my 2-year post-graduate degree (PhD) in multi-media fine arts at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London (UCL), London, England.

 

Prizes

1986 The Julian Sullivan Prize. London, England

1987 The Pamela Ovens' Prize, judged by Leon Kossoff. London, England.

1988 The Jeremy Cubitt Prize, judged by Tony Godfrey. London, England

 

 

Exhibitions & Talks

1987 Tom Allen Arts Center. London, England.

1988 Ave International Audiovisual Festival. Holland

1989 Museum of Modern Art Oxford (MoMA). Oxford, England

1989 Gallery talk on Preservation. Museum of Modern Art, MoMA. Oxford. England.

2001 Xavier Gallery. Kansas. USA

2001 Xavier Gallery. Kansas. USA. Gallery talk with Saint Mary College Art Graduate students.

2001 Panelist, 'Discernment of Truth in Modern Culture’.Saint Mary College. Kansas, MO. USA.

 

East End of London

The East End of London, also known simply as the East End, is an area of Central, East London and London Docklands, England; east of the Roman and medieval walls of the City of London, and north of the River Thames. The East End is the historic core of wider East London but is not defined by any universally accepted boundaries, though the various channels of the River Lea are often considered to be the eastern boundary.

The East End's emergence began in the Middle Ages with initially slow urban growth outside the eastern walls, which subsequently accelerated, especially in the 19th century, to absorb pre-existing settlements.

The first known written record of the East End as a distinct entity, as opposed its component parts, comes from John Strype's 1720 'Survey of London', where he describes London as consisting of four parts: the City of London, Westminster, Southwark, and "That Part beyond the Tower".

The relevance of Strype's reference to the Tower was more than geographical. The East End was the major part of an area called the Tower Division, which owed military service to the Tower of London. Later, as the East End grew and the Tower Division contracted, the East End became, arguably, conterminous with the Tower Division.

The area was notorious for its deep poverty, overcrowding and associated social problems. This has led to the East End’s history of intense political activism and association with some of the country’s most influential social reformers.

Another major theme of East End history has been that of migration; both inward and outward. The area had a strong pull on the rural poor from other parts of England and attracted waves of migration from further afield: notably Huguenot refugees, who created a new extramural suburb in Spitalfields in the 17th century.

The closure of the last of the East End docks in the Port of London in 1980 created further challenges and led to attempts at regeneration and the formation of the London Docklands Development Corporation. The Canary Wharf development, improved infrastructure, and the Olympic Park mean that the East End is undergoing further change, but some parts continue to contain some of the worst poverty in Britain.

Source: Wikipedia

 

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© Denise Evans. 2017