Apportions: Representing the Divines
Beginning on the Vernal Equinox of March 21st, and running for a week in WC1, 'Apportions: Representing the Divines' collects together recent portraiture by published author and emerging artist Nick Taylor. The work is curated by May Kim of ArtOneSpace, in collaboration with Mokspace, and provides a glimpse into the world of indigenous shamanism.
Nick Taylor comes from Wales and his early landscapes were populated with magical creatures such as dragons, faeries, witches and ghosts, whose existence was respected rather than demonised or demolished. Nick returned to his roots by embarking on a period of shamanic training that saw him initiated into the mysteries by digging his own grave and being buried alive in Mother Earth for a night.
Nick's style is immediately recognisable and unique. It draws on the technique of flat picture planes, thick lines and wild colours that places him as much in the indigenous world of Huichol and Aboriginal artists as the Fauvism of Matisse and the street-style of Haring.
The collection of paintings on display reflects his ongoing spiritual practice and brings together portraiture of some of his most important divine presences. The title of the exhibition refers to the mythology of the Moirai, the three goddesses who rule all; who spin the thread of life, apportion it and then cut it. But Nick's work takes ancient, archetypal ideas and imagines them in contemporary settings. So in 'The Moirai at Rest', the goddesses sit like women from the 1970s on a cigarette break at the hairdressers. Elsewhere, in 'The Lady Cuts', the Spider Goddess, a powerful ally in Nick's spirit work, eyes us from the bottom of her subterranean staircase web, ready to cut off our human allowance like a many-limbed Mrs. Thatcher.
Many of the divinities gathered here are women, a reminder of the necessary rebalancing after thousands of years of male monotheism (when the first commandment of the Old Testament banned the worshipping of any other gods and the second commandment prohibited the painting of them). But the men when they show up are no dry, bearded cloud-dwellers. 'Wood God' sees the divinity of the forest, Cernunnos, depicted naked and proud, as comfortably recumbent amid the latticed trees as if he were on his bed, both vulnerable and powerful.
This is sacred art that is modern, painted for an age where the market has tried and failed to extinguish the need for deeper meaning, and has no problem showing the body in all its profanity.
Apportions: Representing the Divines 21.3.15 - 28.3.15 Mokspace 33 Museum Street London WC1A 1LH