Echo Chamber | AN exhibition by Conrad Armstrong
June 1st – July 15th 2017
"MELTING PLASTIC and burnt painted figures fight for space in Conrad Armstrong’s newest exhibition Echo Chamber." - Shotgun Studios
Echo Chamber is an exploration into the constancy of societal figures and the perpetuating narcissism of social media – Echo Chamber creates a contrast between anchors of truth and subjective reality.
This grappling of ideas is illustrated by Armstrong’s intense creative process, as opposing materials burn and deform together, forging striking visualisations that emerge through the destruction.
Tapped as one of the Top 10 Artists To Watch in 2017 by Artist and Illustrator Magazine, Echo Chamber is a challenging and disruptive solo exhibition, launching June 1st at Shotgun Gallery, London.
Archetypal city characters are portrayed through Echo Chamber – age-old roles that transcend time and space. Here they fight for their place in the picture space, as they have done throughout human history. These ‘old truths’ reflect core human needs and desires, and the shared social contract of mutual aspiration for harmonious city living. Buying/selling (Merchants/Hawkers), law and order (Police/Prisoners), pleasure (Sex Workers/Street Entertainers), wealth and poverty (Patrons/Beggars) - such roles hallmark and underpin society.
Armstrong seeks to disrupt the tunnel vision of the contemporary Echo Chamber, which perpetrates an artificial view of ourselves and the world. By portraying figures who exhibit the ‘old truths’ of human civilisation, Armstrong returns to core elements that ground us to reality, exploring his person through each character.
This unique constructivist process is created by stretching and layering thick plastic across a frame, followed by paint that is burnt and melted with a blowtorch. This process is repeated again and again, coating and distorting elements that writhe and warp. The canvas becomes deeply pitted, stretched and scarred, materializing liminal, tensive figures that peer out darkly.
These latest works are both disturbing and captivating, showing suffering forms and figures in an almost purgatorial state. Combined with unsettling primal colours, Armstrong suggests an underlying danger in losing touch with reality and truth.