NPA Lab | 2020
Fergus Cooper is a visual artist working primarily in paint and collage. His work deals with themes of commercialism in relation to the self.
Cai Bellis is a London based painter who uses his work to question hierarchy within culture. He won the Liberty Specialty Markets Art Award in 2019 – 2020.
‘Maximum Carnage’ (2020)
Oil on canvas
The chat I had with Fergus via the NPA Labs project was a great opportunity to reflect on my current position and contextualize some of the thoughts I’ve been having about my practice and its trajectory. We had a long talk about my position between art and music and the role that I, and my work, played between the two worlds. It was very useful to have someone versed in both worlds, and meant it was a seamless exchange. It was very helpful to have a conversation, not just about the formal elements of my work but the position my work exists within, and my place in relation to it. It was an overall great experience and reaffirmed my confidence in continuing to pursue my career in art, with some helpful resources to guide me along the way.
‘Bring ur Crew’ (2020)
Oil on Canvas
My painting practice concerns itself with communal experiences and forms of celebration, using them to explore inner-city London. As a prominent part of my upbringing I use my work as a translation of those experiences while aesthetically tugging a line between figuration and abstraction.
Oil on Canvas
I use my work to question hierarchy within culture: currently, I am looking at live music as a central pillar within communities. Recently, this has been through exploring London’s Soundsystem culture, with an emphasis on grime, and the relationships between MC, DJ & the crowd that are central to it – a subject close to my heart growing up in the scene. I am attempting to represent and translate my surroundings by exploring the value of Soundsystem culture within local communities. My work plays with the personal and impersonal, investigating the contradicting senses of security and vulnerability within crowds. I consider the value of interaction with strangers within these settings and the collapse of individuality within large groups.
‘Bang But’ (2020)
Acrylic on canvas with collage of acrylic on fabriano elements (60cm x 60cm)
Ferg Cooper is a visual artist working primarily in paint and collage. He graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2017 with an MA in Fine Art. He participated in a year long residency at the Florence Trust in 2018 and in 2019 was part of Oli Epp’s Plop residency. This year he joined the inaugural panel of Artcry, a new fund giving fast answers on funding for political work.
Ferg’s work deals with themes of commercialism in relation to the self. In particular, how we cope with a constant bombardment of visual information, and ways we use social media to communicate. Many of his works use imagery inspired by strangers’ Instagram profiles.