IMPOSSIBILITY OF AN ISLAND: EGS & Jaakko Mattila
16 - 28 April 2019
Private View: Tuesday 16 April 5-8pm
Opening times: Tues-Sun 11am-6pm
For the duo show the IMPOSSIBILITY OF AN ISLAND, Helsinki based artists Jaakko Mattila and EGS come together in an exploration of the amorphous nature of cultural identity. Mattila has for decades worked on issues around personal ontology and being, employing the motif of the circle within the painterly tradition and through sculpture. EGS began by the marking, and therefore mapping, of urban streets as a graffiti artist, and has developed his interest in cartography within a fine art setting, working in glass and printmaking. The two artists are together revisiting London, the territory in which they both lived and worked in the late '90s and early '00s in order to combine their research into personal and societal geographies at a time of global rethinking regarding local and wider identities.
EGS (born 1974, Helsinki) studied at University of the Arts London, graduating in 1999. The letters E, G, and S originally formed a graffiti tag, but have evolved into complex maps that serve as a means of exploring geopolitical and anthropological issues. He has shown at the Kunsthalle Helsinki, and at various sites across The United Kingdom, Sweden, Greenland, The Netherlands, Russia, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Australia and the USA. EGS is interested in the arbitrariness of human made borders, as maps delineate and question legal territory and ownership in much the same way that graffiti does. The use of the line gives voice, marks ownership, confers rights, and expels citizens.
Jaakko Mattila (born 1976, Oulu) studied at The Surrey Institute of Art & Design University College, where he graduated in 2001. Since then, his works have been displayed, and feature in public and private collections, in Finland, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, Croatia, Switzerland, and Japan, reaching a level of acclaim as one of Finland's foremost painters. Mattila belongs to the abstract tradition, which he uses to explore human ontology and perception through simple recurring motifs drawn from nature in its widest sense, including naturally occurring geometric forms, and the notions of temporality and space. Often revolving around the motif of the circle, singularly or in plural form, the works are deceptively simple at first glance, yet layers and complex colour relations are revealed on further inspection. In this way both the limitation and depth of nature, and of our own perception of it, are conveyed.
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