Past Exhibition

The Darling of Reflection

William Cobbing

Emerson Pullman

Liorah Tchiprout

19 Apr – 25 May 2024

The Darling of Reflection

A group exhibition including William Cobbing, Emerson Pullman, Liorah Tchiprout, with an accompanying poem by Leo Bussi

Download poem by Leo Bussi

On Saturday 11 May at 3pm: Performance by William Cobbing & a poetry reading by Leo Bussi. RSVP here.

The exhibition draws together three artists who explore themes of the “constructed portrait” through painting, ceramic sculpture and film.

Recent graduate, Emerson Pullman uses photographs as his source material to capture the likeness of his sitters, all people he knows personally - but the fabrics, colours and surroundings in this sitters’ environments are all imagined. Pullman intuitively collates imagery and applies concise abstract marks to construct the scenery around his figure. This achieves a composition that pushes the expressive boundaries of portraiture and allows the negative space of the canvas to come forth. As the painting is built up, memories of previous ideas are left evident or are obscured.

Painter and printmaker Liorah Tchiprout’s uncanny portraits bring to life inanimate objects. Tchiprout constructs puppets from wood and clay which she dresses in handmade clothes, jewellery and hairstyles. She positions these models in the way that a traditional portrait painter might direct their sitters to form the starting point of her compositions. Through the creation of her paintings, she charges these lifeless forms with tender emotion and gestural expression. We are left observing a strange liminal space between an intimate portrait of someone but disrupted by the mannerist signifiers of their rigid, elongated and disjointed origins.

By using clay, William Cobbing’s depiction of the head and hands nods to the most primal form of human visual expression and creativity. By using film, Cobbing bookends the human creative process from its origins of playing with mud dug up from the ground through to the complexities of technology which we all have available to us today. Although these are often self portraits, the obscuring of the face and its distinguishing features forces them to be considered as portraits of the anonymous everyman. The hand of the creator, often present in Cobbing’s work, is shown demonstrating the brutal, humorous and tender act of making.

Written especially for this exhibition, Leo Bussi’s poem, ‘The Darling of Reflection’, echoes the wide-ranging approaches to the construction of portraiture and its myriad of creative possibilities.

Artist Biographies

William Cobbing (b. 1974) studied sculpture at Central St Martins, De Ateliers, an artists’ institute in Amsterdam and a PhD at Middlesex University. He was awarded the Helen Chadwick Fellowship at Ruskin School and British School at Rome, resulting in the Gradiva Project at Freud Museum and Camden Arts Centre. He also undertook a residency at Turquoise Mountain in Kabul, Afghanistan.  Cobbing has exhibited solo exhibitions and performances extensively internationally including: ‘Social Substance’, Airspace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, 2023; ‘Noggin’, Cooke Latham Gallery, London, 2021; ‘THINGS IN THINGS', William Cobbing x Maison Margiela, 2020;  ‘Human After All: Ceramic Reflections in Contemporary Art’, The Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics, The Netherlands, 2020; ‘Haptic Loop’, Cooke Latham Gallery, London, 2019; ‘Feÿ Arts Festival’, Château du Feÿ, Bourgogne, France, 2019. His most recent group exhibitions include ‘Pourquoi London’, Gertrude x Canopy Collections, London, 2024; ‘Of the Earth’, Messums West, Salisbury, 2024, and ’Matter’, Curated by Jo Dennis, Flowers Gallery, London; ‘Full House’, Canopy Collections, London; ‘After The Performance’, Tension Fine Art, London; ‘No More Lonely Nights’, Canopy Collections, London; ‘Adattamento Complesso Naturale’, Premio Stromboli, Stromboli; ‘Life Is More Important Than Art’, Whitechapel Gallery, London; ‘For Nothing Is Simply One Thing’, Canopy Collections, London, all in 2023.

Emerson Pullman (b.1995, Llandudno, Wales) graduated from MA Fine Art at City & Guilds Art School, London in 2022, after completing his BA  in Fine Art at Leeds Arts University in 2020. Pullman’s first solo exhibition ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’ was hosted by New Normal Projects at Cromwell Place, London in 2023. His selected group exhibitions include: ‘New Contemporaries’, Camden Arts Centre, London, 2024; ‘Contemporary Portraits’, John Swarbrooke Fine Art, Cromwell Place, London, 2023; ‘You Are Here’, MAPA Fine Art, Staffordshire St, London, 2023; ‘Cacatopia 07’, Annka Kultys, London, 2023; ‘London Paint Club Selects: Vols 1 & 2’, Koppel Projects, London, 2022 and ‘Wells Art Contemporary’, Wells Cathedral, Somerset, 2022. In 2023 Pullman was awarded the Bloomberg New Contemporaries Award, in the Leverhulme Trust Scholarship 2022.

Liorah Tchiprout (b. 1992 London, UK) completed her MA Fine Art Print, Camberwell College of Art, London in 2020 after her BA in Fine Art Printmaking at University of Brighton in 2016. In 2014 she completed an Exchange semester at Bezalel School of Art and Design, Jerusalem, Israel.  A selection of her recent exhibitions include; ‘Liorah Tchiprout: Two Eyes Wide Open at the Edge of Dawn’, Marlborough, London, 2023; ‘Summer Exhibition’, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2023; ‘Face to Face: A Celebration of Portraiture’, Marlborough, London, 2023; ‘Painted Prints', trio show with Jimmy Merris & Gillian Ayres, Marlborough, London, 2023; ‘All Things are Kneeling', Brocket Gallery, London, 2022; ‘Frontier at the Country of Night’, Oxmarket Contemporary, Chichester, 2022; ‘New Contemporaries’, South London Gallery, London and Firstsite, Colchester, 2021; ‘Dream on’, Grove Collective, London, 2021; ‘The Ingram Prize Exhibition’, Unit 1 Gallery, London, 2021; ‘Top 100’, The Department Store, Brixton, London, 2021; ‘My Love is Your Love’, Everywoman Biennial, The Copeland Gallery, London, 2021 and ‘Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Exhibition’, Coventry Cathedral, Coventry, 2021. In 2023 Tchiprout won The Sunny Dupree Family Award for a Woman Artist at the RA Summer Exhibition, and was shortlisted for the Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Prize in 2021. Her work is in the Permanent Collections of Soho House (Tel Aviv & London), the Clifford Chance Collection, London, the Ruth Borchard Next Generation Collection, London, and the Government Art Collection, London.