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Featured Artist of The Week: SLART!

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

Featured Artist of The Week: SLART!

"I am a figurative artist who reveals personal issues that affect many people through my art. Issues such as body image, anxiety, fear of authority, kidney failure and crippling shyness. I enjoy using large canvasses to make a large impact."

Selected artwork:

Artworks in order:

Bloodlines, 2022, Oil painting on canvas, 97x122 cm

I painted this portrait because I wanted to show a personal, vulnerable side to me and my Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) journey. It’s taken from a reference photo that I took on one of my first dialysis sessions in the hospital in 2021. It was an emotional time for many reasons, I felt scared, bewildered, exhausted and sad but also relieved to be getting the treatment as it would make me feel better over time.

When I got home after the first few sessions, I burst into tears as soon as I saw my wife. It was not only exhausting on my body, I felt emotionally drained, especially with travelling 90 minutes each way to Oxford from Swindon and having the 4-hour dialysis sessions 3 times per week.

I’m hoping it reveals a sensitive side as an artist, a vulnerable side. Being able to expose the tough times through my art will hopefully uplift others, or at least provoke some kind of emotional reaction that leads to positive action or reflection.

Being patient, 2022, Oil painting on canvas, 97x122 cm

Following on from the painting, Bloodlines (2022) this is the second painting in The Dialysis Series. The patient is looking out from their bed in a dialysis ward, feet perched on the end of the bed as they are too tall for the standard size bed.

The reference is a photo taken whilst in a dialysis session at Churchill Hospital, Oxford. A typical session lasts four hours. The title reflects being a patient of the hospital and being patient with having to undergo treatment.

I decided to paint this as an expression of my time having dialysis, and that it’s not all that bad. The four hours spent there can be time for reflection, time to catch up on emails or to watch a film you’ve felt you’ve not had the time to watch otherwise. I like to call it forced reflection time, as I can’t move my left arm due to the needles in my fistula. I can’t go anywhere or walk around for the same reason, I am connected to the machine cleaning my blood. So I am forced to face boredom at times, and often reflect and unwind, or even just get some extra sleep.

Blue Man, 2021, Oil painting on canvas, 97x122 cm

A piece exploring male insecurity and male vulnerability. Based on my body shape at the time of painting, I have historically had a dislike for my body and would over-eat for comfort.

Kick me when I’m down, 2020, Oil painting on canvas, 36x27 cm

December 2017, at my heaviest weight, comfort eating to take away the pain of living with a sick mother, I was newlywed and it should have been a joyous time.

The new year was approaching and I knew things had to change, so I declared my weight and my plan to get fit on a bodybuilding forum. A had 5 comments of great encouragement, yet the one that stuck out and was painful like a thorn on my side, was a young woman uttering a mere two-letter word expressing her disgust in my grotesque appearance: “Ew”.

I pretended that the words didn’t hurt, but if I was totally honest with myself, they did. They reminded me of the torment I received as an overweight child and every time I was judged for my appearance.

My intention for the viewer of this work is to catch their own judgement of the overweight figure and transmute it into empathy to all other human beings.

Siddha, 2019, Oil painting on canvas, 42x30 cm

This work was inspired by Kapil Gupta, whose rare writings inspire me deeply.

I would like you to get a sense of reflection and peace when you view this artwork. I chose brush pens and watercolour paper to display the vibrant colours and watercolour effects.

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