Peaks of Imperfection: A Headway art exhibition

We take a peek at one of our collaborative paintings as we build up to our latest art show...

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On Thursday 31st January, Headway and Submit to Love Studios will be setting up camp at Rathbones for a special one-night corporate art fundraiser! Featuring original collaborative works, individual paintings (including Graham's piece avalanche opposite) and hand drawn illustrations, the show highlights the diverse creative talents of our membership whilst also giving lucky guests a chance to take home a piece of their own. As we prepare for the big night, member Billy has written about one of the featured paintings, and why collaborations in the studio are so special and important.

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THE MANY FACES OF EVE

There is no exact analysis that can be used on the studio's group paintings. They start with a notional idea but quickly take on a life of their own. The biggest problem is knowing when to end that life, to stop painting and say, “It's finished!” This is a tough decision because so much energy has poured into the piece. There is a forbidding density of mystery bound up in the image, but once you’ve found a way in, you don't want to leave.

The Many Faces of Eve started as an exploration and discovery of the myth of Eve, for what she embodies and speaks about what it is to be a woman. What you see is a leap of faith in the Submit to Love studio mantra, “TRUST THE PROCESS”. It started with a blank primed canvas. On to this goes the first stroke. It might be a figure a pattern or a splash.

From that first move the painting becomes a feeding frenzy of creativity as up to 50 artists arrive at the canvas, make a random, intuitive addition, then move on.

Sooner or later something meaningful is spotted, built upon, then often painted over, obliterated. X-ray scanning of The Many Faces of Eve might reveal something else entirely behind what you see: The Many Faces of Adam, maybe. That would be ironic.

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Eve

In this case, what emerged at the end of the human motorway of brush-strokes was a swirling vortex of contorted femininity, women of every form and character. It both touches and separates, like some exotic dance, tantalising and frustrating all at the same time. The ghost and the maiden don't so much work against the pole dancer and the vamp as form a mesmerising alliance that it seems indecent to question.

Somewhere along the way we lost count of the number of artistic fingerprints on this piece as anyone who passed through the studio was invited to leave their own mark. Best of all, Eve's real strength lies in its inclusivity, as each viewer is compelled to enter this crazy world and play a role of their own. In this sense, it could be said that Eve is in all of us.