Artist Statement - Joshua Raffell
Joshua lives and works on the Isle of Wight.
He studied at Sir John Cass (BA Hons) and Chelsea School of Art (MA). He has exhibited work in the Quay Arts (Newport), Acons Gallery (Ryde), Studio 1.1 (East London), Charlie Smith (East London) and Griffin Gallery (West London) and Hackney Wicked (Hackney).
The focus of Joshua’s work is the complex of memories of the self, using mixed media. However, as a dyslexic artist the memories are often confused. Joshua embraces this to create autobiographical work that takes on a surreal dreamlike state, adding images and ideas from current affairs and gay erotica. The works often explore the relationship between mental health and familial relationships. The queer gaze and the often cheeky allure of slapstick signify humour for survival and accessibility.
Layering is a significant aspect, whether paint, performance, textiles, or clay, with materials squished and sewn together to create an emotional poise or narrative of thought. Imagery is used to push against brainwashed ideas and aspirations of conformity. It seeks to unravel the repressed and use the gratuitously sexual to challenge established hierarchies. Thus, scraping the surface and exploring the underbelly of society. The work is roughly hewn following an innate process creating a distinctive style.
His work is inspired by Delaine La Bas, Louise Bourgeois, Tilleke Schwarz, Alice Kettle and Max Ernst, just to name a few.
Richard Ducker said of Joshua’s work ‘it is as if the id has suddenly interrupted a polite cup of tea.’
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