Later this Summer, The Coningsby Gallery will be delighted to welcome Début Art-represented artist Alan Berry Rhys to The Coningsby Gallery to present ‘Carnada Viva’, an exhibition of original paintings and screenprints inspired by the culture and lifestyle surrounding the Paraná River in Argentina. The exhibition will run from the 29th August until 9th September 2017.
As Alan explains, “In Spanish, Carnada Viva means ‘live bait’. Ever since I was a boy I have been drawn to fishing, and to this day remain fascinated by the variety of the sport. Equally, I love the paraphernalia associated with it; the bait shops and their billboards. My friends and I most often fish along the huge river that runs all the way through the east of Argentina from the north to the south: The Paraná River. I’m completely amazed by this body of water. It flows through a dense subtropical forest and on its shores are colonial towns, sites of cultural heritage and the locale for some of the more significant moments of Argentine history. Within the water’s depths dwell the river’s inhabitants - mythical creatures. The meeting of these two aspects, the river and the towns, combines ancient nature with introduced European Christian ways of living. It is an area rich in the push and pull of cultivated and natural history and its subsequent development. Carnada Viva is a graphic essay in which I present all the elements that fascinate me about the culture found along the Paraná River.’
Alan’s work is distinguished by his sophisticated use of bold, bright colours and the gestures he makes towards vintage graphic advertising, both in his process and in his aesthetic. In addition to hand-rendered sign painting, he largely works with techniques derived from screen printing and risograph-making in homage to lo-fi printing, with its errors and limitation. It is this handcrafted input and finish to his work that gives his work its character, and well represents the aesthetics of craftsmanship lifestyles - such as those experienced by fishermen, axmen, butchers and carpenters – which he often makes the focus of his pieces.