Don’t complain just work harder
Paul Westcombe
Preview: 28 January, 19:00-21:00
29 January – 18 March 2016

Mrs Rick’s Cupboard is pleased to invite you to our next exhibition, ‘Don’t complain just work harder’ by Paul Westcombe.

The architecture of Mrs. Rick’s Cupboard reminded Westcombe of several of his previous work spaces where he would try to recolonize the space for his own purposes.

I have worked in and out of different types of small booths/ store cupboards and minute offices. When working for the council on gardening jobs I was constantly on the move around town and used hidden spaces around the city. The booths were used as areas for breaks. While cleaning in hospitals spaces such as store cupboards doubled up as somewhere to hide. Security work meant I had to stay in spaces that were like isolation booths where I couldn’t leave (during night shifts I would sleep under the desk to avoid the CCTV).”

Spaces like this relate to Westcombe’s ongoing investigation in part with the fantasy worlds of the imagination as a means of alleviating the boredom and confinement of a twelve-hour shift, in one of the many jobs he has undertaken to support himself as an artist. Westcombe is interested in how this mechanism is a complex part of human desire, the capacity to construct the monstrous and phantasmagorical in moments of sensory deprivation.

For ‘Mrs Rick’s Cup board’, Westcombe will present drawings on media as diverse as paper coffee cups, mops, toilet plungers and Underground Travel card receipts which one might describe as wildly carnivalesque depictions of the neurotic thoughts that plague the mind in solitary moments.

Combining Hieronymus Bosch’s hellish distortions of the human body with Viz magazine’s lurid satires of middlebrow taste, the drawings are at once spontaneous and measured, casual (their surfaces speckled with dripped coffee) and baroque in their flamboyant grotesqueries. The work appears as dystopian dream sequences, fragments of recognisable images loom up uncannily from the vistas of a diseased mind.

Westcombe is currently undertaking a postgraduate diploma in Scenic Art at RADA.

Mrs Rick’s Cupboard is open every Friday from January 28th – March 18th 2015, 12:00 – 16:00


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