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Gallagher & Turner - Gavin Watson: Protect & Survive

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Creature Comforts oil on canvas
Informed by the rich visual culture of the North East, Gavin Watson’s paintings explore the relationships forged between humans and animals, and the internal and external worlds they share. Often using humour, he tells playful stories in his surreal and characterful expertly crafted paintings. His quiet but dramatic scenes are almost spiritual, perfectly capturing the essence and emotion of the animals in them. This is Gavin’s first time exhibiting at Gallagher & Turner. The narratives within Gavin’s work are multi-layered and playfully reference a myriad of sources - from the TV show Tiger King, to environmental issues and climate change, books like The Life of Pi, historical events to cultural traditions. The result is mildly surreal paintings which hint at a larger narrative beyond the dreamlike scenes they represent. They seek to portray our collective consciousness and sense of belonging. Gavin keeps a postcard on his studio wall by artist Gillian Wearing, a man holds a message which says, ‘Everything is connected in life, the point is to know it and to understand it’. Born in Sunderland in 1962, Gavin Watson lives and works in rural Northumberland. He has exhibited his work at The Bowes Museum, Sunderland Museum, Cricket Hill Gallery in New York and has regularly been selected for the BP National Portrait award. Last year he was awarded the Visitors Choice Award at The New Light Prize and has also been commissioned by The Duchess of Northumberland. He is currently represented in London by the Jonathan Cooper, Park Walk Gallery and his work is in private collections in North America, Europe and the Middle East.

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