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'A Constant State of Becoming' By Joshua Perkin

‘A Constant State of Becoming’ is an online exhibition by Joshua Perkin comprising a series of 17 original pieces, painted using acrylic and household paints, across canvas and paper. Drawn from the imagination, Joshua’s works, which utilise a predominantly Mediterranean palette, have a distinctive ambiguity that’s devoid of any factual representation; each painting is ethereally untied to any era or geographic place. 

Naturally curious, Joshua got into painting at a young age, while living in the British countryside and growing up around manual work and their flocks of sheep; painting provided a creative outlet. Labour work has become a key narrative throughout his works — formalising it through academia while completing a Masters in artistic production in Barcelona, where he became interested in artistic depictions of traditional labour and the African-American folk art movement. 

This collection is his expression of how the human identity is constantly in flux — it’s an endless evolution as we respond to the world around us. A Constant State of Becoming is not just an exhibition title then, but a personal manifesto for how to live. Of listening so intently, we find joyful noise in the silence. And hear the things that are left unsaid. 

Introduction by Grace Elisabeth Cook.

Please note that some artworks in the exhibition will be shipping from Spain and others from London, so please check the details in the product description. Unless applied automatically at check-out, shipping will be invoiced after the sale has been made as we will get a bespoke shipping quote for you specific to your requirements.  Shipping can take up to 3 weeks.

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He’s inspired not just by the stories of those he meets on his travels, but by those of his diverse and multicultural family too. His global lens of reference points gives his work a peaceful placelessness. “The scenes are invented, but everything is informed by people I’ve met, or things I’ve seen and experienced,” he says. He paints each piece spontaneously, never taking pencil to canvas to plot out a piece. “I never know what’s going to happen when I start a new work… but each painting is a manifestation of everything so far.”

His painted scenes are evocative and intimate: a snapshot of human existence. One canvas, depicting a private moment of two people atop a bed, is titled ‘Remembering Past Lives’. Others took inspiration from particular eras in his life; ‘Strewn with Nostalgia’ and ‘The Moon Tucks me In’, were painted during the Coronavirus lockdown, when Joshua was staying in an isolated wooden cabin on his family’s farm to assist with lambing season. On canvas, this sense of aloneness is telegraphed through the singular hut. 

Others, such as ‘Less Impatient’, and ‘You’re Escaping from my Mind’ were created during an artist’s retreat in Mallorca. In these pieces, the dinner table becomes a theme — a moment of connection and reprieve from the lonely hours painting. “Dinner was the one time of day we all got together to chat,” he says. “It was really a chance to bond and share ideas.” .

“It’s more about human interaction, and our emotional connection, than an attempt to represent a reality,” says Joshua, a self-professed introvert who was born on a farm in the British Midlands; this natural proclivity for quietness is present on-canvas. “I think I express myself better with paint than with words. I never want to force an emotion,” he says. “It’s more interesting for people to decide for themselves what’s going on."

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