My favourite artist in ROOMS 13: Aitor Throup and Geoffrey Mann
This is a hard choice, but I think that my favourite artist from ROOMS 13 has to be Aitor Throup, the cover artist, although I may be a little biased since I was the one who interviewed him — a kind of soft exchange of wisdom (on his part) and enthusiastic comments (on my part) in his atelier, over the distant sounds of soulful indie electronics.
Not only does his work possess a strong sense of narrative, but it also successfully weaves in practice, form and textures in a delicate, sophisticated way. Throup’s refusal to adhere to any conventions that might compromise independent, authentic thoughts is an inspiration to all creative people, and his holistic take on his ‘creations’ is extremely refreshing. Unconsciously drawing from traditions and values of the East, his work is defined by a humble, loyal voice that I find fascinating. It also helps, of course, that he has just been appointed Damon Albarn’s new creative director, and that he gave me a copy of his ‘Design Manifesto’ on my way out… Aitor has also been appointed G-Star RAW Creative Consultant and Creative Director of Kasabian’s new album 48:13
Another of my favourite artists in ROOMS 13 is Geoffrey Mann. I’m amazed at his study of narratives and emotional connections, and his art is absurdly innovative, especially the way he looks at sound and motion. His artworks resemble objects from a paused scene in a whimsical, fantastic world in which gravity, time and sound have been stretched out into a warped vision. I think Heike Dempster described this as Mann’s ‘materialising moments in time’, which is undoubtedly fitting. Dempster does a great job at distilling the essence of his work, and her feature asks all the right questions at the right moment. Mann delivers an honest study on form and technique, as evidently shown through his intelligent use of glass, ceramics, silver, resin, wood and video installations, all channelled for their disparate effects on motion. Mann’s work is a real treat on the eyes and in the mind, and rightfully challenges the way we view everyday objects and reality.