season 5

GHOSTS IN
THE RAIN

Ghosts in the Rain urgently explores the haunting presence of pollution in people’s lives and environments. Through a series of drawings that capture poignant moments and events, Nicholas MacArthur creates a unique pictorial narrative. This exhibition led the artist to immerse himself within squalid territories of refuse, navigating radioactive death zones, sewage pipes and urban dumps. These topographies of waste provide the viewer with an insight into the invisible stories on the periphery of our vision. On entering the gallery an array of large drawings and collages hang raggedly together like flotsam on a toxic sea - a dreamy patchwork of lyrical captions, arresting portraits and paper sodden with colour. The drawings find their connection in a gabble of riffraff characters compelled to wander the polluted hinterlands of a city. Green slime is also a consistent refrain, making its way into what seems like every picture. In one drawing a girl laments the destruction of her childhood home, now replaced with a chemical factory, plumes of smoke billow into the air. Facing it, a large depiction of a punctured plasma screen leaks crowds of ghosts that spill onto the surrounding wall. Downstairs the gallery is overwhelmed by a multitude of paper cut-outs suspended from the ceiling. Drawings of plastic ‘disposables’, detritus and formless goo’s provide a disquieted vision of consumer excess. Finding you way through this tangled network of trash, the names of this and that household product loom from the pulsing darkness- a germ killing bleach or branded drinks container, each seemingly more putrid than the last. Previously based in London British artist Nicholas McArthur relocated to Sofia in 2015. His work has been characterised by once critic as ‘A cocktail of danger, insanity and kinetic joy! – a description that recognises the artists fascination with the uncertainty of modern living. Since graduating from Central St Martins (UAL) in 2003, his practice has grown to incorporate a variety of media, from costume making and drawing, to installation and performance. The artist’s work is a continuous attempt to reconstitute systems of belief amidst the common logic of the present. He is particularly involved with sinister visions of the near future. He often focuses on individuals who are battling with deep psychological yearnings. These characters take radical steps in an effort to understand themselves and the chaotic world they live in. His work has been shown at galleries and festivals including: Water tower and Mini Art Festival, The Horse Hospital, CueB Gallery, Reactor, Viktor Wynd Fine Art, EEC Platform, BookArtBookShop, Future Maps, Exprimentcia13 Festival at Chapter, Cardiff. In 2012 Elevator Gallery presented his solo exhibition WE MUST EAT THE WASTE. His work has received acclaim in reviews in: Art Monthly, The Guardian, London City Nights, Radio Cardiff, Nottingham Visual Art and celebrated in an essay by the writer Jamie Sutcliffe for Outpost Gallery, Norwich. A book of his drawings was published by Coveredintoner in 2012 and is now part of the Printed Matter and Whitechapel Gallery Archives.