In February 2020 Refractive Pool presented a Symposium in partnership with Liverpool Hope University exploring aspects of Liverpool’s contemporary painting scene, through presentations from Liverpool based artists and a panel discussion focusing on the experience of painters working in the Liverpool City Region.
The panel discussion, chaired by Donal Moloney, featured artists Josie Jenkins, Gareth Kemp, Joana Oliveira Guerreiro, James Quin, Zahra Parwez, Jason Hollis and Anna Ketskemety. Conversation focused on the experience of these artists, living in the Liverpool City Region, with questions and comments from the audience.
In the audio, Donal Moloney gives brief descriptions of all artists biographies, except James Quin, Joana de Oliveira Guerreiro and Gareth Kemp, who had already presented in the morning session. All bios of the artists on the panel can be read below and you can listen to an audio of the panel discussion here.
James Quin was born in Scotland and currently lives and works on the Wirral. He is Course Leader on the BA Fine Art Painting course at University Centre, St Helens College, having recently worked as senior lecturer in Fine Art at De Montfort University. Quin’s recent practice explores the relationship between painting, repetition and time. Quin has previously been awarded the People’s Choice prize in the Liverpool Art Prize and was nominated for the Northern Art Prize. He is currently a member of Contemporary British Painting, an artist led organisation which explores and promotes current trends in British painting.
Joana de Oliveira Guerreiro
Born in Lisbon, Portugal, de Oliveira Guerreiro has lived and worked in Liverpool since 2015. Before pursuing a career in art, she studied Military Strategy and worked for NATO in Brussels. de Oliveira Guerreiro’s narrative paintings respond to current affairs and human behaviour, with naïve depictions encountering both darkness and humour. She has recently undertaken a residency with CreArt in Valladolid, Spain and exhibited the work she made there at Output Gallery in Liverpool, in a solo show titled Nobody Hates Brexit as Much as Brexit Hates Itself.
Born in Wirral, Gareth Kemp has been living and working in Liverpool for most of his life and is currently based at The Bridewell Studios and Gallery. Kemp originally studied History of Design and the Visual Arts before focusing his career on Fine Art, leading to further education through Turps Banana Correspondence Course. Kemp’s paintings depict fictional landscapes, inspired by his personal visual perception of the world, memories and history. Kemp’s achievements have included being shortlisted for the John Moore’s Painting Prize (2016) and Bloomberg New Contemporaries (2018).
Jason Hollis is an artist based at The Royal Standard in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle. After studying in Liverpool, graduating in 2012, he returned to he city after four years of travelling abroad. With a background in graphic design, Hollis’s spray painted work, adopting notions of symmetry, asymmetry and geometry, ranges from large scale murals to works on canvas. He has exhibited at Zap Graffiti and Contrast Mural Festival in Liverpool.
Zarah Parwez has been based in Liverpool since graduating from Liverpool Hope University in 2019. Parwez’s paintings, both small and large in scale, imply narratives that are invented , allowing the viewer to interpret with their own story. After being presented with The Corke Exhibition Award on completing her degree course, Parwez has continued to exhibit at The Corke Art Gallery in Liverpool.
Anna Ketskemety is an artist based at Arena Studios in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle. After originally pursuing studies in Architecture, Ketskemety moved to study Fine Art, graduating from Liverpool John Moores in 1997. Her work explores the relationship between the surface and the 3-dimensional, with a recurring theme of the ordinary and everyday. In 2018 Ketskemety was commissioned with Arts Council funding, to produce a solo exhibition at Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk, titled The Outside Room. She has also exhibited in Cologne in a solo exhibition, Anytime At All, as part of a Liverpool-Cologne artists exchange programme ‘Eight Days a Week’ that has been running since 1998.
Josie Jenkins was born in The East Riding of Yorkshire. She studied Fine Art (Painting) at Norwich School of Art and Design and then lived and worked in Hull and Nottinghamshire, before settling in Liverpool. Jenkins is based at Arena Studios in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle. Her paintings play with reality and fiction, referencing the incongruity found in the modern world. Recent projects include Refractive Pool and A Little Painting Show, a group exhibition of little paintings with a changing line-up, which has so far been shown in Liverpool, Salford and Leeds.
Donal Moloney is an Irish artist who lives on the Wirral. He studied at the Crawford College of Art (BA), the Slade School of Fine Art (MFA) and University of the Arts London (PhD). Moloney moved to Merseyside after being appointed Senior Lecturer at Liverpool Hope University. In 2016 Moloney won the People’s Choice Award in the John Moores Painting Prize with his painting ‘Cave Floor’. He is a founding member of the organisation ‘Teaching Painting’ whose remit is to investigate the teaching of contemporary painting practices within art schools. Moloney’s practice is influenced by the genre of still life, depicting ambiguous objects, crossing boundaries between abstraction and figuration.