PaintUnion was established by Liz Elton and Rebecca Byrne as a forum for artists to discuss contemporary painting. We are very grateful to Griffin Gallery for hosting discussions every two months. PaintUnion blog can be found at To find out more e mail

30th September 2014

PaintUnion are delighted to welcome Kate Hawkins and Sarah Kate Wilson to discuss their practices at the Griffin Gallery.

Sarah Kate Wilson aims to destabilise the tradition of painting, of which a static object hung on a wall is typical. She sidesteps away from ‘finished’ paintings preferring to keep the works in a state of flux and make the passing of time explicit through various strategies, such as asking the audience to physically interact with the work and the use of ephemeral materials such as balloons and mirrored acrylics. Wilson is currently showing in a three person exhibition at The Newlyn Gallery, Penzance and has been nominated for the inaugural ‘2014 New City Prize for the Visual Arts’ in partnership with MK Gallery. Previous exhibitions include, TORTOISE, WW Gallery, London; PART THREE: Oblique Exchange, 2013, APT Gallery, London, UK; Uncle Vern’s Dog, Gallery North, Newcastle, 2013; Jerwood Drawing Prize 2012, shortlisted (UK touring show). She is currently doing a Practice Based PhD at Leeds University (AHRC funded).

Kate Hawkins recently completed a practice-based PhD at Winchester School of Art on whether painting can be performative without becoming theatrical and what this means for spectatorship. Her work is informed by her previous performance-based background, frequently encouraging the spectator to adopt the role of performer and to actively engage with the work. In 2013/14 she exhibited in New Order II, British Art Today at the Saatchi Gallery, and in Bloomberg New Contemporaries, selected by Chantal Joffe, Ryan Gander, and Nathaniel Mellors. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include Escape the Esplanade, Limbo, Margate, 2013; The King of Hearts Has No Moustache, Gallery Vela, London, 2012; and My Brother is a Hairy Man, with James Ferris, at George Polke, London, 2011.

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24th June 2014

PaintUnion is pleased to welcome Alice Browne and Selma Parlour to speak about their recent work at our next discussion evening.

29th April 2014

PaintUnion is pleased to welcome SeanPenlington and Cornelia Baltes to speak at our next discussion evening. Penlington and Baltes will be giving a talk about their recent work within the context of the expanded field of painting.

Penlington’s work is predominantly concerned with the history of painting and how it affects and informs practise today. He focuses on history within painting as part of a vocabulary or tool which can be called upon to help develop the language’s future. Using a traditional Carnivaleque idea of structure, reference and mockery as a framework, Penlington creates visual jokes based on perception within his work.

Notable exhibitions include The Jealous Graduates Edition and Print Gallery, The Saatchi Gallery, London, UK (2014), New Sensations (2010), The Threadneedle Prize (2011) and Creative Cities Collection (2012) now on permanent display in Beijing.

His work can also be found at

Cornelia Baltes creates a kind of art that resists being written about. Subtle, measured and at times self-effacing, her paintings, photographs, sculptures and installations are minimal in their means – often favoring found materials and simple gestures – but reveal a largess of feeling. She is an artist constantly inventing, and the playful nature of her works and their lightness of touch is a skilful operation. – excerpts from an essay by Gair Burton, 2012

Notable recent exhibitions include solo shows ‘Schnick Schnack Schnuck,’ Limoncello, London (2013), ‘There’s a light and a whistle for attracting attention,’ DREI, Cologne, DE (2013) and recent group shows include ‘Just What is Not Is Possible,’ Museum Folkwang, Essen (2013).

Her work can also be found at

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18th February 2014 6:30-8:30pm: PaintUnion is delighted to welcome Jemima Brown and Juliette Losq in discussion at the Griffin Gallery

The Griffin Gallery will be showing 'Water + Colour', curated by Becca Pelly-Fry, in the gallery during this PaintUnion discussion night, so we thought it would be an excellent opportunity to discuss ephemerality and how artists use water based media in their practices now.

Jemima uses sculpture, painting, drawing and time based media to create humanoid avatars occupying a zone between the animate and the inanimate. The work explores formal sculptural decision making, suggested narrative and social critique. She was the recipient of the 2010/11 Mark Tanner Sculpture Award, showing new work at Standpoint Gallery in London in September 2011. A Fulbright Scholar at the University of California Los Angeles in 1998 and a Cocheme Fellow at the University of the Arts, Byam Shaw School of Art in London in 2006, Jemima has recently been working on ‘Untitled Picture Profiles’. A selection from this series of watercolour works cataloguing the Facebook profiles of all her contacts will be shown at Paper in Manchester in April-June 2014.

Juliette's watercolour installations are immersive environments; the sheets of torn paper run down the wall, peel away and layer over each other, ultimately spilling out onto the floor and surrounding the viewer. She often incorporates Victorian furniture, further challenging the ideas of watercolour as being a medium that, traditionally, is to be presented in a frame, on a wall. Her work is typified by fragmented narratives relating mysterious incidents and landscapes that are charged with an imagined threat. Solo shows include: Dans la poussière de cette planète, Galerie Arcturus, Paris, 2013; Lucaria, Theodore Art, New York, 2012; Life of Wood c/o BTAP, Seoul, 2009. She was the winner of the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2005.

Image: The Ploutonion, 2012, Juliette Losq, image copyright the artist

December 8th 2014: Our speakers in December were Susan Sluglett and George Little.

Image: Susan Sluglett and George Little at PaintUnion, image courtesy Bosse and Baum