Hetty Douglas and Patrick Dakers collaborate on new exhibition Finger – an aesthetic challenge to mass-produced mind fluff.

Hetty Douglas and Patrick Dakers collaborate on new exhibition Finger – an aesthetic challenge to mass-produced mind fluff.

On the whole, the only paintings I see these days are old ones. I’m no expert, obviously, but the majority of visual material that enters my radar tends to be computerish of nature. Or ancient.

That’s why a new exhibition by upcoming London artists Hetty Douglas and Patrick Dakers is a welcome breath of fresh air in a world saturated with endless images.

Dealing with contemporary themes – like the ephemerality of relationships, the fluidity of gender, and the impossibility of getting any perspective on that in our meta-meta society – their new exhibition Finger kind of stops time.

The large-scale paintings with interlocking shapes and hyperreal colours have layers – both physically and of meaning – that demand a different kind of attention than anything mass, or easily, produced. And while your head is in that deep-thinking museum space, the sexual undertones, sometimes confrontational text (“I’m not fucking cute”), and bold compositions, all serve to remind you that the work still deals with the world in which we live.

They’re kind of a tease – transporting you out of, and then bringing you right back into, your own personal space.

Why did you and Patrick decide to collaborate on the show?
Hetty: Our work is aesthetically pretty different, but we have similar values and ideas behind and about each other’s work. Patrick explores gender, an exploration of movement with an interest in repetition and abstract shapes, and I explore the use of stereotypical colour to suggest the temporality of relationships and sexuality. So it seemed logical to collaborate with each other, and of course he’s an amazing painter!

Patrick Dakers

Patrick Dakers

Hetty Douglas

Hetty Douglas

Do you feel part of any sort of art community in London?
There ‘s a bunch of painters who live in the same area as me (SE) that I admire and look forward to hopefully further collaborating with in the future.

What’s your background as an artist?
My mum’s a fine artist, so I’ve always been around it. I used to pretend to be sick so she’d have to take me to uni with her and I’d just mess about making stuff all day. I knew then I wanted to do something creative, I dabbled with illustration for a bit and studied it but it wasn’t for me, it’s only in the past few years since things have happened in my life and I’ve matured and become less of a twat that I’ve realised what direction I want to go in.

Patrick Dakers

Patrick Dakers

Hetty Douglas

Hetty Douglas

Did anything serve as an inspiration for the show?
Trust, the multi-layering of intimacy, previous and current relationships, sexuality, masculinity and femininity all inspire my work. My best exhibition? Oh man that’s a hard one, William Pop L’s Trinket at The Geffen Contemporary Los Angeles was amazinggggg, also Trudy Benson at Lisa Cooley Gallery in New York because it was the first time I’d ever seen her work and I’ve been obsessed ever since.

Why contrast beautiful abstract painting with aggy text?
I guess I like the softness of the colours I use but then they contrast with the crude harshness of my text. I try not to make the text the main focus though. I mean I know it is to other people but to me the colours and texture behind have to be right initially – if and when I add text that’s always a very last minute thought and I write it on.

What’s your dream as an artist?
To have an amazing space to work in, and to feel secure and more confident in my practice.

Finger opens at 71 gallery in Shoreditch Thursday January 28 and runs until Sunday January 31.