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Art School: An exhibition of new works by Shem

Art School By Shem - An Exhibition at The Margate Gallery

The Exhibition

The Margate Gallery is thrilled to be hosting an exhibition of the latest works by British-born self-taught contemporary abstract expressionist painter, Shem. His most recent works are new canvases, works on paper in a range of sizes, and works on familiar and found objects.

Art School will be open at The Margate Gallery from 6th October - 27th October 2023 from 11am until 4pm each day, and a private view of the works will open on Friday 6th October from 5pm until 9pm.

The Works

The pieces on show are a culmination of a year’s work, and an ode to Shem’s beginnings of creating with found materials: the alchemy of taking the discarded and breathing new life into them through art. He describes the process as “being able to give thrown-away things a place in art” and notes that he often felt that this was not a place where he felt he could be.

The collection is an autobiographical deep dive into Shem’s feelings over the past year and what he has been through: “it’s a look into where my head’s been at”.

Art School is Shem’s own course - “if I was an art teacher, this is the course that I’d teach you”. The work demonstrates his range and the conversational based work is often described as an interactive discussion with the viewer.

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The Artist

Shem's painting style evolved out of his kinaesthetic brain, listening as his eyes processed the colours of life and blended them with his thoughts.He started creating images as a child, making comic books with his brother, Sahla.

His childhood images were born out of the need to make sense of an unconventional upbringing, including a sometimes difficult nomadic lifestyle in London. The highlight of his early childhood years was Rastafarian schooling in Tottenham, rich in sensory experience.This creation of images continued in secret until he self-staged his first solo show in disused premises in London in 2019.

Shem's style has continued to develop as a "chaotic expressionist" also described by some as a journalist painter. In June 2020, he exhibited "We are in the Future", a painted billboard in Old Street, curated by Outside the Zone.

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