This week, Unit London is delighted to present two new solo exhibitions from the artists Jason Boyd Kinsella and Mr Jago.
Fragments, a body of work that explores psychological portraiture, is Kinsella’s London debut and first solo show with the gallery. Imbolc is Mr Jago’s fourth solo exhibition with Unit London and is a continuation of the artist’s examination of humanity’s relationship to nature.
Jason Boyd Kinsella
Jason Boyd Kinsella’s first solo exhibition with Unit London explores themes of psychological portraiture, reducing figures to individual geometric building blocks. The source of inspiration for this body of work is rooted in Kinsella’s interest in our individual psychological composition. Since childhood, the artist has been deeply fascinated by the Myers-Briggs personality tests that break down our characters to individual traits. He then developed an interest in the unique ways these traits can be organised to form our personalities. From this, Kinsella formed a new lens through which to see people.
The idea of ‘who we really are’ is central to Kinsella’s practice. With the ever-increasing presence of social media in our day to day lives, the artist has observed a marked interest in the deliberate construction and projection of a cultivated self. In this sense, social media platforms enliven an innate desire within us all to transform into someone else. Today, we use filters to enhance our physical attributes and do away with any imperfections. As a result, it would appear that our outer appearances are no longer a reliable representation. In a digitised society, it can perhaps be easy to lose sight of who we truly are when we have the ability to continually deconstruct and reconstruct ourselves. As such, Kinsella’s singular portraits aim to remove the digital façade. Instead, through a purely intuitive artistic process, these works drill down to the core of the self to create complete and accurate psychological portraits.
Landing approximately halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, Imbolc is the traditional Gaelic festival from which Mr Jago’s latest body of work takes its name. With ancient roots evidenced in early Irish literature, the seasonal festival celebrates the onset of spring and, with it, the stirrings of new life. The etymology of the word Imbolc itself is thought to derive both from the Old Irish, imb-fholc, meaning ‘to wash’ or ‘to cleanse’ oneself and the Celtic word that signifies ‘budding’. At its core, therefore, Imbolc rejoices in the promise of renewal and hidden potential, encouraging us to let go of the past and look to the future, clearing the space to begin again.
Created during the vibrant spring season and using the themes the festival represents as a point of departure, Mr Jago’s Imbolc is full of the hope symbolised by its namesake. As a continuation of the artist’s study of humanity’s complex relationship with nature, the exhibition explores this connection in a more positive light. Through an artistic practice much like automatic painting, Imbolc, in both theme and form, is a highly expressive body of work that celebrates optimism, the quickening of life and the potential of new beginnings.