Bullets, shrapnel, oil and gunfire in Piers Secunda retrospective at Ramsgate's Updown

By Culture24 Reporter | 20 June 2013

Exhibition preview: Piers Secunda – A Retrospective, Updown Gallery, Ramsgate, June 21 – July 27 2013

From bullets in Afghanistan and drug deals in Jamaica to firing ranges in China and shrapnel embedded in the walls of the V&A, Piers Secunda's self-confessed status as a "compulsive risk-taker" is assured.

His Bullet Hole series and petro-chemical inspired oil works are among the compelling highlights of this retrospective of 17 years’ of wide-eyed journeys which put notions of artistic bravery into a very literal light.

“I have always been bothered by the physical restraints of the canvas,” he admits, sounding as restlessly imaginative as ever.

“For me, it limits what a painting can be.

“So I’ve disposed of it and I handle the paint on its own.

“By default, the paint behaves like a sculptural material.”

These are works shrouded in the histories they are taken from. Even his rejected works, which have all been condensed into a one-metre cube gathered from a decade of studio deliberations, tell a story.

  • Updown Gallery, Satis House, Ramsgate. Open 10am-6pm (11am-6pm Saturday, closed Sunday, open Monday by appointment). Admission free.
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