KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Penang-based British artist Thomas Powell is internationally known for his zodiac-inspired murals and artwork.
But in his latest solo exhibition, Pretty Ugly, the artist is venturing outside his common themes with several art pieces expressing ‘a world run by sociopaths’.
Powell’s new exhibition will make disturbing and ugly topics aesthetically pleasing to help trigger thought and dialogue around various social issues.
The new art pieces will express the complexities of tough issues like corruption, environmental destruction and war among others.
Powell will showcase these important issues in the new artworks through blending painting, screen printing, vintage cross stitching, childish doodles and subversive imagery.
Opening at the Hin Bus Depot in George Town on December 2, the exhibition will feature new art pieces born from a creation process seven to eight years in the making.
Despite the years of research and reflection, the exhibition has taught the artist that he is still evolving and learning.
“It’s a completely different style of work that I’ve produced for this exhibition, actually its multiple styles,” Powell told Malay Mail.
“It's a look at society and the situation we find ourselves in, but through the lens of my paintings, observations and research.”
“Through my art, I aim to shed light on the pervasive influence of greed and corruption without pointing fingers.”
The 38-year-old artist got inspiration a few years ago after watching a documentary on the origins of money which began his curiosity as to how that has led up to today’s climate.
“While I find enjoyment in the artistic process, the realisations that surface through research are often disheartening,” he added.
“Nevertheless, I believe that by confronting uncomfortable truths, we can pave the way for change and strive towards a more compassionate world.”
He hopes the artworks will make visitors acknowledge the effects of ‘these destructive forces’ and will take steps to distance themselves from them.
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