17/10/2022
Artist Spotlight
Alfred Portman
The Imaginary Landscapes of Sholto Blissett
With Ship of Fools II on display at Conalghi Gallery alongside the works of Hubert Robert, we take a look at the artists whimsical landscapes

Sholto Blissett is a contemporary artist who graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2020 with an MA in Painting, and whose first solo show, Ship of Fools, took place at the Hannah Barry Gallery last summer. Blissett takes inspiration from his love of the natural world, particularly the idea of landscape. Although he has painted from a young age, his BA was in Geography and after studying the physical processes that shape the natural world, he has continued to explore man’s relationship with nature through oil painting. His paintings are rooted in the Romantic movement, drawing inspiration from landscape painting as a genre as much as natural landscapes themselves. The Conalghi have paired Sholto’s work with two rarely-seen paintings by Hubert Robert (1773-1808), a leading painter in the French school of Romanticism, known for his grandiose capricci (paintings representing a fantasy or a mixture of real and imaginary features). 

The Romantic movement was pivotal in a shift in the way people saw “Nature”. During the medieval period nature was seen as dangerous and wild, but over time it came to be seen as something we could control. By the mid 18th century - and particularly due to the domination of nature through the industrial revolution - wild natural landscapes were not seen as frightful but something that could be made beautiful through the toil of man. The Romantic movement focused largely on the raw feeling and emotional response landscapes could stir in man, known as ‘the sublime’, yet the idea that man could control the forces of nature prevailed, and was exported by the West to its colonies. Today more than ever, man’s dominion over nature is being challenged by extreme weather conditions and climate catastrophes, from wildfires to flash floods.

Sholto Blissett, Ship of Fools II (2022)

Blissett’s title ‘Ship of Fools’ references a historical allegory to a ship with a dysfunctional crew, first appearing in Plato’s Republic and retold through the Middle Ages. The allegory parodies Noah’s Ark of salvation and represents the problem of a political system of governance not based on expert knowledge. In Ship of Fools II (2022), man’s creation pivots ominously on the precipice of a waterfall, as though the foundations could collapse at any moment, dragging to oblivion the sole trace of humankind in the landscape. The scene is reminiscent of Jesus’s allegory of the ‘fool’ who did not listen and built his house on sand rather than rock so when the storm came it was washed away.

Blissett's work, as presented at Conalghi Gallery alongside Hubert Robert's capricci

In contrast to Hubert Robert’s capricci, Sholto Blissett’s series of landscapes are devoid of figures creating an eerie atmosphere. We see the mark of man in imagined buildings and meticulously kept gardens, but if we take a closer look we see the ivy creeping over the marble facades and plants reclaiming cracks in the foundations. The reference to the ‘ship of fools’ could also explain the use of bodies of water in Blissett’s work. In an interview for his first solo show he described water’s capabilities for both salvation and destruction, stating that water was always present in his work was not because it has a fixed meaning but “because of that very lack of meaning and control”.

Sholto Blissett, Ship of Fools VIII (2022)

The absence of figures in Blissett’s work also gives them a timeless quality; we could be looking at the remains of an ancient kingdom or the demise of a future civilisation. This adds to a feeling that these paintings exist in a state of limbo between moment and event, in which the viewer is invited to fill in the blanks and form their own narrative. In Robert’s landscapes the figures situate us in the landscape while Blissett’s work has a more psychological presence. 

Although not a gamer himself Blissett remarked in a QA at the opening of the Conalghi exhibition that his paintings “look like some of the games my mates play”, making him question “why do I bother painting?”. The ability to create a space to question moral and political values or norms through capricci is something the artist LuYang explores through the use of digital art in their exhibition LuYang NetiNeti, currently showing at The Zabludowicz Collection. Sholto’s work, meanwhile, stands as a testament to oil being just as  effective a medium to question our ways of seeing.

Sholto Blissett’s Ship of Fools II (2022) is currently being exhibited alongside two rarely seen capricci by Hubert Robert at the Conalghi Gallery, 26 Bury St, SW1Y 6AL from the 5th to the 21st of October.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
17/10/2022
Artist Spotlight
Alfred Portman
The Imaginary Landscapes of Sholto Blissett
With Ship of Fools II on display at Conalghi Gallery alongside the works of Hubert Robert, we take a look at the artists whimsical landscapes

Sholto Blissett is a contemporary artist who graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2020 with an MA in Painting, and whose first solo show, Ship of Fools, took place at the Hannah Barry Gallery last summer. Blissett takes inspiration from his love of the natural world, particularly the idea of landscape. Although he has painted from a young age, his BA was in Geography and after studying the physical processes that shape the natural world, he has continued to explore man’s relationship with nature through oil painting. His paintings are rooted in the Romantic movement, drawing inspiration from landscape painting as a genre as much as natural landscapes themselves. The Conalghi have paired Sholto’s work with two rarely-seen paintings by Hubert Robert (1773-1808), a leading painter in the French school of Romanticism, known for his grandiose capricci (paintings representing a fantasy or a mixture of real and imaginary features). 

The Romantic movement was pivotal in a shift in the way people saw “Nature”. During the medieval period nature was seen as dangerous and wild, but over time it came to be seen as something we could control. By the mid 18th century - and particularly due to the domination of nature through the industrial revolution - wild natural landscapes were not seen as frightful but something that could be made beautiful through the toil of man. The Romantic movement focused largely on the raw feeling and emotional response landscapes could stir in man, known as ‘the sublime’, yet the idea that man could control the forces of nature prevailed, and was exported by the West to its colonies. Today more than ever, man’s dominion over nature is being challenged by extreme weather conditions and climate catastrophes, from wildfires to flash floods.

Sholto Blissett, Ship of Fools II (2022)

Blissett’s title ‘Ship of Fools’ references a historical allegory to a ship with a dysfunctional crew, first appearing in Plato’s Republic and retold through the Middle Ages. The allegory parodies Noah’s Ark of salvation and represents the problem of a political system of governance not based on expert knowledge. In Ship of Fools II (2022), man’s creation pivots ominously on the precipice of a waterfall, as though the foundations could collapse at any moment, dragging to oblivion the sole trace of humankind in the landscape. The scene is reminiscent of Jesus’s allegory of the ‘fool’ who did not listen and built his house on sand rather than rock so when the storm came it was washed away.

Blissett's work, as presented at Conalghi Gallery alongside Hubert Robert's capricci

In contrast to Hubert Robert’s capricci, Sholto Blissett’s series of landscapes are devoid of figures creating an eerie atmosphere. We see the mark of man in imagined buildings and meticulously kept gardens, but if we take a closer look we see the ivy creeping over the marble facades and plants reclaiming cracks in the foundations. The reference to the ‘ship of fools’ could also explain the use of bodies of water in Blissett’s work. In an interview for his first solo show he described water’s capabilities for both salvation and destruction, stating that water was always present in his work was not because it has a fixed meaning but “because of that very lack of meaning and control”.

Sholto Blissett, Ship of Fools VIII (2022)

The absence of figures in Blissett’s work also gives them a timeless quality; we could be looking at the remains of an ancient kingdom or the demise of a future civilisation. This adds to a feeling that these paintings exist in a state of limbo between moment and event, in which the viewer is invited to fill in the blanks and form their own narrative. In Robert’s landscapes the figures situate us in the landscape while Blissett’s work has a more psychological presence. 

Although not a gamer himself Blissett remarked in a QA at the opening of the Conalghi exhibition that his paintings “look like some of the games my mates play”, making him question “why do I bother painting?”. The ability to create a space to question moral and political values or norms through capricci is something the artist LuYang explores through the use of digital art in their exhibition LuYang NetiNeti, currently showing at The Zabludowicz Collection. Sholto’s work, meanwhile, stands as a testament to oil being just as  effective a medium to question our ways of seeing.

Sholto Blissett’s Ship of Fools II (2022) is currently being exhibited alongside two rarely seen capricci by Hubert Robert at the Conalghi Gallery, 26 Bury St, SW1Y 6AL from the 5th to the 21st of October.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
17/10/2022
Artist Spotlight
Alfred Portman
The Imaginary Landscapes of Sholto Blissett
With Ship of Fools II on display at Conalghi Gallery alongside the works of Hubert Robert, we take a look at the artists whimsical landscapes

Sholto Blissett is a contemporary artist who graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2020 with an MA in Painting, and whose first solo show, Ship of Fools, took place at the Hannah Barry Gallery last summer. Blissett takes inspiration from his love of the natural world, particularly the idea of landscape. Although he has painted from a young age, his BA was in Geography and after studying the physical processes that shape the natural world, he has continued to explore man’s relationship with nature through oil painting. His paintings are rooted in the Romantic movement, drawing inspiration from landscape painting as a genre as much as natural landscapes themselves. The Conalghi have paired Sholto’s work with two rarely-seen paintings by Hubert Robert (1773-1808), a leading painter in the French school of Romanticism, known for his grandiose capricci (paintings representing a fantasy or a mixture of real and imaginary features). 

The Romantic movement was pivotal in a shift in the way people saw “Nature”. During the medieval period nature was seen as dangerous and wild, but over time it came to be seen as something we could control. By the mid 18th century - and particularly due to the domination of nature through the industrial revolution - wild natural landscapes were not seen as frightful but something that could be made beautiful through the toil of man. The Romantic movement focused largely on the raw feeling and emotional response landscapes could stir in man, known as ‘the sublime’, yet the idea that man could control the forces of nature prevailed, and was exported by the West to its colonies. Today more than ever, man’s dominion over nature is being challenged by extreme weather conditions and climate catastrophes, from wildfires to flash floods.

Sholto Blissett, Ship of Fools II (2022)

Blissett’s title ‘Ship of Fools’ references a historical allegory to a ship with a dysfunctional crew, first appearing in Plato’s Republic and retold through the Middle Ages. The allegory parodies Noah’s Ark of salvation and represents the problem of a political system of governance not based on expert knowledge. In Ship of Fools II (2022), man’s creation pivots ominously on the precipice of a waterfall, as though the foundations could collapse at any moment, dragging to oblivion the sole trace of humankind in the landscape. The scene is reminiscent of Jesus’s allegory of the ‘fool’ who did not listen and built his house on sand rather than rock so when the storm came it was washed away.

Blissett's work, as presented at Conalghi Gallery alongside Hubert Robert's capricci

In contrast to Hubert Robert’s capricci, Sholto Blissett’s series of landscapes are devoid of figures creating an eerie atmosphere. We see the mark of man in imagined buildings and meticulously kept gardens, but if we take a closer look we see the ivy creeping over the marble facades and plants reclaiming cracks in the foundations. The reference to the ‘ship of fools’ could also explain the use of bodies of water in Blissett’s work. In an interview for his first solo show he described water’s capabilities for both salvation and destruction, stating that water was always present in his work was not because it has a fixed meaning but “because of that very lack of meaning and control”.

Sholto Blissett, Ship of Fools VIII (2022)

The absence of figures in Blissett’s work also gives them a timeless quality; we could be looking at the remains of an ancient kingdom or the demise of a future civilisation. This adds to a feeling that these paintings exist in a state of limbo between moment and event, in which the viewer is invited to fill in the blanks and form their own narrative. In Robert’s landscapes the figures situate us in the landscape while Blissett’s work has a more psychological presence. 

Although not a gamer himself Blissett remarked in a QA at the opening of the Conalghi exhibition that his paintings “look like some of the games my mates play”, making him question “why do I bother painting?”. The ability to create a space to question moral and political values or norms through capricci is something the artist LuYang explores through the use of digital art in their exhibition LuYang NetiNeti, currently showing at The Zabludowicz Collection. Sholto’s work, meanwhile, stands as a testament to oil being just as  effective a medium to question our ways of seeing.

Sholto Blissett’s Ship of Fools II (2022) is currently being exhibited alongside two rarely seen capricci by Hubert Robert at the Conalghi Gallery, 26 Bury St, SW1Y 6AL from the 5th to the 21st of October.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
17/10/2022
Artist Spotlight
Alfred Portman
The Imaginary Landscapes of Sholto Blissett
With Ship of Fools II on display at Conalghi Gallery alongside the works of Hubert Robert, we take a look at the artists whimsical landscapes

Sholto Blissett is a contemporary artist who graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2020 with an MA in Painting, and whose first solo show, Ship of Fools, took place at the Hannah Barry Gallery last summer. Blissett takes inspiration from his love of the natural world, particularly the idea of landscape. Although he has painted from a young age, his BA was in Geography and after studying the physical processes that shape the natural world, he has continued to explore man’s relationship with nature through oil painting. His paintings are rooted in the Romantic movement, drawing inspiration from landscape painting as a genre as much as natural landscapes themselves. The Conalghi have paired Sholto’s work with two rarely-seen paintings by Hubert Robert (1773-1808), a leading painter in the French school of Romanticism, known for his grandiose capricci (paintings representing a fantasy or a mixture of real and imaginary features). 

The Romantic movement was pivotal in a shift in the way people saw “Nature”. During the medieval period nature was seen as dangerous and wild, but over time it came to be seen as something we could control. By the mid 18th century - and particularly due to the domination of nature through the industrial revolution - wild natural landscapes were not seen as frightful but something that could be made beautiful through the toil of man. The Romantic movement focused largely on the raw feeling and emotional response landscapes could stir in man, known as ‘the sublime’, yet the idea that man could control the forces of nature prevailed, and was exported by the West to its colonies. Today more than ever, man’s dominion over nature is being challenged by extreme weather conditions and climate catastrophes, from wildfires to flash floods.

Sholto Blissett, Ship of Fools II (2022)

Blissett’s title ‘Ship of Fools’ references a historical allegory to a ship with a dysfunctional crew, first appearing in Plato’s Republic and retold through the Middle Ages. The allegory parodies Noah’s Ark of salvation and represents the problem of a political system of governance not based on expert knowledge. In Ship of Fools II (2022), man’s creation pivots ominously on the precipice of a waterfall, as though the foundations could collapse at any moment, dragging to oblivion the sole trace of humankind in the landscape. The scene is reminiscent of Jesus’s allegory of the ‘fool’ who did not listen and built his house on sand rather than rock so when the storm came it was washed away.

Blissett's work, as presented at Conalghi Gallery alongside Hubert Robert's capricci

In contrast to Hubert Robert’s capricci, Sholto Blissett’s series of landscapes are devoid of figures creating an eerie atmosphere. We see the mark of man in imagined buildings and meticulously kept gardens, but if we take a closer look we see the ivy creeping over the marble facades and plants reclaiming cracks in the foundations. The reference to the ‘ship of fools’ could also explain the use of bodies of water in Blissett’s work. In an interview for his first solo show he described water’s capabilities for both salvation and destruction, stating that water was always present in his work was not because it has a fixed meaning but “because of that very lack of meaning and control”.

Sholto Blissett, Ship of Fools VIII (2022)

The absence of figures in Blissett’s work also gives them a timeless quality; we could be looking at the remains of an ancient kingdom or the demise of a future civilisation. This adds to a feeling that these paintings exist in a state of limbo between moment and event, in which the viewer is invited to fill in the blanks and form their own narrative. In Robert’s landscapes the figures situate us in the landscape while Blissett’s work has a more psychological presence. 

Although not a gamer himself Blissett remarked in a QA at the opening of the Conalghi exhibition that his paintings “look like some of the games my mates play”, making him question “why do I bother painting?”. The ability to create a space to question moral and political values or norms through capricci is something the artist LuYang explores through the use of digital art in their exhibition LuYang NetiNeti, currently showing at The Zabludowicz Collection. Sholto’s work, meanwhile, stands as a testament to oil being just as  effective a medium to question our ways of seeing.

Sholto Blissett’s Ship of Fools II (2022) is currently being exhibited alongside two rarely seen capricci by Hubert Robert at the Conalghi Gallery, 26 Bury St, SW1Y 6AL from the 5th to the 21st of October.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
17/10/2022
Artist Spotlight
Alfred Portman
The Imaginary Landscapes of Sholto Blissett
With Ship of Fools II on display at Conalghi Gallery alongside the works of Hubert Robert, we take a look at the artists whimsical landscapes

Sholto Blissett is a contemporary artist who graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2020 with an MA in Painting, and whose first solo show, Ship of Fools, took place at the Hannah Barry Gallery last summer. Blissett takes inspiration from his love of the natural world, particularly the idea of landscape. Although he has painted from a young age, his BA was in Geography and after studying the physical processes that shape the natural world, he has continued to explore man’s relationship with nature through oil painting. His paintings are rooted in the Romantic movement, drawing inspiration from landscape painting as a genre as much as natural landscapes themselves. The Conalghi have paired Sholto’s work with two rarely-seen paintings by Hubert Robert (1773-1808), a leading painter in the French school of Romanticism, known for his grandiose capricci (paintings representing a fantasy or a mixture of real and imaginary features). 

The Romantic movement was pivotal in a shift in the way people saw “Nature”. During the medieval period nature was seen as dangerous and wild, but over time it came to be seen as something we could control. By the mid 18th century - and particularly due to the domination of nature through the industrial revolution - wild natural landscapes were not seen as frightful but something that could be made beautiful through the toil of man. The Romantic movement focused largely on the raw feeling and emotional response landscapes could stir in man, known as ‘the sublime’, yet the idea that man could control the forces of nature prevailed, and was exported by the West to its colonies. Today more than ever, man’s dominion over nature is being challenged by extreme weather conditions and climate catastrophes, from wildfires to flash floods.

Sholto Blissett, Ship of Fools II (2022)

Blissett’s title ‘Ship of Fools’ references a historical allegory to a ship with a dysfunctional crew, first appearing in Plato’s Republic and retold through the Middle Ages. The allegory parodies Noah’s Ark of salvation and represents the problem of a political system of governance not based on expert knowledge. In Ship of Fools II (2022), man’s creation pivots ominously on the precipice of a waterfall, as though the foundations could collapse at any moment, dragging to oblivion the sole trace of humankind in the landscape. The scene is reminiscent of Jesus’s allegory of the ‘fool’ who did not listen and built his house on sand rather than rock so when the storm came it was washed away.

Blissett's work, as presented at Conalghi Gallery alongside Hubert Robert's capricci

In contrast to Hubert Robert’s capricci, Sholto Blissett’s series of landscapes are devoid of figures creating an eerie atmosphere. We see the mark of man in imagined buildings and meticulously kept gardens, but if we take a closer look we see the ivy creeping over the marble facades and plants reclaiming cracks in the foundations. The reference to the ‘ship of fools’ could also explain the use of bodies of water in Blissett’s work. In an interview for his first solo show he described water’s capabilities for both salvation and destruction, stating that water was always present in his work was not because it has a fixed meaning but “because of that very lack of meaning and control”.

Sholto Blissett, Ship of Fools VIII (2022)

The absence of figures in Blissett’s work also gives them a timeless quality; we could be looking at the remains of an ancient kingdom or the demise of a future civilisation. This adds to a feeling that these paintings exist in a state of limbo between moment and event, in which the viewer is invited to fill in the blanks and form their own narrative. In Robert’s landscapes the figures situate us in the landscape while Blissett’s work has a more psychological presence. 

Although not a gamer himself Blissett remarked in a QA at the opening of the Conalghi exhibition that his paintings “look like some of the games my mates play”, making him question “why do I bother painting?”. The ability to create a space to question moral and political values or norms through capricci is something the artist LuYang explores through the use of digital art in their exhibition LuYang NetiNeti, currently showing at The Zabludowicz Collection. Sholto’s work, meanwhile, stands as a testament to oil being just as  effective a medium to question our ways of seeing.

Sholto Blissett’s Ship of Fools II (2022) is currently being exhibited alongside two rarely seen capricci by Hubert Robert at the Conalghi Gallery, 26 Bury St, SW1Y 6AL from the 5th to the 21st of October.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
17/10/2022
Artist Spotlight
Alfred Portman
The Imaginary Landscapes of Sholto Blissett

Sholto Blissett is a contemporary artist who graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2020 with an MA in Painting, and whose first solo show, Ship of Fools, took place at the Hannah Barry Gallery last summer. Blissett takes inspiration from his love of the natural world, particularly the idea of landscape. Although he has painted from a young age, his BA was in Geography and after studying the physical processes that shape the natural world, he has continued to explore man’s relationship with nature through oil painting. His paintings are rooted in the Romantic movement, drawing inspiration from landscape painting as a genre as much as natural landscapes themselves. The Conalghi have paired Sholto’s work with two rarely-seen paintings by Hubert Robert (1773-1808), a leading painter in the French school of Romanticism, known for his grandiose capricci (paintings representing a fantasy or a mixture of real and imaginary features). 

The Romantic movement was pivotal in a shift in the way people saw “Nature”. During the medieval period nature was seen as dangerous and wild, but over time it came to be seen as something we could control. By the mid 18th century - and particularly due to the domination of nature through the industrial revolution - wild natural landscapes were not seen as frightful but something that could be made beautiful through the toil of man. The Romantic movement focused largely on the raw feeling and emotional response landscapes could stir in man, known as ‘the sublime’, yet the idea that man could control the forces of nature prevailed, and was exported by the West to its colonies. Today more than ever, man’s dominion over nature is being challenged by extreme weather conditions and climate catastrophes, from wildfires to flash floods.

Sholto Blissett, Ship of Fools II (2022)

Blissett’s title ‘Ship of Fools’ references a historical allegory to a ship with a dysfunctional crew, first appearing in Plato’s Republic and retold through the Middle Ages. The allegory parodies Noah’s Ark of salvation and represents the problem of a political system of governance not based on expert knowledge. In Ship of Fools II (2022), man’s creation pivots ominously on the precipice of a waterfall, as though the foundations could collapse at any moment, dragging to oblivion the sole trace of humankind in the landscape. The scene is reminiscent of Jesus’s allegory of the ‘fool’ who did not listen and built his house on sand rather than rock so when the storm came it was washed away.

Blissett's work, as presented at Conalghi Gallery alongside Hubert Robert's capricci

In contrast to Hubert Robert’s capricci, Sholto Blissett’s series of landscapes are devoid of figures creating an eerie atmosphere. We see the mark of man in imagined buildings and meticulously kept gardens, but if we take a closer look we see the ivy creeping over the marble facades and plants reclaiming cracks in the foundations. The reference to the ‘ship of fools’ could also explain the use of bodies of water in Blissett’s work. In an interview for his first solo show he described water’s capabilities for both salvation and destruction, stating that water was always present in his work was not because it has a fixed meaning but “because of that very lack of meaning and control”.

Sholto Blissett, Ship of Fools VIII (2022)

The absence of figures in Blissett’s work also gives them a timeless quality; we could be looking at the remains of an ancient kingdom or the demise of a future civilisation. This adds to a feeling that these paintings exist in a state of limbo between moment and event, in which the viewer is invited to fill in the blanks and form their own narrative. In Robert’s landscapes the figures situate us in the landscape while Blissett’s work has a more psychological presence. 

Although not a gamer himself Blissett remarked in a QA at the opening of the Conalghi exhibition that his paintings “look like some of the games my mates play”, making him question “why do I bother painting?”. The ability to create a space to question moral and political values or norms through capricci is something the artist LuYang explores through the use of digital art in their exhibition LuYang NetiNeti, currently showing at The Zabludowicz Collection. Sholto’s work, meanwhile, stands as a testament to oil being just as  effective a medium to question our ways of seeing.

Sholto Blissett’s Ship of Fools II (2022) is currently being exhibited alongside two rarely seen capricci by Hubert Robert at the Conalghi Gallery, 26 Bury St, SW1Y 6AL from the 5th to the 21st of October.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
17/10/2022
Artist Spotlight
Alfred Portman
The Imaginary Landscapes of Sholto Blissett
With Ship of Fools II on display at Conalghi Gallery alongside the works of Hubert Robert, we take a look at the artists whimsical landscapes

Sholto Blissett is a contemporary artist who graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2020 with an MA in Painting, and whose first solo show, Ship of Fools, took place at the Hannah Barry Gallery last summer. Blissett takes inspiration from his love of the natural world, particularly the idea of landscape. Although he has painted from a young age, his BA was in Geography and after studying the physical processes that shape the natural world, he has continued to explore man’s relationship with nature through oil painting. His paintings are rooted in the Romantic movement, drawing inspiration from landscape painting as a genre as much as natural landscapes themselves. The Conalghi have paired Sholto’s work with two rarely-seen paintings by Hubert Robert (1773-1808), a leading painter in the French school of Romanticism, known for his grandiose capricci (paintings representing a fantasy or a mixture of real and imaginary features). 

The Romantic movement was pivotal in a shift in the way people saw “Nature”. During the medieval period nature was seen as dangerous and wild, but over time it came to be seen as something we could control. By the mid 18th century - and particularly due to the domination of nature through the industrial revolution - wild natural landscapes were not seen as frightful but something that could be made beautiful through the toil of man. The Romantic movement focused largely on the raw feeling and emotional response landscapes could stir in man, known as ‘the sublime’, yet the idea that man could control the forces of nature prevailed, and was exported by the West to its colonies. Today more than ever, man’s dominion over nature is being challenged by extreme weather conditions and climate catastrophes, from wildfires to flash floods.

Sholto Blissett, Ship of Fools II (2022)

Blissett’s title ‘Ship of Fools’ references a historical allegory to a ship with a dysfunctional crew, first appearing in Plato’s Republic and retold through the Middle Ages. The allegory parodies Noah’s Ark of salvation and represents the problem of a political system of governance not based on expert knowledge. In Ship of Fools II (2022), man’s creation pivots ominously on the precipice of a waterfall, as though the foundations could collapse at any moment, dragging to oblivion the sole trace of humankind in the landscape. The scene is reminiscent of Jesus’s allegory of the ‘fool’ who did not listen and built his house on sand rather than rock so when the storm came it was washed away.

Blissett's work, as presented at Conalghi Gallery alongside Hubert Robert's capricci

In contrast to Hubert Robert’s capricci, Sholto Blissett’s series of landscapes are devoid of figures creating an eerie atmosphere. We see the mark of man in imagined buildings and meticulously kept gardens, but if we take a closer look we see the ivy creeping over the marble facades and plants reclaiming cracks in the foundations. The reference to the ‘ship of fools’ could also explain the use of bodies of water in Blissett’s work. In an interview for his first solo show he described water’s capabilities for both salvation and destruction, stating that water was always present in his work was not because it has a fixed meaning but “because of that very lack of meaning and control”.

Sholto Blissett, Ship of Fools VIII (2022)

The absence of figures in Blissett’s work also gives them a timeless quality; we could be looking at the remains of an ancient kingdom or the demise of a future civilisation. This adds to a feeling that these paintings exist in a state of limbo between moment and event, in which the viewer is invited to fill in the blanks and form their own narrative. In Robert’s landscapes the figures situate us in the landscape while Blissett’s work has a more psychological presence. 

Although not a gamer himself Blissett remarked in a QA at the opening of the Conalghi exhibition that his paintings “look like some of the games my mates play”, making him question “why do I bother painting?”. The ability to create a space to question moral and political values or norms through capricci is something the artist LuYang explores through the use of digital art in their exhibition LuYang NetiNeti, currently showing at The Zabludowicz Collection. Sholto’s work, meanwhile, stands as a testament to oil being just as  effective a medium to question our ways of seeing.

Sholto Blissett’s Ship of Fools II (2022) is currently being exhibited alongside two rarely seen capricci by Hubert Robert at the Conalghi Gallery, 26 Bury St, SW1Y 6AL from the 5th to the 21st of October.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
17/10/2022
Artist Spotlight
Alfred Portman
The Imaginary Landscapes of Sholto Blissett
With Ship of Fools II on display at Conalghi Gallery alongside the works of Hubert Robert, we take a look at the artists whimsical landscapes

Sholto Blissett is a contemporary artist who graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2020 with an MA in Painting, and whose first solo show, Ship of Fools, took place at the Hannah Barry Gallery last summer. Blissett takes inspiration from his love of the natural world, particularly the idea of landscape. Although he has painted from a young age, his BA was in Geography and after studying the physical processes that shape the natural world, he has continued to explore man’s relationship with nature through oil painting. His paintings are rooted in the Romantic movement, drawing inspiration from landscape painting as a genre as much as natural landscapes themselves. The Conalghi have paired Sholto’s work with two rarely-seen paintings by Hubert Robert (1773-1808), a leading painter in the French school of Romanticism, known for his grandiose capricci (paintings representing a fantasy or a mixture of real and imaginary features). 

The Romantic movement was pivotal in a shift in the way people saw “Nature”. During the medieval period nature was seen as dangerous and wild, but over time it came to be seen as something we could control. By the mid 18th century - and particularly due to the domination of nature through the industrial revolution - wild natural landscapes were not seen as frightful but something that could be made beautiful through the toil of man. The Romantic movement focused largely on the raw feeling and emotional response landscapes could stir in man, known as ‘the sublime’, yet the idea that man could control the forces of nature prevailed, and was exported by the West to its colonies. Today more than ever, man’s dominion over nature is being challenged by extreme weather conditions and climate catastrophes, from wildfires to flash floods.

Sholto Blissett, Ship of Fools II (2022)

Blissett’s title ‘Ship of Fools’ references a historical allegory to a ship with a dysfunctional crew, first appearing in Plato’s Republic and retold through the Middle Ages. The allegory parodies Noah’s Ark of salvation and represents the problem of a political system of governance not based on expert knowledge. In Ship of Fools II (2022), man’s creation pivots ominously on the precipice of a waterfall, as though the foundations could collapse at any moment, dragging to oblivion the sole trace of humankind in the landscape. The scene is reminiscent of Jesus’s allegory of the ‘fool’ who did not listen and built his house on sand rather than rock so when the storm came it was washed away.

Blissett's work, as presented at Conalghi Gallery alongside Hubert Robert's capricci

In contrast to Hubert Robert’s capricci, Sholto Blissett’s series of landscapes are devoid of figures creating an eerie atmosphere. We see the mark of man in imagined buildings and meticulously kept gardens, but if we take a closer look we see the ivy creeping over the marble facades and plants reclaiming cracks in the foundations. The reference to the ‘ship of fools’ could also explain the use of bodies of water in Blissett’s work. In an interview for his first solo show he described water’s capabilities for both salvation and destruction, stating that water was always present in his work was not because it has a fixed meaning but “because of that very lack of meaning and control”.

Sholto Blissett, Ship of Fools VIII (2022)

The absence of figures in Blissett’s work also gives them a timeless quality; we could be looking at the remains of an ancient kingdom or the demise of a future civilisation. This adds to a feeling that these paintings exist in a state of limbo between moment and event, in which the viewer is invited to fill in the blanks and form their own narrative. In Robert’s landscapes the figures situate us in the landscape while Blissett’s work has a more psychological presence. 

Although not a gamer himself Blissett remarked in a QA at the opening of the Conalghi exhibition that his paintings “look like some of the games my mates play”, making him question “why do I bother painting?”. The ability to create a space to question moral and political values or norms through capricci is something the artist LuYang explores through the use of digital art in their exhibition LuYang NetiNeti, currently showing at The Zabludowicz Collection. Sholto’s work, meanwhile, stands as a testament to oil being just as  effective a medium to question our ways of seeing.

Sholto Blissett’s Ship of Fools II (2022) is currently being exhibited alongside two rarely seen capricci by Hubert Robert at the Conalghi Gallery, 26 Bury St, SW1Y 6AL from the 5th to the 21st of October.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
17/10/2022
Artist Spotlight
Alfred Portman
The Imaginary Landscapes of Sholto Blissett
With Ship of Fools II on display at Conalghi Gallery alongside the works of Hubert Robert, we take a look at the artists whimsical landscapes

Sholto Blissett is a contemporary artist who graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2020 with an MA in Painting, and whose first solo show, Ship of Fools, took place at the Hannah Barry Gallery last summer. Blissett takes inspiration from his love of the natural world, particularly the idea of landscape. Although he has painted from a young age, his BA was in Geography and after studying the physical processes that shape the natural world, he has continued to explore man’s relationship with nature through oil painting. His paintings are rooted in the Romantic movement, drawing inspiration from landscape painting as a genre as much as natural landscapes themselves. The Conalghi have paired Sholto’s work with two rarely-seen paintings by Hubert Robert (1773-1808), a leading painter in the French school of Romanticism, known for his grandiose capricci (paintings representing a fantasy or a mixture of real and imaginary features). 

The Romantic movement was pivotal in a shift in the way people saw “Nature”. During the medieval period nature was seen as dangerous and wild, but over time it came to be seen as something we could control. By the mid 18th century - and particularly due to the domination of nature through the industrial revolution - wild natural landscapes were not seen as frightful but something that could be made beautiful through the toil of man. The Romantic movement focused largely on the raw feeling and emotional response landscapes could stir in man, known as ‘the sublime’, yet the idea that man could control the forces of nature prevailed, and was exported by the West to its colonies. Today more than ever, man’s dominion over nature is being challenged by extreme weather conditions and climate catastrophes, from wildfires to flash floods.

Sholto Blissett, Ship of Fools II (2022)

Blissett’s title ‘Ship of Fools’ references a historical allegory to a ship with a dysfunctional crew, first appearing in Plato’s Republic and retold through the Middle Ages. The allegory parodies Noah’s Ark of salvation and represents the problem of a political system of governance not based on expert knowledge. In Ship of Fools II (2022), man’s creation pivots ominously on the precipice of a waterfall, as though the foundations could collapse at any moment, dragging to oblivion the sole trace of humankind in the landscape. The scene is reminiscent of Jesus’s allegory of the ‘fool’ who did not listen and built his house on sand rather than rock so when the storm came it was washed away.

Blissett's work, as presented at Conalghi Gallery alongside Hubert Robert's capricci

In contrast to Hubert Robert’s capricci, Sholto Blissett’s series of landscapes are devoid of figures creating an eerie atmosphere. We see the mark of man in imagined buildings and meticulously kept gardens, but if we take a closer look we see the ivy creeping over the marble facades and plants reclaiming cracks in the foundations. The reference to the ‘ship of fools’ could also explain the use of bodies of water in Blissett’s work. In an interview for his first solo show he described water’s capabilities for both salvation and destruction, stating that water was always present in his work was not because it has a fixed meaning but “because of that very lack of meaning and control”.

Sholto Blissett, Ship of Fools VIII (2022)

The absence of figures in Blissett’s work also gives them a timeless quality; we could be looking at the remains of an ancient kingdom or the demise of a future civilisation. This adds to a feeling that these paintings exist in a state of limbo between moment and event, in which the viewer is invited to fill in the blanks and form their own narrative. In Robert’s landscapes the figures situate us in the landscape while Blissett’s work has a more psychological presence. 

Although not a gamer himself Blissett remarked in a QA at the opening of the Conalghi exhibition that his paintings “look like some of the games my mates play”, making him question “why do I bother painting?”. The ability to create a space to question moral and political values or norms through capricci is something the artist LuYang explores through the use of digital art in their exhibition LuYang NetiNeti, currently showing at The Zabludowicz Collection. Sholto’s work, meanwhile, stands as a testament to oil being just as  effective a medium to question our ways of seeing.

Sholto Blissett’s Ship of Fools II (2022) is currently being exhibited alongside two rarely seen capricci by Hubert Robert at the Conalghi Gallery, 26 Bury St, SW1Y 6AL from the 5th to the 21st of October.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
17/10/2022
Artist Spotlight
Alfred Portman
The Imaginary Landscapes of Sholto Blissett
With Ship of Fools II on display at Conalghi Gallery alongside the works of Hubert Robert, we take a look at the artists whimsical landscapes

Sholto Blissett is a contemporary artist who graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2020 with an MA in Painting, and whose first solo show, Ship of Fools, took place at the Hannah Barry Gallery last summer. Blissett takes inspiration from his love of the natural world, particularly the idea of landscape. Although he has painted from a young age, his BA was in Geography and after studying the physical processes that shape the natural world, he has continued to explore man’s relationship with nature through oil painting. His paintings are rooted in the Romantic movement, drawing inspiration from landscape painting as a genre as much as natural landscapes themselves. The Conalghi have paired Sholto’s work with two rarely-seen paintings by Hubert Robert (1773-1808), a leading painter in the French school of Romanticism, known for his grandiose capricci (paintings representing a fantasy or a mixture of real and imaginary features). 

The Romantic movement was pivotal in a shift in the way people saw “Nature”. During the medieval period nature was seen as dangerous and wild, but over time it came to be seen as something we could control. By the mid 18th century - and particularly due to the domination of nature through the industrial revolution - wild natural landscapes were not seen as frightful but something that could be made beautiful through the toil of man. The Romantic movement focused largely on the raw feeling and emotional response landscapes could stir in man, known as ‘the sublime’, yet the idea that man could control the forces of nature prevailed, and was exported by the West to its colonies. Today more than ever, man’s dominion over nature is being challenged by extreme weather conditions and climate catastrophes, from wildfires to flash floods.

Sholto Blissett, Ship of Fools II (2022)

Blissett’s title ‘Ship of Fools’ references a historical allegory to a ship with a dysfunctional crew, first appearing in Plato’s Republic and retold through the Middle Ages. The allegory parodies Noah’s Ark of salvation and represents the problem of a political system of governance not based on expert knowledge. In Ship of Fools II (2022), man’s creation pivots ominously on the precipice of a waterfall, as though the foundations could collapse at any moment, dragging to oblivion the sole trace of humankind in the landscape. The scene is reminiscent of Jesus’s allegory of the ‘fool’ who did not listen and built his house on sand rather than rock so when the storm came it was washed away.

Blissett's work, as presented at Conalghi Gallery alongside Hubert Robert's capricci

In contrast to Hubert Robert’s capricci, Sholto Blissett’s series of landscapes are devoid of figures creating an eerie atmosphere. We see the mark of man in imagined buildings and meticulously kept gardens, but if we take a closer look we see the ivy creeping over the marble facades and plants reclaiming cracks in the foundations. The reference to the ‘ship of fools’ could also explain the use of bodies of water in Blissett’s work. In an interview for his first solo show he described water’s capabilities for both salvation and destruction, stating that water was always present in his work was not because it has a fixed meaning but “because of that very lack of meaning and control”.

Sholto Blissett, Ship of Fools VIII (2022)

The absence of figures in Blissett’s work also gives them a timeless quality; we could be looking at the remains of an ancient kingdom or the demise of a future civilisation. This adds to a feeling that these paintings exist in a state of limbo between moment and event, in which the viewer is invited to fill in the blanks and form their own narrative. In Robert’s landscapes the figures situate us in the landscape while Blissett’s work has a more psychological presence. 

Although not a gamer himself Blissett remarked in a QA at the opening of the Conalghi exhibition that his paintings “look like some of the games my mates play”, making him question “why do I bother painting?”. The ability to create a space to question moral and political values or norms through capricci is something the artist LuYang explores through the use of digital art in their exhibition LuYang NetiNeti, currently showing at The Zabludowicz Collection. Sholto’s work, meanwhile, stands as a testament to oil being just as  effective a medium to question our ways of seeing.

Sholto Blissett’s Ship of Fools II (2022) is currently being exhibited alongside two rarely seen capricci by Hubert Robert at the Conalghi Gallery, 26 Bury St, SW1Y 6AL from the 5th to the 21st of October.

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