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Ned Conran and Sarah Maple - Scream Gallery

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

AN EXHIBITION of works by Ned Conran and Sarah Maple will be on display at Scream London until February 8, 2008.

Ned Conran was born in Camden, London in 1971. He currently lives in West London with his wife, Sage, and three of his four children. He was educated at Bryanston in Dorset, did his foundation year at Camberwell School of Art, took a year out in New York where he worked with the art collective, The Grey Organisation, then went on to Slade.

Since then he’s been travelling, painting, sculpting and illustrating books and his portfolio includes work with Mark Brazier Jones. He is five years into recovery from alcoholism.

His inspirations come mainly from Psychedelia (Robert Williams), Surrealism (Max Ernst) and Pop Art (Terry Gilliam, Andy Warhol and Kenny Scharfe), not to mention the unselfconscious honesty of his own children’s painting and drawing.

Conran’s aim is to challenge our perception of reality with these paintings, and to poke fun at modern preoccupations such as consumerism, our obsession with youthful appearance and its sibling, the fear of death. His work speaks to the poignant dissonance between a child’s idealistic expectations of reality and an adult’s resigned compromised perceptions.

He combines traditional techniques, such as Grisaille, with ultra modern materials such as Interference Acrylics and nitrocellulose lacquers. Asked about his way of working, Conrad uses his Zen practice to “take myself out of the equation and let the painting emerge spontaneously”.

Sarah Maple was born in 1985 and grew up in Sussex, where she lives today. She did her BA in Fine Art at Kingston University and in October 2007, won “4 New Sensations”, a new art prize for graduates, voted by the public online, organised by Channel 4 and The Saatchi Gallery.

Much of her inspiration originated from her being brought up as a Muslim, with parents of mixed religious and cultural backgrounds. Understandably, issues of identity are of huge interest to her.

Maple’s work often takes on fabricated scenes and situations and she admits she is affected by the art world, as well as from her general surroundings – including friends, family, television and popular culture. She is also greatly moved by music, comedy and literature. She believes these influences are truly woven into her art, and provide the platform upon which her work is realised.

Maple states that the aim of her work is “to give my audience food for thought. I believe comedy is a great tool to achieve this, which is why I choose to portray my conceptual ideas through a light- hearted and tongue-in-cheek approach”.

Scream Gallery, 34 Bruton Street, London, W1.