Project description

My practice is concerned with an exploration into certain fundamental curiosities of existence - specifically concerning the relationship between the natural and the artificial, the conscious and the unconscious, and the known and the unknown. A desire to grapple with the question of the infinite, and the effects of its existence agonisingly out of our reach, is the driving force behind my practice where I engage with a range of mediums, working primarily ink, oil, and pencil. In this way my work looks to pursue a broad visual enquiry of an ontological kind: questioning my own emotional interior landscape, the struggle between the ancient and the modern, and the relationship between modernity and the natural world. Through the manipulation of the scale and situation of different industrial forms within the context of composition, I look to create a sense of surreal disquiet in my developed images, all the while contending with these issues in a satirical manner -- something which heightens the catharsis of my process. 

Working in series has been an ongoing theme of my practice, and is a method of working I have adopted as a means of weaving together a narrative from painting to painting. This approach has in part been informed by the dialectic of the Theatre of the Absurd, something which seemed especially relevant during the lockdown.


'Imitative Systems', Graphite on paper, 35 x 50cm, 2021.
Untitled, Graphite on paper, 35 x 50cm, 2021.
'Maybe there's a problem with the bandwidth', Graphite on paper, 35 x 50cm, 2021.
'The Eye of Osiris', Graphite on paper, 35 x 50cm, 2021.
"Slaying the Celestial Bull"

Throughout my practice this year I have sought out material from the built envrionment around me, and also significantly from old scientific journals. My process involves manipulating these forms through drawing, and then transposing them into imaginary worlds within paintings. The form which shaped the making of this painting was derived from a boult-coupling mechanism from an old-steam engine which, through a process of drawing, began to appear, to me, like the head of a bull. This, in turn, informed the conceptual development of the painting -- which looked to draw on the Archetypal story of the 'Slaying of the Bull of Heaven', a tale which appears in the mythologies of a myriad of ancient cultures. The multiplicity of the meanings contained within each iteration of this story was fascinating to me and seemed to highlight the importance of stories in humanity's search for meaning. I was keen to explore the possibility for a contemporary counterpoint to this myth, concerned with the relationship between the ancient and the modern, and by extension the spiritual and the scientific. 




'Slaying the Celestial Bull', Oil on canvas, 100 x 100cm, 2021.
'Unrest', Oil on canvas, 100 x 100cm, 2021.
Unrest, Oil on canvas, 100 x 100cm, 2021.
Untitled, Ink on paper, 38 x 56cm, April 2021.
Untitled, Ink on paper, 38 x 56cm, 2021.
'Aquafresh', Ink on paper, 28 x 34cm, March 2021.
Aquafresh, Ink on paper, 28 x 34cm, 2021.

Will Polito

"Maybe there's a problem with the bandwidth?"
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Painting - BA (Hons)

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