Angel artist explores people’s desire for ‘sense of life’ in new West End exhibition
Angel artist speaks to the Tribune at his new exhibition in Green Park
15 March, 2019 — By Calum Fraser
Nick Botting in front of his painting
NICK Botting believes people are desperate for “a sense of life”.
Some push their bodies to the limits like running across the desert in 50+ degrees in an endurance marathon, while others find it in extreme beliefs. The Angel-based artist thinks this is a response to a world that alienates the individual and in his latest exhibition, The Islanders, he tries to explore the ways in which this phenomenon plays out in everyday life.
The 55-year-old said: “I do not think people feel they have a grasp of things.
“They feel paralysed by the world they live in with the overload of information and experiences.
“People are desperate for a sense of life.” The islanders in Mr Botting’s paintings, that could set you back up to £11,000, come from scenes he painted in the UK, Ireland and Barbados.
The father-of-one said: “I’m not sure what it is about island people. I have watched them for hours and when they are by the sea you can sense a change in them.
“It appears to strip away the virtual worlds that they live in and exposes their isolation.
“We’re all searching for connection.”
Mr Botting, who says he will always draw or paint from life if possible, believes the rising popularity of life drawing is another example of the desire for “real” experiences.
He thinks people are sick of instant click pictures they get on their phone, where they quickly snap 15 of one scene without stopping to appreciate it.
He said: “Life drawing is popping up all over the place. I think people are bored of projecting an image onto a screen and then drawing round the edges.
“They want someone in the room to take their clothes off and then to draw the real subject as it appears alive before you.” l The Islanders exhibition runs from March 21 to April 5 at the Portland Gallery, Bennet Street, Green Park, SW1. www.portlandgallery.com