‘Scratchings, Abstractions, Stabs in the Dark’ is a collection of artworks and paintings created by Damo Scrawls (Damien McLaughlin) which are being exhibited together for the first time as part of the NIMHAF 2022 on the theme of ‘Gather’ at The Strand Arts Centre.
The exhibition consists of people, faces and figures painted in an expressionist style. Damo’s subjects are ambiguous in form, often set in irregular and unreal poses, flattened to silhouettes, obscured by ribbons of bold colour. They are characters emerged from half-forgotten dreams, dissected and laid bare.
All the work in this exhibition was produced in the last two years and it reflects the isolation of the period.
Figures sit alone in their frames, pensive and aloof. But for this exhibition in the Strand Arts Centre, the work is relocated and re-contextualised. Gathered in one space, the figures are no longer alone but face one another across the gallery.
Some seem to look out at the viewer, while others evade the eye. Some are overtly confrontational. Thrust together, they evoke the uneasiness of gathering again, and the importance of new encounters.
Damo Scrawls was born in Derry, Northern Ireland. He's now based in Belfast, creating physical and digital artworks that embrace spontaneity, ambiguity and sometimes the sinister.
There will be an informal Artist Talk on Friday 13 May at 6pm