'I'm Not Much Good, Charlie'
6 - 27 July 2021
Benji Thomas' ‘I’m Not Much Good, Charlie’ is an online solo exhibition which is the second in an ongoing series 3 Works For 3 Weeks. The exhibition features a carefully curated selection of just 3 newly created original artworks which will be featured for 3 weeks, to encourage a slower and more comprehensive look at the artworks.
Benji Thomas captures fleeting moments in his everyday surroundings which are full of energy and wonder. He primarily works with the common coloured pencil and has a fascination with portrayals of light, which he softly layers to produce incredibly illuminating scenes. This newly created body of work shows a shift in the artists attention into the world of cinematography and reinterpreting the moving image into static images on paper.
Scroll down to view the first artwork and accompanying texts and return each Tuesday at 10am to view the next artwork release.
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DETAIL IMAGES OF 'I'M NOT MUCH GOOD, CHARLIE'
The final artwork is Benji Thomas’ largest coloured pencil work to date. Also the titular piece of his solo exhibition ‘I’m Not Much Good, Charlie’ this piece, as with the previous two works, was inspired by a scene in the TV series Peaky Blinders. Thomas was struck by the similarity of this particular scene to Peter Doig’s ‘Echo Lake’, and it was this similarity which set this series of works in motion for the artist.
A solitary figure stands at the edge of a luscious lake which provides the perfect mirror image of the scene above it. Surrounded by autumnal colours of rich reds, oranges and golden yellow, the highly detailed work is a mesmerising piece of pattern and warm colour.
Across the central band, the tangle of vegetation seem interwoven into a pattern across the waters edge, forming a pattern reminiscent of Celtic symbols, within which entire trunks emerge and rest on the banks of the lake. Standing above, the lonesome character is dressed in black, a stark cool image against the warmth of the landscape.
The top half of the image is assumed to be the reality and here the tones are darker, the artists hand harder creating bold colour. Whereas the glassy soft colouring of the bottom half of the image hints at the coolness of the water.
The previous 2 works in this series have focussed on the beauty of nature, as portrayed in Peaky Blinders. They are isolated moments which stand alone as beautiful landscapes of their own accord. This final image is quite different in that it features a figure yet seems more isolated as he stands alone surrounded by the looming trees. The introduction of the colour red in this piece creates a dramatic atmosphere; certainly not just an observation this work has a strong sense of narrative and one of a sense of moody foreboding.
"IN THE ORIGINAL SCENE OF THE SHOW, THERE'S A FIGURE STANDING AGAINST THE TREE. ONCE THE FIGURE IS REMOVED, YOU START TO SEARCH FOR THE FOCUS OF THE IMAGE, BECAUSE WE ASSUME THERE HAS TO BE ONE. IT'S AN INTERESTING DISRUPTION"
DETAIL IMAGES OF 'EXPEDITION #2'
For this new series of works, Benji Thomas has built upon his interest in capturing fleeting moments into intricate 2D renderings using his current medium of choice; the coloured pencil.
The first artwork to be released in his solo exhibition ‘I’m Not Much Good Charlie’ is the stunning landscape of ‘expedition #2’. Lush rolling hills are punctuated by a large tree which sprawls its branches across the scene and sits against a warm blue sky. The scene is bathed in a golden hour glow, every surface radiates and illuminates an overwhelming warmth.
The minute detail of this work displays Thomas’ incredible eye for colour, something which is punctuated by the unforgiving medium he chooses. The considered layering of solid colour can be seen clearly in the detail images, working the pencil colour as an oil painter would, and this application only enhances the depth of the work.
Illumination is a word which instantly comes to mind when taking in a Benji Thomas artwork, drawing on the renaissance masters and more contemporary references such as David Hockney, this landscape sings with the hum of nature in all its beauty and wilderness.
DETAIL IMAGES OF 'EXPEDITION #1'
A heavily tonal craggy hillside landscape forms the second artwork from Benji Thomas’ solo exhibition. Using a delicately considered blend of greens, blues and oranges in coloured pencil, Thomas nods to the mossy covering of the landscape while in the centre stands a large proud tree, with a halo outlining it against the foggy sky.
Throughout Thomas’ work we comment on the luminosity and his keen eye for accentuating this across nature in his works. However in a piece as simple as this, his impeccable attention to detail is heightened, showcasing his eye for colour, light, tone and texture.
The soft creamy texture of the sky hints at a fog, yet the golden colour which has become synonymous with this new series of works, hints at a warm summers glow. Coupled with the purples and oranges of the tree gives this scene an almost otherworldly glow.
A peaceful moment where the viewer can get lost in the majestic moment of nature. Taking a deeper look into the technique used by Thomas is a delight and invigorating - the use of bold and brazen colouring somehow subdued overall to create an incredibly calm and serene image.
“THE TITULAR PIECE ‘I’M NOT MUCH GOOD, CHARLIE’ IS BASED ON A FILM STILL FROM THE TELEVISION SERIES PEAKY BLINDERS…I’VE BEEN CURIOUS ABOUT THE WIDESCREEN CINEMATIC ASPECT RATIO FOR A WHILE, AND HOW IT COULD CARRY OVER INTO STATIC IMAGE MAKING. [WITHIN THE RESULTING ARTWORKS] THERE’S REALLY NOTHING TO SUGGEST THAT THEY’RE FILM STILLS ON THEIR OWN, OTHER THAN THEIR SHAPE. THEY’RE JARRINGLY VACANT NATURAL SCENES, LIMINAL NONDESCRIPT MOMENTS BETWEEN ACTION, CONFLICT OR EVEN CONVERSATION. OVERALL THIS IS AN EXERCISE IN ESCAPISM, IN SUBJECT AND IN PROCESS. FILM, IS MAYBE ONE OF OUR MOST EFFECTIVE ESCAPE ROUTES FROM DAILY LIFE, AND EMBARKING ON SUCH A LARGE AND LABORIOUS DRAWING ALSO SEEMS ESCAPIST. I CAN GET LOST IN A SMALL SECTION FOR HOURS OR EVEN DAYS, AND THINGS EMERGE LITTLE BY LITTLE...”
Liminal Gallery is delighted to present Benji Thomas' ‘I’m Not Much Good, Charlie’, an online solo exhibition which forms part of an ongoing series 3 Works For 3 Weeks. The exhibition will feature a selection of 3 newly created original artworks which will be featured for 3 weeks, to encourage a slower and more comprehensive exploration of the works.
Benji Thomas captures fleeting moments in his everyday surroundings which are full of energy and wonder. He currently works with the common coloured pencil and has a fascination with portrayals of light, layering soft pencil marks to produce incredibly illuminating scenes.
3 Works for 3 Weeks is an innovative take on the traditional solo exhibition, promoting slow looking and true engagement with the artist, the artworks and the concepts behind them.
‘I’m Not Much Good, Charlie’ will be a digital solo exhibition of 3 original artworks by Thomas, running for just 3 weeks. A new artwork will be released each week, accompanied by text and detail images. The exhibition invites collectors to get intimate and build a personal connection with the artwork before purchase.
Each Tuesday throughout the duration of the exhibition, Liminal Gallery will release a new artwork onto the dedicated Viewing Room found on liminal-gallery.com.
To purchase please get in touch with us firstname.lastname@example.org