Artist Statement:

The core of my practice consists of paintings that are built out of networks and connections. The visual language of digital software informs their compositions, leading to a fragmented surface depicting multiple objects and figures interacting with each other. The painted field acts like a screen, with a mixture of flatness, depth and multiple layers, both in the perceived picture plane but also physically as painted layers are built up. Connections are drawn between images from disparate sources, either simply by proximity or by their shared visual characteristics, creating a flow that leads the eye around the painting. Social media platforms, forums and archives are trawled for imagery, whilst the data maps used to run these services inform the placement of imagery. The compositions echo mind-maps, investigation pin-boards and conspiracy theory diagrams. 

The process of painting reintroduces a tactility and sculptural quality to images taken from the flat screen of cyberspace, giving a solid and weighted form to originally ethereal images. I pay attention to the surface whilst painting, combining various textures and consistencies informed by the varying attributes of each image. The process of gathering and storing images is ongoing and separate to any specific pieces. I am constantly adding to my own archive of references, allowing the images time to filter through my mind. The slow process of painting allows images to resurface intuitively, and their meaning can change in their application.

Images in my archive are chosen instinctively, I select images that relate to my conscious and unconscious dialogues. Sometimes they act as symbols that point to wider ideas, hovering in ambiguity until the work is complete. Often medieval imagery coexists with modern technology, drawing analogies between them. I am drawn to the Gothic, the macabre and enjoy taking images out of time.

A recurring theme in the paintings is an idea of transcendence, a shedding of a physical form instigated by a dramatic event, either coming from within an individual or inflicted on them by an outside source. This idea is informed by my research into Bataille’s theory of limit experiences, where people are described as having emotional and spiritual experiences brought on by extreme pain or pleasure. Sexual acts and acts of violence are depicted in various ways, often referencing Christian theology and art, with the intention of creating an atmosphere of numinous dread, a concept I compared to Bataille’s limit experiences in my dissertation.   

I find gothic imagery useful to my practice as I believe it can demonstrate the links between horror and spirituality, a concept that is at the core of my research. The Gothic is also relevant to my work as it is a prevalent part of internet culture, perhaps because the internet often provides content as a response to primal human urges. For example, imagery that accrues the most traffic tends to be of a sexual or violent nature. Another commonality between online communities and spiritual experiences I have observed regards the process of losing one’s physical form and existing as a metaphysical collective. The cyclical nature of transformation from physical to ethereal, and then back again is echoed in the process of my painting.

Artist Biography:

Louis Loveless was born in Ronaldshay Housing Estate in Finsbury Park in 1995. At four years of age, he and his family moved to Hackney and lived there until 2023, when they moved to Harlow. He attended primary school in Clapton and Secondary School in Tufnell Park, before staying on and studying at LaSwap Sixth Form College. After graduating Sixth Form, Loveless studied at the Royal Drawing School Foundation Year where he was trained in traditional techniques of painting and drawing. He then studied the first year of a Graphic Design BA at Buckinghamshire New University before taking a year out to work and then changed to a Fine Art BA at the University of East London. From 2022-24 Loveless studied on the Advanced Painting postgraduate course at the Essential School of Painting, whilst also working there as a technician. He enters competitions, applies for residencies and is open for commissions.

Exhibitions:

“60digits” (Group Show)
The Essential School of Painting, 2024

“The Harlow Open” (Group Show)
The Gibberd Gallery, Harlow Civic Centre, 2024

“Fell Down a Well As Well” (Group Show)
The Essential School of Painting, 2023

“Hackney Art Fest” (Group Show)
Deviant & Dandy Brewery, 2022

“Self Conscious” (Group Show)
The Art Pavillion, Mile End Park, 2020

“The Muse Gallery Residency Shortlist Show” (Group Show)
The Muse Gallery, 2020

“ING Discerning Eye Prize” (Group Show)
Online Event, 2020

“Dennis Beckton” (Group Show)
Way Out East Gallery & Online Event, 2020

“Data Fatigue” (Solo Show)
E5 Process, 2020

“Not for the Faint Arted” (Group Auction)
The Nunnery Gallery, 2019

“Victim of the Arts” (Group Show)
Thames-Side Studios Gallery, 2019

“Time Team: An Exhibition of Bronzes” (Group Show)
Way Out East, 2017

“Spare Blems” (Group Show)
Way Out East, 2018

“Herding Cats” (Group Show)
Way Out East, 2017

“Royal Drawing School Foundation Year Exhibition” (Group Show)
Trinity Buoy Wharf, 2017

Creative industry positions:

Studio Technician, The Essential School of Painting
Gallery Assistant, Royal Society of Sculptors
Art Handler, Coombs Contemporary
Host, Barbican Centre
Ticket Sales Advisor, Barbican Centre
Steward/Group Leader, William Morris Gallery
Technician, Mesh Screen Print and Photography
Technician, Capisco Ltd. Patinators