So I am Just Supposed to Accept it Am I?

Published at Suite101.com

Fran Copeman is the latest bright, young, talented thing to arrive on the London art scene and her exhibition open to the public begins December 14, 2010

London’s newest emerging artist Fran Copeman, 24, is getting ready for her upcoming solo exhibition So I am Just Supposed to Accept it Am I? at The Bunker in Hackney, east London, which will be showing from December 14, 2010 until December 21, 2010.Copeman’s been busy. This will be the latest of a series of back-to-back exhibitions the conceptual figurative artist has done. Most recently she’s just got back from exhibiting her work at UK Young Artists, an exciting, new organisation working nationally and internationally to showcase young, creative practitioners between the ages of 18 – 30 and before this Copeman had been in Turin, Italy where she was exhibiting her work at the ZOOart 2010 Exhibition.

Copeman Prepares for new Exhibition

It looks like all the hard work has paid off; having grafted her way from studying at Central Saint Martin’s art college to Goldsmiths University to complete her degree, Copeman is now focusing on putting the finishing touches on her latest project in her art studio in Brixton Market before the exhibition begins.

Down in the studio Copeman goes through what will be exhibited at her latest exhibition at The Bunker on December 14, 2010. Her studio is wall to wall project based: pieces in development, pieces finished and pieces that will be used for another exhibition…it’s chaos but interesting and essential.

When questioned about what kind of art she produces, Copeman says: “My work examines the distortion created when something in particular, when ‘someone’ is restricted. It evokes notions of what it means to feel restricted, if any good can come from it when so often it disfigures the physical symptom, and why its effects are almost always negative whether that be physically or emotionally.”

Fran Copeman's latest exhibition, Fran Copeman

So I am just supposed to accept it am I?

Interview with Artist Fran Copeman

As Copeman goes through the pieces and describes the idea behind this exhibition she explains: “My work aims to visually challenge the argument by George Simmel that ‘the deepest problems of modern life flow from the attempt of the individual to maintain independence and individuality of his existence against the sovereign powers of society, against the weight of historical heritage and external culture and technique of life.”

The studio is mostly dominated by life-size canvases of individuals painted in restricted positions as a consequence of being tied up. Explaining the notion behind this Copeman says: “My images work together to convey the human will at the moment that it tries to exceed the limitations of its own body. They investigate through visual metaphor human agency within a social structure by asking ‘who / what determines my behaviour?’

“I restricted the body’s of my models with strong tape and asked them to break free from it. I also disfigured some of their faces so as to evoke the feeling of constraint. Through this I want to suggest that human agency has a larger margin of improvisation than it is given credit for.”

Copeman’s Creative Process

Discussing the creative process which has lead to this exhibition and her initial idea materialising, Copeman says: “When an individual life comes into contact with the external, especially when it is with our complex social and political environments, a process of distortion takes place. I implemented the recreation of this kind of impact by restricting a figure with tape, which carved a new shape out of the old by simultaneously disabling and disfiguring the figure.

“This new shape is a grotesque deviation from the one before. The juxtaposition of the natural form, with the tape which bounds it, plays with the larger reality that we are in fact in conflict with the physical and mental compartments of our society.”

Translating the concept behind her exhibition further Copeman reveals that her own perception of how society affects people’s behaviour is a paramount theme and questioning throughout the exhibit.

Copeman says: “I want to try to visually reinterpret how I see different individuals reacting when they cannot freely express themselves whether it be physically or emotionally because all human action performed within a society enters into some kind of dialogue with the standards it sets for us. I would like my work to stand as a reminder of the potency of our environments.”

Copeman’s exhibition So I am Just Supposed to Accept it Am I? will be open to the public from December 14-21, 2010, 11:00-17:00, at The Bunker, Abbot Street, London, E8 3DP.


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