‘Help me to understand why others seem to plan their memories’ sung Billie MacKenzie in Beyond the Sun. The title Unplanned Memories is a response to this line and describes an exhibition that features two artists in pursuit of the elusive enigmatic soulful object.
Manchester born Paul Housley's expressive paintings conjure the ghosts of painting's past by referencing the greats – Picasso, Rembrandt, Velázquez – but with a humble scale that undercuts any suggested grandiosity. This low-key attitude is carried through to his subject matter, which includes plastic toys, cuddly animals and his own clay models and on to the found canvases that he often paints over. His paintings rather than being ironic have a serious intensity, which comes through being worked and reworked over long periods of time.
Sheffield born Joel Tomlin worked as a blacksmith before moving to London to train as a painter at Chelsea School of Art. More recently he has started working sculpturally with a variety of materials, chiefly wood and bronze, often with painted or patinated surfaces. He cites his influences as Arte Povera and Informel which he draws upon in order to create an internal, Arcadian world, its painted surfaces assuming the quality of objects with an implied depiction being secondary to the scheme as a whole. The animals, plants, legends and stories that emerge from his work give a sense of archaeology, both human and personal.