Tackling issues from race to gender fluidity and fracking, the new generation of London artists are speaking out about what matters to them. Here, we turn a spotlight on 11 of the city’s path-forging creatives — from Rosa Johan Uddoh, whose clay-art explores connections between object and animal and George Ruoy, whose bewildering paintings take us far outside the realms of reality.
Paloma Proudfoot is just back from examining anatomical wax figures in a 16th- century palazzo in Bologna, Italy. “I saw the most incredible, intricately rendered 18th-century models of flayed humans in various states of disease and death,” she says with glee. “I’m hoping to channel some of their uneasy beauty into the show!” The show in question is an upcoming solo exhibition at London’s Cob Gallery. Proudfoot, pictured here with one of the fabric-covered boards she uses to roll clay on (“That’s where it all begins!”), prefers being a professional jack-of-all-trades rather than sticking to one medium. She’s a ceramicist, maker of clothes and performance artist. The three practices “bleed into one hot mess”, she says, but they also open up the possibilities of the others. When making, say, a slippery, erotic porcelain eel, she’s a controlling perfectionist. But staging confrontational performances with her four-woman-strong collective Stasis, unexpected things can happen that encourage vulnerabilities elsewhere. The year ahead looks equally energetic for Proudfoot – right now, she’s building a bullet-bra clad mannequin for a duo show at Galerie Sultana, Paris (with George Rouy, featured below). And then she’s “marrying” collaborator Aniela Piasecka, sandwiched between two papier-mache grooms, no less.