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  • Writer's picturePeggy Nichols

Joseph Loughborough, an artist who contemplates impression of moment, an encounter, while tipping his cap to German Expressionism...


'The Painted Boat', oil, pastel, metallic leaf on paper, 190 x 130 cm.


'It's  been a strange time for everyone. A few of us may have found ourselves with a little more space to contemplate the past and the possibilities of the future a little more assiduously than in previous years.

Memories  play an important part of this show. Proudly presented in this new body of work "A Sea of Shadows and Reflections", Loughborough plumbs the depths of his own recollections.



'Liverpool', oil, pastel on paper, 190 x 130 cm.

From Paris and Berlin to the pubs and ports of the UKs South Coast, the good, the bad and the ugly find themselves personified in these figurative totems.

These renderings aim not to be directly representational in nature but instead strive to imbue an impression of a moment or encounter.


Having grown up in a port city, Loughborough’s work has always had an affinity with the nautical. The titles of many previous works  have often derived from the wrecks and boats left scattered around the  creeks and boatyards of Portsmouth. Drawing inspiration from this and  iconographic paintings from the early renaissance period he pushes the  work into new territories, whilst of course, tipping his cap to the  German expressionists.'



The Search', pastel on Pastelmat, 190 x 130 cm


left to right: 'Spring Dance', pastel on Pastelmat, 100 x 70 cm.,

'Crumpled Figure', oil, pastel, metallic leaf on paper, 105 x 75 cm.,'Autumn Dance', pastel on Pastelmat, 100 x 70 cm.


'Continuing  the exploration of metallic leaf in his work, he abundantly uses silver in this experimental series.

The quietening effect of this cast  provokes the pastel and paint to jump from the support. Additionally, its reflective properties change the nature of the work depending on  light and surroundings. This playfully mimics the changing character of  the sea throughout the day. Its transient ambience also questions the  objective value of our own memories and how it can be affected by our immediate location and mood.' 



'A Ferry Boat to the Burning Hills', oil, pastel, metallic leaf on paper, 160 x 130 cm.



left to right: 'The Harvest', oil, pastel, metallic leaf on paper, 84 x 59 cm., 'The Waves', oil, pastel on paper, 190 x 130 cm.,

'The Ghost', oil, pastel, metallic leaf on paper, 190 x 130 cm.


'Honesty, expressionism and catharsis can be read from Loughborough’s impulsive and intuitive mark making, which strive to grasp a comprehension of the human condition.


Drawing inspiration from various themes concerned with Camus/Kierkegaard's notion of ‘Absurdity’, each drawing becomes a decadent theatre of emotion, sexuality and movement. Lonely human forms seem to struggle and ponder the sporadically lit space they occupy without reaching the point of a dramatic emotional encounter.


Couples and groups of people cling together searching for an antidote to the revelations of their existence.

Personifications of latent hopes and emotions wait in vain to be realized. No specific conclusions can be made to the meaning of the individual works aside from the acknowledgement and indulgence of image, expression and technique.

This reflects absurdity’s philosophical model of observing our potentially meaningless existence without the sterilisation of Nihilism. The irony of religious motifs act to enhance the awkward balance between secularism and piousness that the characters depicted seem to grapple with.Questions are frequently asked of the viewer about how we interpret our oft-untold fears and desires.'



'A Toast of Turpentine to the Mad Old Saints', oil, pastel, metallic leaf on paper 130 x 149 cm.



left to right: 'The Starling', oil, pastel, metallic leaf on paper, 145 x 100 cm., 'Broken', 'Broken', pastel and oil on paper, 59 x 84 cm., 'On the Beach', oil, pastel, on heavy weight paper,

160 x 130 cm.




'The Thought', charcoal, metallic leaf on paper, 100 x 70 cm.



left to right: 'Passengers', charcoal, metallic leaf on paper, 150 x 150 cm., 'Welcome Rain', , metallic leaf on paper, 150 x 150 cm.,

'Teeth of Whales', charcoal, metallic leaf on paper, 100 x 70 cm.



'Cinema', charcoal, metallic leaf on paper, 150 x 150 cm


Joseph Loughborough (b. 1981) spent his formative years exploring the derelict boatyards and creeks of Portsmouth, on the south coast of the UK. After graduating from Portsmouth University he pursued interests in art, philosophy and skateboarding culture. Living once again in London after nearly a decade in Paris and Berlin, he works from his studio in Canning Town.




'Parisian Scene', oil, pastel, metallic leaf on paper, 120 x 80 cm.



left to right: 'The Ballast' oil, pastel on paper, 105 x 75 cm.,

'The Second Patience', pastel on Pastelmat, 100 x 70 cm.,

'The Grace', oil pastel on paper, 105 x 75 cm.




Joseph Loughborough in his studio.



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