Jealous are thrilled to be holding Rugman’s solo show "Higher Being, Being Higher” at their Shoreditch Gallery space from 25th May – 4th June, unveiling his collection of new drawings, paintings and etchings, along with a brand new limited edition print published with Jealous Print Studio.
The exhibition will be an extension of the artists’ work from his Saatchi show "Sister, Mother”: The everywoman alongside famous figures as the central icon shows Rugman’s exploration of how humanity has woven beliefs, myths, concepts, dreams and visions from its perception of the surrounding world with experiences of fear, love, awe and the cycle of life. His resulting works also capture a vivid sense of the sacred, of belonging, connectedness and community through his intricate expressions and compositions of illustrated iconography.
Looking at the central figure as the icon, the revered whether the known or unknown, faceless beings: man's obsession with something higher, the universe, nature and the stars.
Inspiration gives us life; physically the breath in gives us art, ideas and creativity. The spirit, the breath. Energy.
This new work draws on my own religious upbringing, my introduction to a higher being who is almighty and feared. My work is my search for new meaning, to absorb the power of art and music, to connect with humanity, and to overcome that constant feeling of fear as if I was hunted prey.
Although not religious now, as I get older I find myself looking for some sort of spiritual guidance and purpose in life. Man's constant obsession with meaning and the Higher Being fascinates me. This translates into modern day popular culture, with icons such as Bowie worshipped by the masses and given God-like status.
To me, the female figure is strength, hope and compassion. All the prints are adorned with symbols drawn from various cultures and faiths, including the All-Seeing Eye, and staves, Nordic symbols meant to ward off evil spirits and to aid the accumulation of wisdom. In ancient cultures, birds often represent the soul.