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Slowly Marking Time: Painting and Late-Capitalist Temporalities

This practice-based research is impelled by the intuitive conviction that painting's pertinence increasingly lies in its unique relationship with time, exacerbated by late-capitalist temporalities for both painter and viewer. In this unsustainable temporal regime it is urgent to find ways to challenge speed, homogeneity and instantaneity. Through my practice and research, I ask how this slow marking of time might be a model to disrupt late-capitalist temporalities?

Through my work, I explore how a format of the slow marking of time might interrupt the demands of time alongside modes of attention, production and perception in a world muted by speed. My aims are to explore painting's capacity to both structure and generate different experiences. I engage in a meditative marking to slow down and dilate the present. I extend the process through colour and making my own pigments. I forage, grow or transform waste into inks or dyes, leading to actions beyond the canvas, such as walking, foraging, gardening. These activities sit alongside other repetitive gestures–dyeing, staining, sewing, weaving, drawing or painting lines–to imprint time in a tangible form.

Slowness as a methodology emerges from the current demands of time and is rooted in my specific approach of marking time through materials leading to a further deceleration. This counter-tempo–identifiable through its difference–is positioned here as a dissident strategy to halt speed and open a dialogue with the materials to excavate the past in order to generate new future possibilities.

The contribution to knowledge is two-fold; this project addresses the lack of practical inquiry of the capacity of an expanded practice of painting to slow things down in the context of late-capitalist temporalities. The practice develops a slow methodology in its investigation, anchored in my specific approach to mark-making and materials to propose it as a disruptive model.

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More about Messua

Messua is based in London since 2011. She graduated from an MFA in 2017 and is currently undertaking a PhD in the expanded field of painting at the Royal College of Art. Recently, she started teaching in U.K. Universities such as New Bucks and the RCA. Her works have been shown in group shows throughout the U.K and internationally. Her paintings result from their processes: an improvisation in between body, materials and milieu over time. Messua's work starts with the fabrication of colour from her everyday. She works through intuitive, repetitive gestures to imprint stories between hands and materials. Raw, organic, delicate, crude and intimate, the work appeals to the visceral rather than the cerebral.

M.F.A Fine Arts/Contemporary Art Practice : 1, Kingston University, London, 2015-2017.

B.A Hons Fine Art: 2.1, Kingston University, London, 2012-2015.

Associate Lecturer, Critical and Historical Studies Level 6, Bucks New University, High Wycomb, U.K, Oct 2019 - May 2020.

Visiting Lecturer, M.A interdisciplinary group, Royal College of Art, London, U.K, Sept.2019 and Jan 2020.

Visiting Tutor, B.A Fine Art, Bath Spa University, February, 2019.

Brian Mcann Drawing Prize, 2015.

Muybridge Award for the best dissertation in Critical and Historical studies, 2015.

MFA Merit Scholarship, Kingston University, 2015.

(2020) Nature Encapsulated. Lewisham Art House, London.

(2019) There’s Something Lurking in the Shadow that might Be Interesting, Dyson Gallery (RCA), London.

(2018) Sustainable Futures. Dyson Gallery (RCA), London.

(2018) The Other House. BMECP Centre, Brighton, UK.

(2018) For Futures Sake. East Street, Horsforth Walk of Art festival, Leeds, UK.

(2017) Studioless. Incheon Artplatform, Incheon, South Korea.

(2017) The Reality Principle. The depot, London.

(2017) The Mall (Solo Show of Sandwich Collective). CAS, London.

(2017) Gallerie de Portraits. Villa Dutoit, Geneva.

(2016) Water is Wet. Stanley Picker Gallery, London.

(2017) The great exhibition. The White Space, Tokyo.

(2016-2017) The Jerwood Drawing Prize. Jerwood Space, London, (Touring in Bournemouth, Bath, Hull), UK.

(2016) Extimacy with Pluszero collective. Safehouse, London.

(2015) £1,131,100.00. Kingston University, London.

(2014) B S S P K M R H M S H, House Gallery, London.

(2014) Big Scale. American Square Gallery, London.

Symposium with Pacto: Colllective not Collection, Raven Row, London, 2019.

Slow Colour, Natural Dye Workshop, Bell House, London, 2020.

Slow Colour, Natural Dye Workshop, Laurels School, London, 2020.

Paul Klee Colour, Lauderdale House, London, UK, 2018.

Clay Time, Jewish Museum, London, UK, February 2018.

Lunch Talk-Jerwood Drawing Prize, Bath University, UK, 2016.