Using a variety of different mediums, including painting, sound, installation and documentary, Roy Immanuel’s practice explores themes relating to the secular tradition in the arts and its value to state institutions. Referencing various state artists and state artist programmes, such as Graham Sutherland’s war paintings and the WPA (Works Progress Agency), commissioned during the US New Deal, Roy Immanuel’s work studies art historical references that were commissioned for specific public purposes. These studies provide an insight into how public institutions exploit art’s cultural capital and its historical associations for a variety of different purposes, producing a broad range of public services. This work also looks at the relationship between institutional power and art production; how art is informed overtly by design, by the institution as a means to provide a specific service, as well as more complex and unapparent distortions in art production that happen over time in response to institutional, cultural and market structures.

Physical processes associated with sound and music production are investigated and made use of throughout Roy Immanuel’s practice, both in audio work and also, through a process of transposition, in painting, installation and documentary. Audio and visual sampling is used to reference a diverse array of source material, which may be factual, fictional, biographical or autobiographical. Through a process of layering, which brings together disparate subjects, these samples establish new meanings as they subvert one another. Feedback loops are used as a means to erase pre-existing structures while simultaneously building up new more complex ones in their place. Previous work is re-visited, re-evaluated and developed as a form of feedback and in this sense feedback loops are used as a basis for audio and visual orchestration. His practice trials alternative modes of composition, specifically in painting. This includes the transposition of processes associated with music production into painting, as well as using thought experiments to determine a painting’s form, either by a process of association or by re-imagining images subject to different physical principles, including dimension and scale.

Roy Immanuel (b. 1983) lives and works in London. In 2014 he received an MA from the Royal College of Art. He is the 2014 recipient of the Hine painting prize. Exhibitions include I am sitting in a room, Art Night 2019, Waltham Forrest, London (2019), I am sitting in a room, Barbican Arts Group trust, Waltham Forrest, London (2019), Teratology, Barbican Arts Group Trust, Waltham Forest, London (2018), Saltpetre King, Casa Amaru Cultural, Lima (2018), Mise-en-scène, Chelsea Waterside, London (2017), Subjective Reality, Shanghai MOCA, Shanghai (2016), Whistle Piece, Offtape Studios, London (2015), Xianshang Art Fair, Shanghai (2015), ECHO, The Function Room, London (2014), A New Circle, Forbidden City Gallery, Shanghai (2014), Show RCA, Royal College of Art, London (2014)