Since 2007, Nick Austin has been working on a series of aquatic scenes with fish and submerged domestic objects painted onto newspaper.
The works refer to the use of aquarium screensavers on computers or on flat screen televisions. Originally intended to protect screens from ‘burn-in’, they are now a popular and relaxing distraction from the overload of content available via the internet and digital television. Austin’s paintings might be seen in a similar light, offering a low-tech reprieve from the newspaper’s constant stream of information.
Like Austin’s Aquarium paintings, Simon Denny’s Starting from behind – also in this exhibition – draws on the idea of a digital fish-tank. The two artists have exhibited together in Brussels, Cologne and Berlin.
This text was prepared for the Collecting Contemporary exhibition, June 2011.