Suspend Disbelief

A new body of work including paintings, sculptures and installations 

Heritage Rooms, Victoria House, London

Frieze week, October 2013. 



Suspend Disbelief encourages visitors to interact, experience and immerse themselves in the exploration of life, death and entertainment. The exhibition will took place throughout two stories grand labryinth in the heart of Bloomsbury.  Visitors can meander through the building viewing artwork and installations in every room.

This collection of works toy with the notion of pausing disbelief in obvious fictions within entertainment in exchange for pleasure. However it comes at a cost. By turning our backs on the truth of the situation we allow ourselves to be duped into the rejection of essential realities.

Stuart says, “Suspension of disbelief doesn’t stop at entertainment. It extends to our whole lives, especially in the West. I think we’ve suspended disbelief in the fact that we’re all dying. That’s universal. We’re all mortal, but it’s not a bad thing. Only by acknowledging the inevitability of death are we able to truly live.”

As a painter Stuart will be presenting a new series of works. His on-going difficulties with anxiety and isolation, which were born from a teenage near-death experience, remain central motivators. However new fascinations with superstition and illusion have emerged. Eight years in the making, these large-scale paintings mark a significant evolution in Stuart’s process, subject matter and philosophy.

Stuart will be exhibiting installations in addition to his paintings, including Happycloud Room, which features Semple’s celebrated smiley-faced cloud installation. Bloom is an entrancing and compelling 360° projection of thousands of brilliantly coloured flowers in perpetual bloom. The Effect, a life-sized hologram of Stuart performing various magic tricks, emphasises the human tendency to believe something that isn’t possible. Omega incorporates a mass of radios in tune to the left-over radiation from the Big Bang – the sound of the beginning and, as the artist believes, the end of time. Finally Jump is a giant bouncing-room, in which Stuart invites visitors to physically suspend themselves over and over again!

Through the diverse creations on display at Suspend Disbelief, Stuart Semple invites us to embrace these artistic illusions. By temporarily shedding our daily inhibitions and anxieties, we are able to reflect on the influence of our superstitions and analyse the nature of deception within a playful and exciting environment.

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selected coverage:

BBC News – In Pictures: Stuart Semple

Preview in Aesthetica Magazine
Jake Orr Review
Hunger Magazine
Design Week
Next Blog
Fad preview

The Independent – Stuart Semple – Frieze week


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