Stephen Appleby-Barr’s paintings juxtapose fantastical and everyday objects, conjuring a dreamlike and romantic world which verges on the uncanny. Drawn to the intricate symbolism and aesthetics of old master painting, his sensitive and masterly use of oil paint creates deeply atmospheric works which transport the viewer into his otherworldly universe.
In a series of new works created in 2020 for Robilant+Voena around the theme of Correspondence, Appleby-Barr’s characters are situated in darkened rooms, illuminated from above by a strong light which catches on the reflective surfaces of glasses and bottles, and the pearls which he has scattered across tables, pedestals and wooden blocks. Inspired by handwriting letters to friends during lockdown, which he would illustrate and fill with stories, each painting creates a narrative, set in the artist’s imagined world.
Directed, shot and edited by Valentin Meneveau