RAZED: SYRIAN RUINS
DRAWINGS / MOSQUE SERIES
Aged 18 Arthur hitchhiked through the Middle East, drawing the ruins of ancient Greek and Roman empires. In the years that have passed since his visit, the images he created have taken on new political, iconoclastic and often tragic meanings. He went on to complete a BA in History of Art at the University of Oxford in 2013, followed by an MA in Fine Art at City & Guilds of London Art School in 2015.
Although his subject - architectural structures and ruins - has largely remained the same since his travels, his depiction of such places has changed both by design and necessity. Arthur finds it a source of intrigue that the razing of classical monuments in the East has had such an effect on us in the Western world - causing an outrage and sadness that belies - even obscures - the political realities that exist around them.
DRAWINGS / CHURCH SERIES
ABOUT / ARTHUR LAIDLAW
Arthur’s exploration of the language of architecture has led him to a focus on classicism in particular, as a means by which Western countries have expressed their imperial ambitions.
The aesthetic of classicism has, unconsciously or not, become the aesthetic of much of the western world, and therefore the destruction of its origins feels somehow personal. Perhaps by looking to historical precedents such as the Greek and Roman empires we can begin to grasp the meaning behind the ruin of these immensely powerful symbols.
Producing his work in layers, each stage partially obscuring the last, Arthur directly references not only the decay and destruction of his subjects but also humankind’s own outdated, crumbling memories and narratives that we attach to our own histories. Arthur’s work examines the gap between lived experience of a place, and the fragile, fading memories attached to a place that are so often subject to the ideologies of politicians, newspapers and countless other self-interested forces.
Arthur currently lives and works in South London.
Razed: Syrian Ruins, gallery@oxo, London
Group Show with Byam Shaw Art, London
MA Fine Art Show, City & Guilds of London Art School, London
Platform by Pintora, Embassy Tea Gallery, London
16/15 Group Show, Muse Gallery, London
Solo Show, Gallery 1401, Tennessee
Oxford Castle Group Show, O3 Gallery, Oxford
ING Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London
Solo Show, Lennox Gallery, London
Three Generations of Artists, Sewell Centre Gallery, Oxford