C&C Gallery

18 London Road, Forest Hill, London SE23 3HF, U.K.

info@remove.me @ccgallery.co.uk





In a time of great turmoil, confusion, ‘genderless-ness’. political upheaval, re-awakenings, survival and climate death; where concepts of everything, our existence, our mortality, our natural world, our beliefs, our survival are being questioned, exploded, imploded and uncertain.

Two artists question how we come to be ‘me’ or ‘us’, what it is to be ‘you’ or ‘yours’ and why we take on this impossible search in a multifaceted unravelling world order.

Through his ‘historical paintings’ Zavier Ellis explores the notions of revolution and entropy, the interstice between political or nationalised factions, the drawing and breakdown of a fluid and changeable line between two sets of supposedly different people with different ideologies and the often violent reactions or revolutions born out of opposing group identities vying for power or status.

Mona Osman grapples with the internal human ambition to find an absolute understanding of one’s self, a process often filled with anguish and pain. In contrast to Zavier’s urban ‘external’ battle grounds, Mona’s engagements will often take place within ones own closer community, with friends, families, work colleagues or even the violence inflicted on ones self through internal conflict with different aspects of ones own psyche. Through this disjointed ‘harmony’, she comes to the realisation of the impossibility of her search and so an endless chaotic desire or competition for visibility ensues.

Both artists encounter this conflict; one from an internal, dare I say ‘feminine’ viewpoint and the other from the more ‘masculine’ external point of view. The viewer is invited to join in the process of entanglement, the battle for visibility and status, a de-coding or de-conditioning of ideologies of the self and the ego, a process which operates both intrinsically inside and outside the realms of time and space.

Zavier by the use of layering one symbol, code, colour or pattern which obscure the other, where one
element may appear and dissappear in any moment through the opaqueness reminiscent of ‘weathered or graffittied urban surfaces’. His painting process involves the application, removal and destruction of symbolic imagery cutting through and literally ‘unpacking’ historical memory, without replacing or reconstruction we are left with either a representation of nothingness or a cluster of meaningless leftovers. An admiral thing to attempt to paint.

Mona swarms the canvas’ surface with intermingling figures or aspects of self lost within patterns, broad oily brushstrokes, collage, drawings and elements from elsewhere, they also appear and disappear depending on the angle or the length of time you study. Her distorted figures fight for breath against the cheek, the buttock or the chin of the identity next to them, questioning the relational dynamics between them and it is again in these interstices of this conflict you find the impossibility of the search for the ‘true’ self.

Historians may find many symbols and references to specific events and factions of societies and
movements within Zavier’s works as will philosophers find in Mona’s, however for the historical or
philosophical layman both artists work penetrates the unconscious mind, playing with what was learnt, what was known, what was inherited and what dissolves throughout the osmosis of one’s life.
Iconoclasm is a purposeful destruction, reconstruction or reclaiming of symbols and icons to overthrow or reclaim an ideology or to gain power, Zavier’s paintings clearly speak of and use this process to unravel, whereas Mona’s speak from and react to this process, both successfully demonstrating the futility but ravenous unsatisfied desire to find a single lasting place be.

Mona Osman was born in 1992 in Budapest, Hungary, and currently lives and works in London. She spent her childhood in Budapest, France and the UK. She graduated in 2014, with a BA Fine Art from Goldsmiths University of London after being awarded the Neville Burston Painter’s award and the Goldsmiths Warden’s Purchase Award. She Graduated with her MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art in 2017. Her work is included in many private collections notably Jimenez-Colon, Saatchi, C&C Gallery, Maramotti, Levison.

Using a mixture of oil, liquid latex, collage, paper, ink and mixed media on canvas, Osman juxtaposes heavy brush strokes and intense colours with the melancholic calmness of the figures within. However you read Osman’s work whether seduced by the aesthetic beauty of her rich palette or the depiction of conflicted pain, they remain tirelessly fascinating. Just when you think your eye has settled and is ready to move on, something small jumps out to bite you from the side lines and you are compelled to start all over. As with the nature of relationship to our emotions and with each other, we seek to understand and sometimes reconcile yet we perpetually fail to conclude, the continuous grappling with this journey is where the success lies in the fascinating and compelling works of art of Mona Osman.

‘Whether it is the quiet before or after the storm, my paintings often explore the different stages of an emotional outburst, the moment when anger has dissipated but the damage of the rage has been done, or the tension of holding back under intense pressure. I seek to demonstrate the struggle to identify or anchor oneself in relation to others, their personas, their anxieties, their feelings or their ways of being, through this investigation I perpetually learn and encounter self in relationship to existence, a search for self in the larger context of the universe’.
— Osman 2017

Zavier Ellis combines the use of text with painterly, collage, assemblage and photographic techniques. Language is deployed to obfuscate and open new possibilities and meanings. Street signs, historical graffiti, literature and coded language are referenced by etching, collaging or painting.

Narrative is implied and the audience is invited into a confused dialogue with artist and artwork where the broken, derelict, incomplete and mistaken are embraced. Combined with intense and layered application of traditional materials, industrial house paints, drawings, collage, preparatory material, recycled studio detritus or found materials, a dynamic is created which oscillates between the cerebral and physical; conscious and unconscious; chaotic and organised; premeditated and instinctive. Content draws on various intellectual interests, either fleeting or ongoing, including historical events; revolutionary politics; nationalism; art history; myth & magic; religion; and insanity.

Each series involves intensive research that informs the choice of collage elements, colour codes, measurements and text, which serves to create an internal and personalised symbolism, and
a meditation on historical events and belief systems. Fundamentally, the work can be considered as
Historical Paintings.

Zavier read History of Modern Art at Manchester University before undertaking a Masters in Fine Art at City & Guilds of London Art School. He lived and worked in London from 1998 before moving to Windsor in 2015. Zavier has exhibited globally alongside contemporary and 20th century luminaries including Peter Blake, Marcus Harvey, Damien Hirst, Julian Opie, Robert Rauschenberg, Neal Tait, Antoni T.pies, Mark Titchner and Mark Wallinger. He has exhibited globally including Museum der Moderne, Salzburg; Saatchi Gallery, London; Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles; Klaipėda Culture Communication Centre, Klaipėda; Royal West Academy, Bristol; Dean Clough, Halifax; Paul Stolper, London; Galerie Heike Strelow, Frankfurt; Raid Projects, Los Angeles; and ENIA Gallery, Pireas. His work is featured in prominent private collections including the seminal Sammlung Annette und Peter Nobel, Zurich. Zavier is also a high-profile gallerist, curator and publisher.

Zavier Ellis
Black Terror
2019, Oil, oil bar, acrylic, house paint, spray paint, pencil, collage on birch plywood, 165 x 120 cm.
Zavier Ellis
Omnia Sunt Communia II
2020, Oil, oil bar, acrylic, spray paint, pencil drawing, collage, masking tape on canvas, 30 x 24 cm.
Zavier Ellis
Revolt Repeat 3 (Red)
2020, Oil, oil bar, acrylic, spray paint, collage on canvas, 30 x 24 cm.
Zavier Ellis
Revolt Repeat 4 (Blue)
2020, Oil, oil bar, acrylic, spray paint, collage on canvas, 30 x 24 cm.
Zavier Ellis
Revolt Repeat 7 (White)
2020, Oil, oil bar, acrylic, spray paint, collage on canvas, 30 x 24 cm.
Mona Osman
The Kind Who’s Not That Kind
2019, Oil on canvas, 152 x 122 cm.
Mona Osman
Weight of Your Tower
2019, Oil on canvas with collaged paper, 152 x 122 cm.
Mona Osman
If You Judge Too Much, You Will End Up Displeasing Yourself the Most
2019, Oil on canvas, 152 x 122 cm.
Mona Osman
Bodies of Crooked Hands and Chapped Lips 3
2020, Oil and collaged drawing on paper on canvas, 33 x 33 cm.
Mona Osman
Bodies of Crooked Hands and Chapped Lips 4
2020, Oil, pen, gold leaf, wood, and collaged paper on canvas on board, 22 x 22 cm.