Nicholas Deshayes finds painterliness in the manmade, and his works hover somewhere between two different kinds of making: the organically gestural and the industrially produced. His works operate in what he calls “the threshold between liquid and solid”, and the contrasts in his work – roiled against levelled surfaces, the heat of production against cool of presentation – are a way of examining the relationship of humanity to the materials with which it surrounds itself. The title of Soho Fats, a series of five white panels mounted on floor-to-ceiling handrails, refers to the congealed human fats found in central London sewers; by using polystyrene, a non-biodegradable plastic familiar from packaging, Deshayes draws parallels between the human subject and its residual traces. Cutting into the surface with a hot wire cutter, Deshayes evokes both the bodily remainder and rippling water of the hidden core of the city. Deshayes’ interest in plastics is a reminder of both their human usage and human associations; their carbonic origins are our own.

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