Paint Live for Wandsworth Arts Fringe

Four image details of paintings by Robin Smith

Artists Robin Smith, Thompson Hall and Richard Phoenix shared their practices in a live painting event at Battersea Arts Centre


14 – 15 June
The Recreation Room, Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, London SW11 5TN

ActionSpace artist Robin Smith presented Paint Live, an exhibition and live painting event with guest painters Thompson Hall and Richard Phoenix for Wandsworth Arts Fringe.

The three artists showcased recent artwork within a site-specific installation and painted live in the space for the public to visit and observe how each painting unfolded over the day. Paint Live provided a unique insight into the distinct individual painting processes of the three artists working in a shared space for the first time.

Paint Live is an extension of a live painting concept that emerged during the pandemic between Robin Smith and Richard Phoenix. Working online, the artists painted side by side to support one another as painters, leading to the live event Parallel at Studio Voltaire in 2022. Paint Live extended the experience of painting live by inviting a third artist, Thompson Hall, for the artists to paint live together.

Sharing their practices over Zoom, the artists also invited learning disability groups and schools from across London to join in and paint alongside them.

The installation with artworks created during Paint Live and a film of the event then opened for viewing on Thursday 15th June.

About the artists

Robin Smith
Robin creates abstract, reimagined painted portraits of female figures in single and multiple figure compositions. Through intuitive geometric and organic forms Robin uses shape and colour to blur the boarders between the subject and background. Robin combines acrylic, emulsion, and ink with soft pastels to build intense, richly coloured layers. The stylised, full-face portraits saturated with vivid colour are both individually fascinating and mesmerising as an assembled group. Recent exhibitions include Open House, Studio Voltaire (2022), Watch This…, Cockpit Winter Open Studios (2022), Parallel, live painting event, Studio Voltaire (2022).

Thompson Hall
Thompson Hall’s drawings and large-scale acrylic paintings comment on racism, inequality, social change, marginalisation, and the impact of Covid, lockdowns and the economic crisis on individuals in our society. Thompson’s use of colour has been described as spontaneous. He uses his palette to express the feelings and emotions he wants to create. He uses recognisable symbols to visually reference the subjects he has chosen to look at. The artworks are like news images in a “more abstract” than true-to-life way. Thompson says, “We live by rules and regulations that say you can’t do this and you can’t do that. In my paintings I am trying to tell people how this makes me feel”.

Recent exhibitions include: Held in Hope, Imperial Health Charity (2023), Inequality, Marginalisation and Social Change, Digital Billboards, Olds Street (2022) and a three-month residency as the first Artist-in-residence at Autograph (2022).

Richard Phoenix
Richard Phoenix is an artist working in London and the South East whose practice involves painting, drawing, writing, music and learning about how these things support people to be together.

Recent projects include solo exhibitions at Flatland Projects and Colden’s Gallery, facilitating projects and giving talks at South London Gallery, Cubitt Gallery, Towner Gallery, Studio Voltaire, London College of Communication and Goldsmiths. He was an artist-in-residence within Tate’s Schools and Teachers department, was part of the Conditions Studio Programme in Croydon and published the pamphlet D.I.Y. as Privilege: A Manifesto with Rough Trade Books in 2020.

This project was supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation.


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