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Saturnalia Artists


Carl Grauer                    Dianne Mears                    Electra Costa    

Helen Lord                     Julie Impens                    Michael Walls    

Simona Martin                  Surya De Wit                    Gavin Round    

John Gathercole                Pascale Pressicaud              Sophie Wellan

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Carl Grauer


Carl Grauer was born and raised in a very small rural community in the middle of Kansas. He graduated with a B.A. in Human Biology from the University of Kansas and M.F.A. from the University of Michigan. Grauer moved to New York City in 2000 and had been a resident of Brooklyn until 2013 when he moved to London. Throughout this time, Grauer worked as a medical illustrator, portrait artist, creative director, designer and a small business entrepreneur and co-founder of a vintage interior design boutique and gallery. He has managed major interior design projects within the New York Metro area, painted many commissioned portraits as well as curated monthly fine art exhibits. Grauer is currently building upon his business of crafted portraiture, fine art and is continuing with his practice of painting and happiness in London.

"In my painting I explore the construction of identity and the rendering of likeness through portraiture. I look to the practice as a method to connect with an individual, to capture the essence of the subject, and moreover to define one’s place in time. I search for images that evoke strong memories, familial history or events from the past. I search for a link – a connectedness from my past to explain how I have become who I am. As these explorations develop, I find a connection to the “now”. It is important for me to examine the people who pass in and out of my life; some for years, some only days, minutes or even seconds. Whilst thinking about how little time we spend connecting in person, with the prevalence of social media and technology, I prefer to paint people from life with an aim to connect within a selected amount of time. More than a practice in painting from life, it is an exploration of time itself. I explore time observed passing in the now; a temporal study that also contains a narrative. Within all of my work there is a thread that references the human experience in the now; how our connectedness shapes the events of our past, present and future, and how one may chose to participate or withdraw."

For Saturnalia Carl will be exhibiting 'Sweet Justice'

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Dianne Murphy


Widely exhibited, Dianne Murphy is a Scottish born painter/printmaker who now lives and works in Wales. Between exhibiting, illustrating, lecturing and participating in community projects she has now been a functioning artist for almost 30 years. Her work is held in collections around the world

"Images of childhood form my visual language. Initially employed to examine my own former years, it’s become familiar and comfortable. I am mostly etching into steel plate 
but have utilised silkscreen monoprint and litho plate engraving too. Steel plate ink colours are applied in one go for each print made, making them all slightly different. Larger pieces take a day to ink, wipe down and print only one off."

For Saturnalia Dianne will be exhibiting 'Ysbryd y Nadolig'

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Electra Coasta


Electra completed a BA (Hons) Fine Art degree in 2010 as well as a Foundation Course in art and Design in 2007 at Byam Shaw School of Art at Central St Martins. Since graduating Electra has exhibited her work throughout the UK as well as abroad. She has exhibited at the Leyden Gallery in the exhibition ExtraOrdinary Quotidian and has recently been selected for the OPENCUEB 2014 international art competition at cueB Gallery and has also been selected as a finalist for The National Open Art Competition 2014 (NOA.). Electra’s work was displayed at Somerset House, with Antony Gormley and Gavin Turk attending the PV.

"Through my work I Question our romanticized and wholesome views of the past and evoking lost childhood innocents, through the use of found vintage images such as family photographs, B – Moves and fancy dress costumes.I manipulate aspects of my work by using contrasting images, adding color to a mostly black and white work or taking away parts leaving the viewer to fill in the gaps. This ambiguity is intended to unsettle the viewer. I sometimes use humor to create a reaction but it comes from the darkest end of the comic spectrum. The images are both comfortably familiar and deeply unsettling. I explore the idea of nostalgia and the desire for a time that never actually existed."

For Saturnalia Electra will be exhibiting two pieces 'Yetis' & 'Bear Skin'

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Helen Lord


Helen Lord studied Fine Art painting at Kingston University. She was shortlisted for the Serco Illustration prize 2013. Most recent shows include the Salt and Pegram Showroom and Rolling Stock Gallery. 

"My work explores self-invented narratives inspired by folklore, dreams and archetypes, music and literature. I am interested in the way in which the human eye seeks pattern, and anthropomorphizes the unfamiliar."

For Saturnalia Helen will be exhibiting 'Yule' & 'Gift Horse'

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Julie Impens


Since graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2010, as a jewellery designer, Julie Impens has expanded her work to the fine Art scene. She has explored different media, from metal, to paper work, drawings and paintings. Her work has been shown around Europe, Asia, Russia and the USA, with publications in magazines and books, exhibitions from Tokyo, to Kaliningrad, and solo shows in Washington DC, Belgium and London. Her work is her way to express her views on our society. She tries to explore and understand her surroundings through her work by questioning her origins, and trying to interpret her heritage. 

"Christmas Of The Dead is a celebration of the festive spirit but with a quirky twist to it. The pieces represent snowflakes from a distance, but when you look closely into them you would discover the world of the dead celebrating the holly spirit of Christmas. Christmas is a time of the year, when people think of the ones whom are missed. But as for the Day of the Dead in Mexico, there is no drama, or tears in that reminiscence. It is purely a way to remember the ones you have loved. 
Christmas Of The Dead is a form of memento mori, a symbolic reminder of the inevitability of death."

For Saturnalia Julie will be exhibiting three works 'Holy Spirit In The Other World', 'Ankou's Sleigh' & 'A Season For Love'

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Michael Walls


"My piece is from the series Child's Play constructing images which play with the boundaries of photographic representation. Merging a childhood play time with a surreal depiction- using army toys to create uncanny conceptual representations to the alternative view to Christmas. I want to highlight how the social or political issues surrounds Christmas, becomes not just about the bright colorful lights, but instead the culture of the times we are living in today including war, or more recently, the terrorist outbreak in the middle east. The aesthetic of the holiday season being overshadowed with images of terror and conflict." 

For Saturnalia Michael will be exhibiting 'Stop The Cavalry'

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Simona Martin


Simona Martin has a degree in illustration and also studied Fine Art for two years . She works part time doing graphics and illustration and the rest of the time she pursues the issues and statements implicit in her work 

"My work references Lithuanian folk tales I read as a child and is now informed by my own experiences of living in England and the cultural and social landscape I encounters. My paintings also reference other artists like Klee , Dali and Chagall and delve into the minds and souls of the characters who inhabit my work . My art deals with the vulnerability and strengths of being female in a male dominated society."

For Saturnalia Simona will be exhibiting "The Geese Are Getting Fat"

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Surya De Wit


Surya de Wit graduated with a bachelor in fine arts and a minor in film from ArtEZ academy (Arnhem, the Netherlands).
Surya mostly works with traditional painting and drawing techniques, but in addition she incorporates an inexhaustible amount of unconventional materials to add structure and make the painting more tangible. In 2012 and 2013 Surya spent time in Cochabamba with sustainable Bolivia, working as the artist in resident, next to working with a number of volunteer organizations and cultural initiatives, she also let the bolivian culture inspire and influence her work. She has a long standing admiration for the textile world which grew even stronger in Bolivia.

"I have always been captivated by the methods in which people across history have celebrated the things important to their lives such as nature, the life process and the cycles of the weather. This often involves creating costumes out of items immediately available and spiritually significant to them and the ritual they are performing. Large religions such as Catholicism have largely reduced these pagan rituals and the developments of modern society has separated us even further from nature and made these images to be something of an abstract concept to us. Inspired by this, I am currently working on a series of mixed media paintings, which depict a variety of people from around the world adorned in costumes traditional to their beliefs. I read about this exhibition and with the subject already fascinating me I believed it fitted perfectly around the aesthetic I am currently exploring."

For Saturnalia Surya will be exhibiting 'Floral Disease'

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Gavin Round


Following the completion of a degree in Fine Art in 2001, where he specialised in audio / video installation, Gavin Round has worked in the film industry for over 10 years in various capacities. 

For Saturnalia Gavin will be exhibiting 'Ho ho no!' a digital collage also used for the Saturnalia show poster.

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John Gathercole


Gathercole's work covers a wide variety of genres and media. Predominate features of his work are that of the figure, celebrity and the use of oil on canvas. Much of his work encompasses humour; mostly old fashioned British, double entre humour and linguistic word play. Occasionally seen as ‘shocking’, they cover certain historic and contemporary taboo subjects too.

"I have worked as an artist all my life. It wasn’t until I started deriding the art world with my work in the Kuntists art movement that I gained recognition. Since then I have shown and sold worldwide including Tate Britain and Modern. This has also led me to develop a commercial range of celebrity puppets, Celebriarty Glovvies, glove puppets."

For Saturnalia John will be exhibiting 'Saturnalia Night Fervor'

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Pascale Pressicaud


In the beginning there was nothing… then surfaced some ancient film rushes, legacy from Snuff Productions. After careful excavation, meticulous dusting and skillful restoration to reclaim their atemporal references to the craft of Hieronymus Bosch, oriental and Russian iconography as well as primal tagging techniques in vogue today again, they safely joined Pascale’s private and secret vault to be stored well away from virtuous and impressionable souls. Yes it would be depraved and obscene a few days away from Christmas to broadcast the torture and agony animals are subjected to just before they reach our plates.

"When Sweet’Art launched their latest call for entries themed “Saturnalia”, I immediately pictured mentally Paul McCarthy’s Christmas Tree on Place Vendôme in Paris this October. Since I’m a bit of a chicken and tend to avoid any kind of physical confrontation, I choose not to present a piece of my collection that could, regrettably, be confused with an anal plug and so be reduced to a pulp like McCarthy after a vicious attack. "

For Saturnalia Pascale will be showing 'In the beginning there was nothing'

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Sophie Wellan


Feminine and fragile, the work of Sophie Wellan invites the viewer to enter her intimate universe through the decoding of a complex web of symbols and signs. Sophie expresses in highly dramatic, and often ephemeral, gestures an anxiety in which the viewer ends up inevitably recognizing himself. In that sense Sophie extends the representation of her private world, to a universal dimension, revealing a collective existential angst.

"In my work I seek to deal with the metaphysical, working instinctively and constantly trying to marry the spiritual and the physical in an attempt to produce work which possesses a deeper truth and a dynamic tension. My work contains ideas of ritual, power, transformation and the remarkable connection between all things."

For Saturnalia Sophie will be exhibiting 'In The Bleak Midwinter' 

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