This Was Then, This is Now is a new solo exhibition by British artist and photographer Gavin Mitchell. Gavin graduated with a BA(Hons) in Fine Arts and has since established a successful practice as a photographer, collagist and printmaker, creating images that have resonated with art collectors around the world.
Gavin's work is often associated with Pop Art, in particular his iconic Geisha Girl artworks which juxtapose Eastern and Western cultures. His unique take on pop art involves photographing vintage Japanese postcards from the early 20th Century which he then enlarges digitally. In the resulting images, the faded hand-painted watercolours from that Japanese visual culture, are made bolder and brighter by merging them with modern-day Western elements. Through this process, Gavin explores this 'clash of cultures' with the beauty of an Eastern tradition being juxtaposed with Western modern-day objects.
Gavin's work is often inspired and influenced by what he comes across in car boot sales where he finds these Japanese postcards along with these vintage playboy magazines which have also featured in many of his iconic prints. It is the re-working of these two vintage found objects together that marked the beginning of the “East meets West” concept and body of work.
‘My own photography or ‘found’ material provide me with the origins from which my artwork is created. I am always striving to find ways of adding another visual ‘layer’ to the inherently two-dimensional nature of my source.’