The Unconscious Therapy is an exhibition from LUAP, the Pink Bear artist. Taking place over three floors the venue in Bond Street features a wide selection of work from the artist. Large scale paintings, photography, screen printing and sculpture all get an outing. Evidence of the broad range of mediums in which LUAP prefers to work.
LUAP is the artist name of Paul Robinson. An artist from Grimsby who has long been based in East London. The Pink Bear is his muse. Developed over the past 11 years it began as a positive memory discovered and held onto through cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Featuring in his work ever since the bear has been a constant. Evolving as the artist too has grown. LUAP uses the bear as a means of both continuing his own journey with his mental health and of exploring concepts important to him.
Sense of Light
“I was kind of in this dark hole that’s kind of how I describe my feeling at the time” explains LUAP. “I was looking for a sense of light and optimism and the pink bear was an old memory from a photo when I was a little boy. I was painting all these trees and kind of quite lonely looking scenes and I wanted to inject something happy and playful into these landscapes and the pink bear grew out of that”.
From first acting as a kind of “protection or comfort zone” the bear today has grown and branched out. It’s similar LUAP says to how he too has done that following the CBT therapy. Still generally a lone figure he is albeit one who is more willing to interact with the world around him.
LUAP’s work in the Unconscious Therapy provides a preview into his process. Always starting from a photograph he will go to great lengths to take the perfect picture. He has travelled the world and to some extreme places with the Pink Bear just to turn an idea into an image. From then something may turn into a painting. His bank of images providing the perfect material to work with.
Each painting can take months to produce. The backgrounds alone will work through many different iterations. Adding layer upon layer he will paint and sand back just to get the right texture. He likens it to a kind of an artificial decay. Pristine when he gets the canvas he builds prior to adding patterns such as wallpaper. Images which again have resonance from his childhood. “They’ve become like found objects or surfaces you’d find on the street” he says.
As for the title, it just made sense says LUAP when asked about the Unconscious Therapy. “It’s about the things we do in our life that make us feel happy, the unconscious things”. Buying flowers to brighten our home, taking 5 minutes away from the desk to reflect, looking into a fire and day dreaming. It’s all unconscious therapy.
From a symbolic point of view it made sense too with much of his work around dream states. “Our mind presents us with personalised films overnight using the information from our waking lives” he says. “It’s then presented back to us as sometimes abstract and literal ideas to help us make sense of the world. The title seemed to make sense on so many levels”.
The Unconscious Therapy is an exhibition by LUAP at 95 Bond Street in London. It runs from 13 October 2021 and during Frieze week. You can learn more about the work of LUAP by taking a look at his website and instagram.
Unconscious Therapy Gallery
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