Press Release: PSYCOLOURGY 2.0

Psycolourgy 2.0 at Rhodes Contemporary Art

Rhodes Contemporary Art is thrilled to host Nick Smith’s new solo show ‘Psycolourgy 2.0’ at our pop-up gallery space, 15 Bateman Street, Soho. Having hosted 7 exhibitions with Nick Smith, this new collection promises to continue on the reputation Nick has made for himself; one of humour, intellect and first and foremost, colour. Revisiting his ‘Psycolourgy’ series, this body of work further explores word colour. association. From early days as a designer, Nick collected colour swatches. Playing with them on his desk, creating different shapes, images and tessellation’s, he explained that word colour associations were a natural progression from there.

His interest in words has progressed since then, building up what he describes as a collection of interesting, curious or captivating words and vocabulary which he uses in his work. Anything from ‘Glisk’ to ’Obelisk’, these words may seem random, but have in fact been carefully curated over years of collecting, research and endless revising of lists. The next stage is the selection of colour. Mixing each of the inks by hand, the real art is knowing where to stop; when you have got it just right.

Word colour associations are personal by their very nature. You might have a very different reaction to the word ‘Sick’ then someone else. Nick, here, invites us into his world of word colour association; how he personally interprets each of his collected words. What we see here is a conversation between the words and the colours. How does the choice of colour change the way you see the word and vice-versa?

The end result is a collection of slick, bright works which play off traditional colour swatch branding. The collection of large individually hand printed colour blocks with associated black text range from luminous neons, through to glittering 23.5 karat gold leaf. Nick is utilising a familiar visual language as a vehicle for the exploration of colour and words and our subjective interpretations of the two and their subsequent interplay when linked in this way.

‘Psycolourgy 2.0’ not only showcases Nick’s original works, he also invites the
viewer to take part. Extending on his ‘Instagram Psycolourgy’ project in which he
invited participants to send him a single colour and a word they associated with it
via Instagram DM, Nick has created a series of works to encourage audience/viewer participation.

“I reached out to 550 people in my Instagram DM’s. The result was an entirely
abstract work assembled chronologically, left to right in 19 rows of 29. Many of the entries came to me with personal stories, some of which were extraordinarily
poignant. It ended up becoming far more than I had anticipated… bringing people
together in a time of isolation and division, quite emotional at times. I found the
process particularly fascinating, as I had no idea how it was going to end up
looking; I was merely the facilitator, offering a platform to you, the creators.”

– Nick Smith, 2021

There is something quite poignant about the final result, a 100 x 100cm original
artwork which is the bringing together of 500 individual thoughts and memories.
Given the past couple of years where many of us have been isolated, away from
crowds and any kind of collective experience, Nick found a way to bring this feeling of togetherness back.

The original colour swatch collage of this work will be on view as part of this new exhibition. Developing on this idea of audience engagement, ‘Psycolourgy 2.0’ will feature several eArtworks; digital screens and keyboards, with a simple request for the viewer to type in a word, anything which comes to mind, and a colour will automatically appear on the screen to pair with the word. Nick is curious to see what people come up with; will the setting of the gallery and his own artworks influence words people think of? Will they be as personal as those DMs which came out of lockdown? At the close of the show, Nick will collate this data to create a new abstract collage of words and colours.

Rhodes Contemporary Art and Nick Smith invite you to join us for the opening of
‘Psycolourgy 2.0’ on Thursday 2nd December 2021 from 6pm at 15 Bateman Street, Soho. The show will continue until Tuesday 7th December.