Adam Popli on his exhibition 'Adam's Eden' presented by The Earth Issue
written by Leah Abraham
Photography by Elena Cremona
In the throes of our contemporary, image heavy lives, we are routinely subjected to visual clutter. Our sense faculties become fast saturated with so much information, so much so that it is easy to get distracted, distanced, and detached from the natural world. The Earth Issue, comprising a collective of artists and creative professionals seek to restore a reverence of nature through visual forms, bringing attention to its exponential fragility. The release of their inaugural print publication The Earth Issue descended onto the public back in January. Now the collective are back with a marvellous series of solo shows, individually showcasing an artist and their catalogue of works, employing both traditional and contemporary mediums to explore the intersection between Art and the Environment.
Second up in our series is THE EARTH ISSUE’S very own collective member Adam Popli, who will be presenting unpublished work in a series entitled ‘Adam’s Eden’. Adam will be showcasing a selection of transcendental, immersive paintings at the Tea Leaf Gallery this Thursday 6th April for a private viewing. The self-titled “New age” artist describes his artistic practice as multifarious and subversive. Adam embraces the term “New Age” in virtue of being multi-medium, and multi-dimensional. “New age evokes a sense of discovery, and of new ways of experiencing art.” “I think it's quite an interesting way of doing, and making the art”. Adam’s work teeters across traditional artistic forms and technological/digital formats. Studying a contemporary degree in Digital Media Production at Bournemouth, provided Adam the vantage point to explore a broader range of medium. “It really opened my eyes to other mediums in which to experiment with, and that I hadn’t previously knew were possible”. Adam’s artistic practise is both investigative and progressive; looking at ways of “challenging the notion of different mediums, to bring them together, “a conceptual way to challenge people's thinking”. Adams past work has delved into projection mapping, immersive installation for festivals, sculpture upcycling, and interpretive performance. He’s traversed between 2D and 3D art forms and devised club concepts. By working in this manner, Adam hopes that we can begin to envision new ways of thinking about, and understanding artistic practice.
Deviating from a previous performance focus, Adam’s Eden will consist of 13 large paintings, and 3 hand drawings. Adam’s Eden seeks to capture it audience; immerse them in sublime beauty of natural forms. Adam contextualises a conscious, detail-orientated relation to nature’s landscape; patterns, psychedelia, colour, and the presentness of artistic interpretation within it. Separating thematically into two bodies; the first body of work is derived from the natural landscape, with Adam honing in on the minute, technicolour details. “I express nature in my paintings through, an abstract form, taken through patterns”. Adam blends patterns found in natural objects and projects them through his imagination, realising new shapes and perspectives on canvas. “Nature gives me a sense of purpose, it opens my mind to the complexities of life on Planet Earth”. “I aim to translate this love for Mother Nature through my work”. The second body will consist of work inspired by his spiritual closeness with the transcendental deity “Lanesia”, of whom Adam met in dream states. Adam considers Lanesia to be the personification of Mother Nature, and his guardian angel. “Shes a higher self to me.” Delving into ideas and notions of Eden, Adam illuminates his vision of Eden, which resembles a state of Utopia. “I visualise Eden to be “otherworldly place”, “where the veins of Mother Earth and Nature form a total oneness, and where all ties to earthly desires are diminished”.
Forming the second solo show of the artist's career, Adam envisions the solo exhibition will provide an “insight into how I’ve developed as a 24 year old artist’. The body of work spans across a period of creative incubation; “a time period of deep contemplation, emotionally, creatively and spiritually“. Adam’s work forms a lucid narrative approach, looking at ways to communicate and “highlight the beauty” to restore value in the natural world that support and nurtures us. “This show emulates a journey of discovery, stepping into deeper layers of my consciousness, bringing my audience into an existential experience of my mind.”
“This show emulates a journey of discovery, stepping into deeper layers of my consciousness, bringing my audience into an existential experience of my mind.”
On his creative journey
Adam: There was an exhibition that I will never forget called “Walking in my mind” at the Hayward Gallery. The collection of artists had built installations around the process of what they envision goes on in their head. I was like “wow”, you can create immersive environments in which you can totally free someone’s mind to just be in that moment. I hadn't really experienced art on such an immersive level where you could walk in, and around the art. That was the start of me thinking about Art in a totally different way. It transcended me into new of thinking, especially when it came to creating visual spaces.
On his Art career
Adam: It's been very sporadic, lots of different things have happened. I travelled quite a bit. After I graduated I pretty much took a year away from creating. Something wasn’t there, and I had to find new inspiration, and actually start to understand myself before I could go back to it. Now, coming back to it, my performance in Scotland, (entitled Adam) marked the stage of the next development. It's all coming from the process of me really trying to understand myself.
On using Nature as a source of inspiration
Adam: I source a lot of my patterns and inspiration from the landscape. Through coral reefs, networks within the leaves, the way trees branch up into the sky, the interconnectivity of everything. If you look at all the patterns I draw, they are all very interconnected and flow into one another, and they show a sense of cycle, and rebirth. I’m quite obsessed with circles, and I look at distorting that shape even further to create new shapes. I also think colour can do so much to people's minds.
On the beauty of Nature
Adam: If you just photograph the landscape, take the picture well, look at the composition understand the medium of photography and how it can be really powerful, there are just such simple ways of highlighting the total majestic feel of the planet we live on, through visual ways of communicating.
On the using art to offer new perspectives and combat change
Adam: If an art form can give you different way of understanding a topic. It goes one step deeper, I think that kind of inspires me to do what I do. Most people hear about climate change through the media, and everyone’s so desensitised to the topic now. We need to realise the importance of how various forms of art, can give people a new ways to consider a topic. The way in which it is expressed through a visual form, provides a format to really relate to it. Using my creative outlet, I’m hoping to draw attention to the topic of climate change, but am also giving people the opportunity to experience the sublime world of Mother Nature through the medium of visual art. Until you see something visual, it’s difficult to understand the severity of the situation, visual art can provide that different meaning.
‘Adam’s Eden’ opens this Thursday, 6:30pm at Tea Leaf London.
The solo exhibition will be open to the public on April 7th, and will be on show until May 20th.