Meetings of Colour

Manon Steyaert, JURIT and Chica Seal

“Meetings of Colour” is a dynamic group exhibition exploring the power of colour through the works of Manon Steyaert, JURIT, and Chica Seal. These artists share a colour palette, yet their works diverge significantly in abstraction, forms, and figuration, creating a diverse visual experience. From Steyaert’s vibrant abstractions and JURIT’s structured compositions to Chica Seal’s explorations of figuration, the exhibition showcases the role of colour as both a unifying and diversifying element in art.

Artists statements

Manon Steyaert / b. 1996 (Belgium, nationality French)
Lives and works in London, England

Manon Steyaert (b.1996) is a French-British artist based in London. Steyaert’s practice is situated between the two worlds of painting and sculpture, able to create both wall-based works and free-standing abstract sculptures. With a strong background in fashion as well as art, the artist pays homage to both traditional and non-traditional mediums throughout her practice. Focusing mainly on the aesthetic quality of silicone, Steyaert also utilises canvas, scrim, wood and metal, consequently drawing on the visual language of both architecture and painting.

Allowing herself to be led by the intrinsic qualities of her materials, Steyaert’s creative process is intuitive and process-driven. Silicone as a medium is one that requires time, attention, and immense control. Hand-pouring each sheet of silicone, the curing process alone can take days, and the finished form is as delicate as it is physical. In many of Steyaert’s works, the silicone is treated like fabric: draped and folded across its structural support, creating beautiful compositions that challenge our perception of what it is that makes a painting or a sculpture. As a result, movement, abstraction and action are core to Steyaert’s work. Her abstracted forms sit in limbo between two accepted modes of art, generating a unique space for curiosity and development.

Colour and form work together closely within Steyaert’s work, guiding the viewer’s eye along the undulations of her chosen material. Making use of a wide variety of colours, often melding them together to create near-psychedelic patterns across the surface of the silicone, Steyaert’s work is simultaneously simple and meditative. In recent works, Steyaert has made us of metallic pigments, which flash and glare as the silicone is manipulated across the stretchers, interrupting the viewer’s gaze and drawing further attention to the uniqueness of both the colours used and material surface itself.

The importance of materiality of Steyaert’s practice is undeniable. Alternative perspectives, interpretations and viewpoints are continually encouraged within the artists’ ever-evolving practice. Unable to be defined within ‘traditional’ boundaries of painting or sculpture, her work embodies the transgressive nature of conceptual and contemporary artistic practice.

Manon Steyaert received her graduate degree from Central St. Martins, MAF in Fine Art from Chelsea college of Arts in 2019. Recent Exhibition include: Entre Art Fair with Annika Nuttall Gallery (Copenhagen, Denmark, 2022), Material World at Liliya Gallery (London, UK, 2022), Point de Vue at Blender Gallery (Athens, Greece, 2021), Realities at Artistellar Gallery (London, UK, 2021), Noticing Colour at Annika Nuttall Gallery (Copenhagen, Denmark, 2021), Hétérotopie at Bubble n’ Squeak Gallery (Brussels, Belgium 2021).


JURIT / b. 1978 (Germany)
Lives and works in Leipzig, Germany

JURIT’s works often start with an aesthetic fascination for specific paintings and sketches of the
renaissance or baroque times. A first fast sketch on canvas develops into a steady transformation of
the painting as the process goes on, so one thing that is “fascinating about these works (and what
the viewer will never know), is how many iterations are layered underneath their final form” (Saša
Bogojev). During the process JURIT changes the “aggregate state” of the original works and brings
them into a “different dimension”, in which “everything flows into one another; each element
appears connected to others, touches, merges, is intertwined. It’s a big hug” (Wolfgang Ullrich).
In the series of entanglamentos, for example, JURIT begins with sketches of works by Rubens,
Caravaggio, Raphael, and Titian, which in themselves are connected by topic, composition, and color.
Then he starts playing with the composition which leads to a kind of reduction or dramatization of
some basic elements in the originals. This is accompanied by the color game, building up the body of
paint layer by layer until a certain intensity is reached. And then there is his improvisation on the
symbolic content, on the figures and their relation to each other. Here, too, JURIT tries to reach a
certain equilibrium of complexity and simplicity which brings the cognitive and emotional aspects to
oscillate in strange and interesting ways.


Chica Seal / b.1991 (Lisbon, Portugal)
Lives and works in Somerset, UK.

In my work, there is always a moment of intrigue, whereby stories from the past, contemporary culture or words from a song form the catalyst which then leads into my preliminary practice. This is the foundation from which my visual language and representational motifs arise. The title to a work always comes first, setting a deliberate intention before the painting process begins.

Working in thematic series of drawing, watercolour and painting – I experiment with surface to achieve watery finishes, preserving the fluidity of the original thought.

Narrative is an important part of my process; On moving to the countryside in 2020, I was struck by the everyday interaction with birds. During this time I had my first experience of grief, the symbol of the winged heart became very important and a source of intrigue which led to researching the evolution of the actual commercial shape, which is thought to originate from a type of seed from an extinct Ancient Greek plant called Silphium, it was similar to Fennel. The seeds were used as a contraceptive and many other health properties; they created a coin for this herb with the seed heart shape.

Literature is another important facet, Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Nightingale & the Rose’, is a visually compelling short story, which created the poignant image of a bird and a heart becoming one thing in an act of sacrifice, led to a symbolic image of this bird/heart.

During this time, I heard the song ‘Little Weaver Bird’ by Molly Drake which deeply resonated, encapsulating the sentiments of domesticity in a rural setting, alongside this emergence of birds I have been looking into the association between birds and women, drawing parallels to fertility and the colloquial language used throughout history.

The figures I represent tend to be female, and whilst I don’t paint from life, I have always looked to the compositions and techniques from art history – this has also led me to react to the misrepresentation of women in art, I hope to re examine the way women have been portrayed and use my perspective of female forms to reclaim that space.

Influenced by Naomi Wolf’s ‘The Beauty Myth,’ my fascination with the beauty industry, amplified by social media, serves as a critical lens. Youtube’s beauty tutorials, both contemporary and from the 1930s, provide visual studies and inspiration, highlighting the enduring pressures and ideals pressed onto us.

Mirrors, bedrooms, and women form another thematic strand, ‘The Unicorn’ by Iris Murdoch, inspired a dated and surreal imagery of the beautiful protagonist trapped in her bedroom, in an isolated caste-linking to the allegorical tale of Narcissus.

I often set figurative paintings in bedrooms, which explore my personal insecurities, navigating the complexities of self-perception within my skin and the external world. The intersection of bird symbolism, rural living, and feminist critique shapes my artistic narrative, unraveling layers of the meaning within each composition.

I work on canvas and board, often working over old works, in order to do this I make a very thick gesso which creates an absorbent, sculptural surface. This paper-like finish encourages a fluid way of applying water based paint and enables the reuse of domestic objects, canvases and boards.

From studio debris, small models and collages are made which correlate to the characters in my work. Lately, this has developed into creating terracotta sculptures – which will work alongside the paintings.