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Harry Hugo Little

Harry Hugo Little, 27, has, in many ways, spent the last three and a half years building up to his first ever solo show. Entitled Don’t Leave, the works from the London-based artist mark a period of personal catharsis, after contending with the emotionally wrenching time of creating pieces that helped him cope with, and come to terms with, the death of his brother.

Before, Little’s work was inspired by how his late brother had described the mental health struggles that he was dealing with – as if they were “spiders on his brain”. But working tirelessly to create hard-hitting and deeply personal paintings took its toll, and Little had to leave London to stay with his mum. It was there that the seed for Don’t Leave was planted.

The exhibition, curated by Brooke Wilson, is built upon Little’s newfound love of poetry. “Working with linguistics via poetry and painting, Little’s practice is in a constant state of flux; where both mediums inform one another,” the show’s press release states. “Written whilst walking the woods nearby his childhood home, this exhibition not only uses a direct sentence from his poem ‘A Lonesome Walk’, but also looks at nature to provide the framework for Little’s earthy colour palette: brown, for the earth’s soil, red, for the body’s flesh, green, for the cultivation of growth, and blue, for the unknown afterlife.”

Words taken from his poem are painted in a gothic style on wooden boards, which distort or reveal themselves depending on where you stand within the space. Uniting a real, profound sense of longing with natural materials helps construct a show that underpins the truths about loss, but keeps a sense of connectedness well and truly alive.

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