Splotches in Space
Both Giles Leaman and Martin Piper were sharing a flat in Portobello road and had both grown up in this part of the world.
This was the first exhibition after they had left Art college.
Giles Leaman’s paintings were influenced by cycling to India in 1978 and also by outer space and springs. He also exhibited bedspring sculptures wrapped in painted fabric and wore a tuxedo which had bedsprings sowed onto it and made a musical installation.
One passer by said of his paintings “It looks like God has thrown a whole lot of crap down on the earth”.
Martin Piper’s paintings were to do with people in landscape, the figures being in relief coming out of the painting, and also sculptural space. He created a virtual room with a hanging window and furniture within the gallery.
There was a performance which was a battle between Martin who was the square and Giles who was the circle and a television was smashed up in the gallery. The last piece that was lifted out of the debris was a square frame with rounded corners. Amongst others John Latham, the conceptual artist, was in the audience at the private view.
Giles Leaman went on to make sound art, play music with the Penguin Café Orchestra and Rip Rig + Panic in the ’80s and now plays with The Drones and The Junk Orchestra, printing small poetry books and also in 1980 was the Art Editor of the magazine Straight Lines, which was printed with assistance from OpenHead Press. He is also a visual artist and community artist and runs arts and music workshops in and around London.
Martin Piper is a carpenter and now lives in Hull.