BLACK EYED SUSAN at Arts Club East

BLACK EYED SUSAN an Exhibition of Paintings

Arts Club East, 64 Shoreditch High St. E1 6JJ

23rd October-21st November

Tuesday-Saturday 4pm-1am.

Loose Canon
Loose Canon

Non members must view by appointment.

Contact: Tel:07814 430 852

BLACK EYED SUSAN opened 22nd October at Shoreditch’s newest members club Arts Club East.  This intimate, yet traditional Truman Brewery designed function room above the White Horse pub, plays host to all art forms from music and dance to poetry, film and art exhibitions.  BLACK EYED SUSAN is the second in their rolling programme of month long shows by the club’s members and invited artists.

The series of 13 paintings dates from 2009-2012 that were last shown in 2012. The work continues Halpin’s long established way of working that explores the concept of portraiture through found words, images and notes. Seen here in Shopping List a drawing from 1992 made at the end of the Saturday market on the Cote Lumiere, Brittany, France.

Shopping List 1992
Shopping List 1992

BLACK EYED SUSAN was originally intended as a collaborative venture with then partner, artist and musician Mat Ducasse. This particular series uses personal letters, intimate and erotic drawings, notes and images made by the pair.

Don't Believe Them
Don’t Believe Them, Acrylic Ink on Canvas 2012

BES Do Not Believe Them is a square field of intense colours whose comet like tails streak toward a green filled void. Pock marked planets hurtle with their phosphorescent stars that are drawn in faster and faster as they rush to the centre’s black hole of emotion. The original painting was begun in 2009 by Ducasse, which began as an abstracted image of paint splashes and brush strokes, at the centre of which was a vivid green eye that seemed to question Ducasse’s trust in forces beyond his control, both on a personal level and the global stage. By the time Halpin took up the painting later that year she felt the clue to its revival was to animate the canvas to give it a dynamic sense of timing and energy. This was to become the first BLACK EYED SUSAN painting that would later develop to become of part of the larger series. Other paintings including BES #1 and BES #3 both of which were begun by the two and worked on together in their early stages, in 2009. The paintings were worked intensely and later finished in 2012 by Halpin, when the rest of the series was begun. The entire series was worked on by Halpin alone, all at the same time, with paintings being picked up, worked on, ideas left to brew as another canvas was started, to be put down to be picked up and reworked. All 13 paintings were intentionally completed at the same time.


Black Eyed Susan #2
Black Eyed Susan #1 2012 Acrylic Ink on Canvas

The works chart the history of a relationship from the passion and pleasure at the beginning, the storytelling, the messing about, describing the desires and tensions as tales were told and taboos broken, through to the intensity, anger and loss at the end of the affair.  The written messages and images contained within the paintings are layered over and turned around until they become abstracted, distorted and almost impossible to read, yet giving the viewer an idea that they may be deciphered. Although as images they have neither top nor bottom, left nor right with the viewer guided through this cathartic tale by the forms that emerge only to disappear true to the fashion in which they painted.



The paintings and their original drawings owe a lot to the sounds that were incorporated in the concrete poetry written on scraps, scrawled with intentions accompanied by a home made musical score. The images were made as static animations that would be digitally animated from one to the next with BES Do Not Believe Them at the beginning and the end of the loop.

C.A.Halpin and Mat Ducasse continue to collaborate on projects currently as part of The Outside World All Stars, including the forthcoming It’s A Hard World For Little Things #2 multimedia exhibition, to be held at the V&A Museum of Childhood in 2016.

All works are for sale directly from the artist.