Oona Grimes

Coming soon! murd : chapter one take two  2020


Oona Grimes is a born and bred London scribbler and draw-er—a devout flattist with a love of pattern and all things paper and bookish, from Japanese woodcuts and Windsor McKay to graphic signage and packaging; tartans stolen from a Lorenzetti blanket or cartoon detail thieved from Roman wall paintings.

You’re lured in spite of yourself, in spite of not knowing what the shady characters and disjointed hieroglyphics represent... Isn’t this what Grimes is seeking - a way to notate a reality that can’t be determined or resolved through narrative or catharsis? — Cherry Smyth

My drawings are a celebration of the absurd, a transformation of ordinary objects and a simmering consommé of fact and fiction, an ongoing series of parallel worlds. They are an investigation into language, beginnings and ends of it, learning and losing it, neurological case studies, Alzheimer’s, slippage and mis-memory. Clay is the in-between bit—the instinctive making-ness that fills in the gaps.

Now tanglehead has nothing to say to brickface. Characters once locked in the personalities of hierarchical position must change as the power of speech is lost. —Cherry Smyth

Grimes is currently a Visiting Lecturer at the Royal College of Art London & The Ruskin School of Art Oxford University. In 2018 she was the Bridget Riley Fellow at the British School at Rome.

>I am alive you are dead - 3D virtual exhibition
> Curriculum vitae
> Press
> Artist website
> Exhibitions at the gallery: A bird in the head  2017, chapter Two  2014, Glass Cat  2014, So That I May Come Back  2010, Riddle me  2008, Conversations with Angels  2007, Love Story  2004, Cutting Room  2000
Oona Grimes,the chorus 14, 2019 
the chorus #14
2019  clay  dimensions variable
Oona Grimes,the chorus 16, 2019, on paper 
the chorus #16
2019  clay  dimensions variable
Oona Grimes, the chorus, 2019 
the chorus #17
2019  clay  dimensions variable
Oona Grimes, roman sKandals, 2018, spray paint, coloured pencil and collage on paper 
roman sKandals
2018  spray paint, coloured pencil and collage on paper  75 x 110cm
Oona Grimes’ roman sKandals is one of eleven works in her ragazze e ragazzi Romani series, ‘a giant storyboard’ of stencil drawings referencing Italian neorealist cinema, born out of Grimes’ Bridget Riley Fellowship at the British School of Rome last year. roman sKandals exists in a space of dreamlike hyper-femininity. The work is spare but it is the richness of Grimes’ gestures, drawn, cut, spray-painted and collaged, that plays with the viewer’s imagination. All we need is the fluid line cutting from ear to lip, a jawline strong and smooth, for us to fill in the flesh. Anouk Aimee’s character Madalena from Fellini’s La Dolce Vita is traced here and we see her caught in Grimes’ still, the giveaway of her movement is a reverberation of lines haloing the crests of her hair.

Grimes’ fine white lines against the paper’s chalky black underpin the drawing and imbibe us with the nostalgia that comes with watching and re-watching black and white films. But it is the fluorescence of Madalena’s eyebrows and the gradient of pink to red oozing out of the cigarette holder that nods to the contemporary relevance of Italian cinema. We are reminded that it is films like La Dolce Vita, with their charming amalgamation of sensuousness, wit and furore, that comprise the foundations of the twenty-first century neon that has seeped into the most classical of cities.

Toying with the idea of patchwork here, the work is suspended between the fluid and trancelike and the staccato interjections of a surprising intruder into an otherwise yawning dream. Patches of pink and purple flatten the fabric that is seemingly about to be emblazoned by a crinkled cigarette; a square of hair extends beyond the frame; a patch bridges the contrast between the nose’s fill and the cheek’s negative space. roman sKandals becomes a tapestry of sorts, riffing off the patched editing in these post-war Italian films. The work, although flat, is tetris-like and we navigate its surreal game, rotating Grimes’ references to rebuild the drawing in our own interpretation.
Oona Grimes, angelo del fango, 2018, spray paint, coloured pencil and collage on paper 
angelo del fango
2018  spray paint, coloured pencil and collage on paper  75 x 110cm
Oona Grimes, U.eU. and Umberto d's boxset, 2018, i.phone and 16mm rushes, install - min i.pad 
U.eU. and Umberto d's boxset
2018  i.phone and 16mm rushes  install - min i.pad
Oona Grimes, a spritz of grrrls #7, 2018, coloured pencil 
a spritz of grrrls #7
2018  coloured pencil  210 x 297mm
Oona Grimes, the children #5, 2018, coloured pencil 
the children #5
2018  coloured pencil  210 x 297mm
Toes n toast
2014  ceramic edition of 3  photograph by Oskar Proctor
Eye things flat
2015  clay  photograph by Peter White
Skinner's pigeons
2015  clay  photograph by Peter White
Flann's architectural digest #6
2015  spray paint on paper mounted on di-bond  75 x 111 cm
Flann's architectural digest #12
2015  spray paint on paper mounted on di-bond  75 x 111 cm
Flann's architectural digest #17
2015  spray paint on paper mounted on di-bond  75 x 111 cm
Jerry's lunch
2014  clay   photograph by Oskar Proctor
a choir of potatoes
2014  clay  photograph by Oskar Proctor
The dress-me-up
Hackney Harpoon
Oona Grimes Oona Grimes
Who let the dogs out
 Oona Grimes
So that I may come back
Oona Grimes Oona Grimes
Framing Identity
Oona Grimes Oona Grimes Oona Grimes
Rose-Red Empire
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Endless Landscape
Collaboration with Jo Stockham, 2007, etching, 16.25 x 9cm each box of 20 etchings
a.... is
2006, book and individual prints
2006, etching and collage, 76 x 117cm
2005, etching and collage
2004, etching and letraset on layered Japanese tissue, 45 x 50cm
How Clever of God  
2004/03, ink, gouache and letraset on paper, 56 x 76cm
Bligh's Bounty Box
2003, hand bound book of 20 etchings, 26 x 74.5cm(box and cover)
from a to z
2003, etching and letraset on Japanese tissue
Disturbed Earth
2002, etching and gouache, 19 x 24 (24 x 19) cm
Cutting Room
1999/2000, felt pen and ink
1998, etching and gouache, 255 x 52cm
Beasty Wild Things Down the Chimney
1996, etching and gouache, 77 x 133cm