Artist Spotlight - Aaron Bevan Bailey

Artist Spotlight - Aaron Bevan Bailey

Aaron Bevan-Bailey was born in 1984 in Peckham South London, to parents of Scottish and Jamaican backgrounds. Growing up, Bevan-Bailey said he was always an artist — some of his first memories are of sketching in a colouring book.

The up-and-coming artist is known for bright colours, which he has said served him as a form of therapy.

“I would paint these big blocks of colour in my studio not knowing exactly what they would turn into,” he said to Cass Art in an interview. “There is something childlike and sensual in colour, for most of us it is the first language we learned to understand.”

In a recent project, Bevan-Bailey travelled to northern Kenya to live with the Samburu Maasai, an indigenous nomadic tribe, in order to make portraits of the people within this community. His paintings challenged misconceptions of African culture, and explored themes of nature, spiritual connection, and the legacy of slavery.

“I see my work as a fusion of street photography and portraiture. I enjoy the ambiguity of the implied narrative we attach to people we see in the street,” Bevan-Bailey said in the Hoxton.

In a recent project, Bevan-Bailey painted people sleeping on London’s public transport. He told Cass Art that he wanted to “catch moments that are fleeting, unconscious” through the portraits. Bevan-Bailey went on to explain his fascination with the environment of these people, and the moments in which they “took off their armour against the city.”

In his early years, Bevan-Bailey lived in Brixton's Tulse Hill estate, until he moved to the West coast of Scotland with his mother. However, his father stayed in London, so his childhood was fairly split between a quieter area and bustling city.
The artist is entirely self taught in each of the mediums he explores: illustration, photography, painting, and videography. His current studio is in Stoke Newington, a multicultural neighbourhood in Greater London from which he takes inspiration.
Many of Bevan-Bailey’s paintings begin with “abstract marks, allowing the form to find its own language.” 

But even in his growing success, Bevan-Bailey can still get into an artistic rut. He told The Hoxton that when this occurs, he finds himself drawn to the West Coast of Scotland, where he takes in the elemental landscape. When he is in London, the artist said he sits on the top deck of the bus to combat feeling “stuck.”
“It’s a moving, liminal space that allows daydreams and new ideas to form for me.”

Discover Aaron Bevan Bailey’s artwork on our website and find out more about his remarkable artwork.

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