Our thirteenth visiting artist at the University of Leeds was Joe Cheetham. An alumni of Leeds Uni himself, Cheetham studied BA Fine Art before moving onto an MFA at Edinburgh College of Art in Contemporary Art Practice. Cheetham is a painter, utilising materials such as spray paint to build up large images, although the content is usually soft and textural in nature in contrast to the imposing size of his canvases. There are often figures in his painting, cartoonish and caricatured shapes typical of the medium he is using, but there comes a point in his paintings in which these dissolve into pure texture, movement, and stimulus. Imagery disappears at this point and the works become hugely layered and greatly emotional pieces. Rather than distinctive imagery, they become an abstraction of shape, forms, concepts of nature and material, and the underlying connotation of the urban from his medium.
Alongside his practice, Cheetham runs Suede Gallery, Edinburgh, and exhibits his work across Scotland, including an exhibition ‘Welcome to Suede’ at Suede Gallery.