‘Prohibited onions’ is perhaps not the most conventional of titles for an art exhibition. But then Hackney-based printmaking collective Heretic aren’t, perhaps, the most conventional of artists.
The Verboten Zwiebeln: Unknown Parts show (the direct translation from German to English is ’prohibited onions’), opens this week in east London’s Arbeit gallery, and will showcase the collective’s most recent prints – what they describe to be ‘a perverse and twisted, acid bathed love vortex’, which sounds rather terrifying.
The experimental illustration, design and screen printing collective was formed in 2005, and has since used print to mine the depths of the subconscious and put all its oddities down on paper.
Known to their families and the taxman as Luke Frost, Jon Rundall and Therese Vandling, this bunch creates works using a mixture of collage, drawing and screen-printing, with bizarre and surreal results.
The medium-of-the-moment screen-printing is favoured by Heretic due to its ‘reproductive quality’, and the flexibility it offers, meaning that designs can be used across art-prints, gig -posters and even 3D sound installations.
The disparate elements featured on Heretics’ works – a Pacman-like figure here; a headless man there – are drawn from such disparate reference points as, according to the group, ‘ tomorrow’s symbolism, inner visions, strange creatures, space, forbidden unions, mysticism, the occult, folklore, psychedelia, demented cats and sex bats.’ Obviously.
Heretic, Verboten Zwiebeln: Unknown Parts runs until 16 December at Arbeit, 4 Helmet Row, EC1V