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Painting (MA)

Taylor Bull

Taylor Bull (b.1993, London) began her studies at Camberwell College of Art, London, in 2012 before obtaining a First-Class Bachelor of Arts at the University of Leeds, 2017, during which time she had the opportunity to study painting for a year-long placement at The University of Sydney, Australia.

She has studied art around the world, learning and extensively practising batik and dyeing techniques in Sri Lanka, 2018, before studying the art of Mughal painting and portrait drawing in India, 2019, subsequently selling drawings as she travelled, as well as buying, swapping and sending home much treasured art found in markets across India.

While living in Sydney, Taylor curated and exhibited in a series of group shows at Sydney's Ded Space Gallery, including ME! ME! ME!, 2016, CLUSTERFUK, 2016 and OPPOSED TOO, 2015.

She has exhibited in Mumbai, Sydney, London and the North of England and was awarded a scholarship to the New York Academy of Art Summer Residency 2021.

Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Painting (MA)

In saturated colour I simultaneously




personal idiosyncrasies. 

My paintings disassemble into weight-defying fields of form and colour, surreal and quixotic, yet cluttered with domestic familiarity.

Space recedes and merges.



float in abstract panoramas where time is not present.


There is nowhere for the eye to rest, forcing it to flit over the surface in a channel-surfing mentality. Combinations of wide eyes and obstinate smiles feel overbearing and sickly sweet.

                       I overwhelm the visual plane.

Executing whole paintings in one go, my body moves over the surface intuitively, layering and scraping paint away.


                                              I paint without a plan. Only the imagery of my experience.

My experiences are personal. My personal experience is not that personal; time, childhood, sexuality, feminine desire and deviant behaviour - my paintings explore the incomplete and recurring transgressions of bodily propriety of one form or another. In fluid brushstroke, I use blithe playfulness to navigate the tragic humour of humanity, ribald and ribbed for her pleasure.


Brindar Con Extraños — Acrylic & Spray Paint on Canvas 120 X 190cm 2021
Pluto Saved By Drowning — Acrylic, Oil Paint, Oil Pastel & Oil Stick on Canvas 85 x 75cm 2021
Milky, Cheesy — Watercolour & Acrylic on Paper 100 x 71cm 2021
Bear & Stair — Acrylic & Gouache on Canvas 91 x 122 cm 2020
Coconuts For Not Much Money At All — Acrylic & Oil Paint on Canvas 180 x 150cm 2021
Marry Me, Archie — Acrylic & Spray Paint on Canvas 120 x 160cm 2021
Tourism! — Acrylic, Oil Stick and Pencil on Canvas 100 x 100cm 2021

In my construction of landscapes, figure and ground hierarchies are defunct, rejecting the intangible but intransigent structures behind visual and spatial orientation.

Palm trees frame airy breadths of sky. Perception and schemata are distilled into a new psychological oasis, for my own satisfaction, sun-kissed and suffused with the transcendental pull of the American modernists of the Southwest.

It Grows In Bunches — Pencil, Watercolour & Spray Paint 15 x 26cm 2021
[Untitled Bears] — Acrylic, Pencil, Oil Pastel on Paper 40 x 40cm 2021
Try Again — Pencil, Oil Pastel & Acrylic 30 x 43cm 2021
The Lisboa Lover — Pencil, Oil Stick & Acrylic 30 x 43cm 2021
Cliff's Mum — Acrylic on Paper 39 x 39cm 2021
Ahh Youth! - An Appropriation — Acrylic on Paper 58 x 42cm 2021
Dover Street Market, NY — Oil Paint on Canvas 70 x 90cm 2020
Remainer Island — Oil Paint and Oil Stick on Canvas 160 x 130cm 2020

A fascination for people lies at the heart of my work. I want to paint honest subjects. I want to paint who we are when we, to borrow Hannah Arendt’s enduring words, “are together with no one but ourselves”?

When I paint human subjects, I feel there is something misleading, predetermined or didactic in the attractiveness, gender, or race that I present.

I wonder - if I abstract bodies to the edge of recognition, can I reveal the souls that they contain?

This thought leads me to conjure a world in which fragility is celebrated, penetrability and softness are forces of connection.

The child, in art, references tropes of Romantic Painting in which its phantasmagoric depictions are symbols for ‘naughty or nice’, ‘instigators or angels’.

As I work into the subject, the child becomes more than a kitschy emblem of morality, there is an uneasiness to them that, for me, lends less prescription to their reading. There is a hysteria to their cherubic cheeriness, as well as their genderlessness. As allegorical portraits they appear both sincere and sardonic.

The human quality of the characters that I paint, and the way that they stare out of the picture brings intimacy and an emotional force. Each character resides on a threshold - a merging point of interiority and intersubjectivity.

Warning: This work contains mature or explicit content.

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Fernando Pessoa (Extasis Series) — Acrylic and Ink on Paper 52 x 64cm 2021
At Swim Two Birds (Extasis Series) — Acrylic & Ink on Paper 84 x 60cm 2021
Agua Viva (Extasis Series) — Acrylic & Ink on Paper 84 x 60cm 2021
Reclining Nude (Extasis series) — Acrylic & Ink on Paper 52 x 64cm 2021
Babysol — Acrylic & Spray Paint on Canvas 130 x 180cm 2021
Piteous though such fraud be — Acrylic on Canvas 90 x 90cm 2021
Morning Time — Acrylic on Unstretched Canvas 130 x 170cm
Low Hanging Fruit — Acrylic on Canvas 90 x 60cm 2021
Extasis! — Acrylic and ink on Unstretched Canvas 90 x 120cm 2021
Nude Picnic Ladies — Acrylic on Unstretched Canvas 126 x 98cm 2021
Pussies Galore — Acrylic and Spray Paint on Paper 72 x 51cm 2021
Nostalgic Appropriation of the Innocence of Childhood — Acrylic, Spray Paint and Ink on Canvas 180 x 140cm 2021

Painting nude bodies confronts both a provocation and a vulnerability of sexuality. Carolee Schneemann posits: “The female nude is part of a revered tradition, although she is not to take authority over depictions of her nudity. She is just to be available.” The very act of me painting the female nude contests the misogynistic nature of historical figuration, typically painted by men for men, and lends agency to how women are portrayed. Schneemann calls this, “Being the image and the image-maker.”

I am interested in the formal nuances of bodies and their vast capacity for expression, bodies that insist on setting their own parameters and determining their own identities. My Nudes subvert high art's traditional effacement of base, bodily pleasure.

The body is the most fundamental of boundaries, particularly women’s bodies. When bodies spill out of their borders they become unsettlingly abject. Notions of abjection and the grotesque are largely inseparable from bodies, and painting into these subjects obliges the viewer to confront the source of their own fearful disquiet. Neither fully self nor other, the abject characters of my paintings undo the fiction of individual subjective integrity.

Warning: This work contains mature or explicit content.

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Monkey Kings — Acrylic on Canvas 180 x 140cm 2021
Tree Hugger — Acrylic & Spray Paint 120 x 160cm 2021
Fanny Is Not My Aunt — Acrylic on Canvas 77 x 122cm 2021

Setting unfamiliar figures against familiar surroundings renders them in the world, but not of the world. These paintings are not a part, nor yet a copy of the real world, but worlds in themselves.

Complex entanglements between figure and landscape in my work create an ecosystem of non-hierarchical associations. Figures and landscapes are non-anthropocentric.

For me, at least, the figures emerge as acutely emotional beings, with awareness of their own humanity. 

In extravagant colour and soft androgynous form, I pay compositional homage to Renaissance scenes such as the Virgin and Child, I am drawn to recalling such tableaus in which figures from worldly terrains are joined by the preternatural. 

Warning: This work contains mature or explicit content.

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To Me, To You — Acrylic on canvas 100 x 121cm 2021
You Again — Acrylic on canvas 102 x 84cm 2021

The writing of Ursula K Le Guin has been helpful in recognising art as giving people the words to know their own experience. Le Guin writes, “Storytelling is a tool for knowing who we are and what we want, too. If we never find our experience described in poetry or stories, we assume that our experience is insignificant” (Talking on the Water: Conversations about Nature and Creativity, 2016).

In a line of inquiry that can be allied with Cyberfeminism, a wave of art and critical thought with roots in the Riot Grrrl-era 90s and going back even further, 70’s Afrofuturism and Donna Haraway's 1985 essay "A Cyborg Manifesto", I push my exploration of form further. In flowing brushstrokes, I expand the aesthetics of the female body, with a view to shattering the veneer of its containment.

Italian feminist and activist Silvia Federic, writes ‘We are already living in a gender-fluid world, in which we are expected to be feminine and masculine at the same time,’ in Beyond the Periphery of the Skin (2020).

I am interested in expressing a similar concurrency of gender. There is an anarchic power in the possibilities of our form. I explore the notion that outside the enslavement of entrenched cultural logic lies the possibility of permeating thresholds, metamorphosing one’s flesh and image, and subverting normative binaries in the refusal of being reduced to a single container or definition of being.

Amorphous figures and faces surge outwards, disobeying the physical limitations of human form. Apropos a contemporary vision of gender, I imagine a form that speaks to our human inclination toward self-regeneration. Limited and fast lines impose faces, limbs and sexual organs, and still the polymorphic forms resist demarcation.