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What Never Was

Jane Millican, Scott Robertson, Mark Spelman, Deb Whitney & Excerpts from the Islington Oxfam's copy of 'Insult to Injury' by Jake and Dinos Chapman

Curated by Orion W Crane

8 - 30 March 2024

PV Thursday 7 March 6 - 9pm

“What a joy to know where one is, and where one will stay, without being there. Nothing to do but stretch out comfortably on the rack, in the blissful knowledge you are nobody for eternity” - Samuel Beckett

What Never Was draws from a work that questioned what it was doing in an Art Gallery, whether it should be there and how is should be seen. The work in the show essentially asks 'what am I and was I ever there in the first place'. It is about (not) knowing your place, having ideas above your station and questions what never was.


Jane Millican prefers painting to pictures. She studied at the Slade and lives in Newcastle.

Scott Robertson (born in Ayr) is an artist with a conceptually driven practice. He works without a fixed studio or dedicated time to his practice, and connects people and ideas together in the hope of forming something. Artwork that can be made on his phone while on the way back from working for more successful artists. Occasionally he will produce a drawing while working abroad and getting a hotel room with a desk. He also runs a small press called Fifthsyllable releasing artists books and editions. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art, Maryland Institute College of Art, and then after many years in a variety of cheap labour jobs, competed his MA at Central Saint Martins where he has since tried desperately to keep going.


Mark Spelman is a cartoonist and lives in Tottenham.

Deb Whitney has worked for forty years as an art handler and curator. The amalgamation of these experiences has materially informed her art. Often the only woman on the job in the early days, the one sent for coffee and always expected to go with the flow. She found herself in the position of having her tools taken out of her hands, along with working to stay on the good side of both co-workers and clients. Her charting of misogynistic seas has been a life filled with creative material related to identity, memory, and observation. Artwork filled with lines, incisions, clear and iconic figures embodied, and disrupted, by culture. Painting, drawing, sewing, and photography with figurative images – referencing and reviewing the complexities of the female life. She holds degrees from Wimbledon College of Art, London, MA. and Mass College of Art, Boston, BFA.

The Islington Oxfam's copy of 'Insult to Injury' was remarkably cheaper than the copies for sale on Abebooks, possibly due to a lack of dust cover and a small tear on the spine. This does not detract from the content. It remains in good company on a bookshelf in Tottenham.


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