In his current work Gavin Maughfling examines vulnerability and power within queer relationships. The paintings take a range of sources as their starting point, including film stills, personal archives, and memory. Their locations include outdoor spaces in which nature serves as witness to human interaction, referencing in part the narratives of canonical painters such as Titian, in his Diana and Actaeon series, as well as the tradition of the bacchanal. More recently, the settings have widened to encompass depictions of interior domestic spaces. The works refer to the emotional spaces that are created both between strangers and within intimate relationships, and to the physical and verbal communication that takes place during and after sex.
The protagonists in these paintings are navigating a route that is sometimes perilous, through shifting frontiers of lust and affection, trust and fear, honesty and dissembling. Through their formal and physical language of gesture, space and colour, the works mirror the ways in which in real life we probe, using words, our bodies and our eyes, reaching for some kind of fusion between ourselves and the impenetrable other.
Gavin Maughfling lives and works in East London. Recent exhibitions include MOCA London’s web exhibition programme in 2023, the Beep Biennial Painting Prize at Elysium Gallery in 2020 and 2022, ‘Figure and Ground’ at Bermondsey Project Space in 2022, ‘Between Parts Undone’ at studio 1.1 in 2020, the Creekside Open at APT in 2019, ‘Artworks’ at the Barbican Trust Project Space in 2019, ‘Beyond the Binaries’ at the House of St. Barnabas in 2018 and ‘In the Open’ at Sheffield Institute of the Arts in 2017, as well as solo exhibitions at no format Gallery in 2021 and 2019. With Suzanne de Emmony he has co-curated exhibitions in London and Singapore, working with multi-media artists from both countries, and has made and exhibited films in collaboration with Singapore film maker Min-Wei Ting. His work is held in public and private collections including the National Government Art Collection.