Henrique Neves

My practice is concerned with echoes of personal and cultural memory, especially those that remain hidden, or are considered unworthy of consideration. The creation of marks, and systems of marks, on used canvas and textiles has been at the core of my recent work in painting. I paint, erase, repaint until surfaces are loaded with colours and materials. These gestures of repetition, obliteration, and sedimentation are haunted by memories, forgotten narratives, by the work of women in my family, and the ghosts of artists I admire.

Transience and ecology permeate forms, materials, and the way I paint, in the use of utilitarian pigments and discarded, quotidian textiles. Time and duration, as well as layers accruing from different processes, are important elements, each retaining a memory of the previous one.

I transform bi-dimensional paintings into three-dimensional objects that manifest as ‘bodies,’ by means of shaping, folding, scrunching, gluing, rolling, cutting, stapling, nailing, and sewing, as well as being determined by how they are displayed.


Dark Matters incorporates possibilities of error, chance, the unexpected accidents triggered by process, and their attendant vulnerabilities; the paint peeling when ungluing the scrunched up textile; folds created by sewing an stapling the piece. Within this methodology, materials and outcome create questions of circulation, ecology, history, and memory, resonating with ideas around doubt, failure, instability and transcience. The painting becomes a haunted body of work.