Strange Love

Strange Love: Tom Banks | John Brennan | Kirsty Harris

Three artists explore the beauty of fear and the unknown.
Curated by Dr. Daniel Barnes.

Negotiating the lines between ambiguous narratives and the spectacle of the decisive moment, Strange Love explores the contemporary notion of fear as a site of inspiration. The exhibition draws together three artists who interrogate and re-examine beauty as a response to this fear. At the core of this project is the romantic notion that beauty, in and of itself, is a source of great consolation.

Bankley Gallery, September 2018
Private view: Friday 7th September
Open 12–4pm, Saturday & Sunday, 8th–16th September

Bankley Street, Levenshulme, Manchester, M19 3PP
Email: gallery@bankley.org.uk

China exhibition tour: Contemporary Masters from Britain

The Trouble with You,  John Brennan,   2015, oil on canvas, 60 x 60 x 4 cm

The Trouble with You, John Brennan, 2015, oil on canvas, 60 x 60 x 4 cm

The Trouble with You forms part of 'Contemporary Masters from Britain: 80 British Painters of the 21st Century'. From 7th July to 30th December 2017, this group show of 80 Contemporary British Paintings will go on display in 4 Chinese art museums for the very first time.

China venues: Yantai Art Museum, Artall Gallery, Nanjing, Jiangsu Art Gallery, Nanjing and the Tianjin Academy of Fine Art

Read more about the show on a-n News. Catalogue available on Amazon.

Many thanks to Robert Priseman and the Contemporary British Painting team for all their hard work in organising, curating and shipping the show.

Grange Tower Bridge Hotel

I'm showing several works in a semi-permanent exhibition in the restaurant of the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, London, E1 8GP. Many thanks to William Henry of Plastic Propaganda for organising this one.

Contemporary British Painting Prize 2016 - Private View

PV: Saturday 10th September 2016. Exhibition: runs until 22nd October.
NOTE: PV and prize announcement is at 11am in the morning.
The Riverside Gallery, Old Town Hall, Whittaker Avenue, Richmond, London, TW9 1TP

I'm a finalist in the Contemporary British Painting Prize 2016 with my painting, The War Room. Please RSVP if you'd like to attend the private view. Read more about the prize.

Photos from Dis locate exhibition - Oxford

We had an amazing turnout, apparently around 300 visitors over the course of the evening, for the private view of Dis locate at the VW Showroom, Oxford. The show consisted of a selection of work from Magdalen Road Studios artists. Curator, Luis Aruajo, did a fantastic job in bringing a coherent vision to a diverse selection of work. This is a mix of install shots and shots from the private view.

Bad Art - Exhibition - London

The War Room  - John Brennan, 2015, oil on canvas, 90 x 130 x 4 cm

The War Room - John Brennan, 2015, oil on canvas, 90 x 130 x 4 cm


Bad Art exhibition 13-15th May 2016
Private view is open to the public and there's a bar too!
13th May 6-11pm - Bones & Pearl Studios, 60-68 Markfield Road, London, N15 4QA.
See map and Facebook event page.


Many thanks to curator, Anna Choutova for inviting me to show several pieces including, The War Room. More about the show:

“My five year old could have done that”

What is Bad Art? What separates the scribblings of a 5-year-old child from a masterpiece by Cy
Twombly or Jackson Pollock? In a world where a blank canvas can sell for $15million, who
decides whether artwork is genius or a disaster?

A group of established and emerging artists have come together to showcase works that
discuss this very question. BAD ART is a celebration of all things deemed unsuitable in the
world of high art but also to your average viewer. The exhibition aims to question why certain
art is ‘bad’ while other art hangs gloriously in the National Gallery, or why one person’s pretty
seascape is to another the epitome of kitsch.

The show will feature a carefully curated selection of works from established artists and
emerging artists. With a mixture of painting, drawing, video and sculpture, these artists aim to
challenge traditional expectations of subject, technique or seriousness in contemporary art.

'Both Ends of Madness' - Exhibition and symposium, APT Gallery, London

'Both Ends of Madness' is my first show with Plastic Propaganda at APT Gallery, Deptford, London.

Some parking outside, nearest overland stations Greenwich or Deptford. View map.

  • Exhibition 7-24 April 2016
  • Private View 7th April, 6-8pm
  • Symposium 14th April, 6-8pm

"Throughout the History of Art, madness has been a recurring subject matter.

This exhibition intends to explore both ends of madness, whether it is the artist who makes work that is indeed a struggle to achieve because the search for the impossible artefact is being explored, or it is about how art can be used as a therapy and explanation of why circumstances have happened, for example, how a nervous breakdown or an addiction can lead to a fulfilling art work."

"A Public symposium is being held on Thursday 14th April to discuss some of the issues raised in the exhibition. The Symposium will be chaired by Angus Pryor, Reader in Fine Art, University of Gloucestershire. Artist and co-founder of Plastic Propaganda, the panellists will include:-

  • Professor Janet Sayers - Emeritus Professor of Psychoanalytic Psychology at University of Kent
  • Dr Grant Pooke - Author, Historian - Lecturer at University of Kent
  • Tony Gammidge - Artist, film maker, art therapist, lecturer and Arts and Health worker."

Find out more about the show.


'Meet the Artists' - Popup art show, 25th Feb, 6-9.30pm

Meet the Artists on Facebook  bit.ly/meet-the-artists

Meet the Artists on Facebook bit.ly/meet-the-artists

The Trouble with You , John Brennan, 2015, oil on canvas, 60 x 60 x 4 cm

The Trouble with You, John Brennan, 2015, oil on canvas, 60 x 60 x 4 cm

Meet The Artists, Gorsuch St, Hoxton, London, E2 8HD, Thursday 25th February, 6 -9:30pm. See Facebook page for full details bit.ly/meet-the-artists

I've been invited to show three of my smaller paintings and briefly talk about my work at this one-night-only event.

More info from the event team follows:

What's happening

Meet the Artists is a pop-up art gallery, created by artists, selling high quality & original artwork at affordable prices. A special evening of artist talks, live music & complimentary drinks.

London's leading emerging artists, showcasing original artwork. They will be sharing their experiences through short talks and available to meet in a relaxed environment.

Featured artists include Dan Feit, Carolina Maggio, Athena Anastasiou, Kingsley Nebechi, Chiho Iwase, Solaris100, John Brennan, Anna Rootes, Maggie Williams, Steve Norris, Fiona Masterton, Laura Coates & Sarah Briggs.

The evening's schedule

Artist Talks 7–7:40pm
Live performance by weissenborn guitarist Tj Owusu

What we stand for

  • Supporting the community of emerging artists in London.
  • Making art more accessible and available to everyone.
  • Transforming the gallery into an engaging & interactive space.
  • Original & quality art for affordable prices

Why come by?

Are you looking for unique art at affordable prices? Connect with emerging artists and start building your own art collection.

Athena Anastasiou
Artist Liaison


Finalist - Bankley Open Call 2015

Experiments in Movement: Part 1 - John Brennan, 2014, oil on canvas, 100 x 100 x 4 cm

This is Reality - John Brennan, 2013, oil on canvas, 80 x 80 x 4 cm

Following on from its scoop of the ArtGemini Prize recently and selection as a finalist in Arte Laguna Prize earlier this year, 'Experiments in Movement: Part 1' has now been selected as a finalist in Bankley Open Call 2015.

Many thanks to the selection panel. I last showed at Bankley Open in 2013 with 'This is Reality'.

Private view and awards ceremony

9th October 2015, time TBC. See website for details: Bankley Studios, Manchester.

Exhibition continues 17th & 18th and 24th & 25th October 2015 12 - 4pm

1st Prize - ArtGemini Prize 2015

Experiments in Movement: Part 1 - John Brennan, 2014, oil on canvas, 100 x 100 x 4 cm

Excited to discover I've been awarded 1st prize in ArtGemini Prize 2015 (painting & sculpture) with 'Experiments in Movement: Part 1'. The painting was previously selected as a finalist in Arte Laguna Prize 2015.

Appreciation and thanks to the selection panel, organisers and to founder, Jimmy Lek.

The show continues at the Menier Gallery, London till Saturday 26th September 2015.

Arte Laguna Prize 2015

Experiments in Movement: Part 1 - John Brennan, 2014, oil on canvas, 100 x 100 x 4 cm

I'm a finalist in the 2015 Arte Laguna Prize with 'Experiments in Movement: Part 1'.

Private view

21st March, the Italian Cultural Association MoCA - Arte Laguna Studio, Venice

Exhibition 22nd March - 5th April 2015

Competition website

 Arte Laguna 


Claudio Bertorelli, franck Gautherot, Chuz Martinet, Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, Domenico Quaranta, Philippe van Cauteren, Jonathan Watkins, Simone Frangi, Roberto Zancan

Group exhibition: New Work From OX4 2014

Celebrant - John Brennan, 2013, oil on canvas, 45.5 x 60.5 x 2 cm

Private view

6PM Tuesday 18TH March, O3 Gallery, Oxford Castle, New Rd, Oxford, OX1 1AY

Gallery website


Following my recent studio relocation to the misty spires of Oxford, I'll be showing 3 works along with fellow Magdalen Rd Studios artists. Details below.

O3 Gallery presents an exhibition of new works by a diverse range of 16 artists from East Oxford’s Magdalen Road Studios. An ideal opportunity to discover new and emerging local artists.

The show features a multidisciplinary mix of painting, sculpture, ceramics, film and 2D design. Many of the works are for sale.

Les McMinn | John Brennan | Jonathan Moss | Tom de Freston | Sonia Boue | Anna Simpson | Wren Hughes | Sam Harriman | Marie Darkins | Annabel Ralphs | Helen Foster | Rose Wallace | Madi Acharya-Baskerville | Diane Jones-Parry | Luke Skiffington | Rob Mead 



The National Open Art Competition 2013

The Message - John Brennan, 2013, oil on canvas, 70 x 50 x 4 cm

'The Message' has been selected for my sixth open show of 2013, in The National Open Art Competition . This is the painting's third success, having previously been shortlisted in Neo Art Prize 2013 and selected for inclusion in Bare Hill Publishing's book, 'The State of Art'

Competition website

The National Open Art Competition

Exhibition venues

The Royal College of Art - Oct 25th to Nov 7th 2013

The Minerva Theatre, Chichester - Nov 14th - Nov 30th 2013


Brian Sewell: His artistic conservatism and his acerbic views of The Turner Prize and much Contemporary Art have made Brian both feared and revered.

Dr Barbara Rae CBE RA RE: Dr Barbara Rae trained at Edinburgh's College of Art moving to Glasgow to lecture at Charles Rennie Macintosh's illustrious School of Art until working full time as an acclaimed artist and printmaker.

Michael Hoppen: Michael Hoppen sits on the Tate Gallery Modern Photography committee; The Coesia/GD4 Art Committee in Bologna,Italy; The John Kobal Foundation Committee and the Advisory Committee for the Renaissance Photography Award.

David Middleton: From the board of our headline sponsor, TOWRY The Wealth Adviser, he joins the judging panel not as a member of the art world but as a judge representing the opinions of any art loving member of the public.

James Green: James is Assistant Director at Stephen Friedman Gallery and is a trustee of The Chichester Art Trust.

Ludlow Open 2013

Munich - John Brennan, 2013, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 x 4 cm

'Munich' has been selected for my fifth open exhibition of 2013, Ludlow Open

Ludlow Open is a contemporary art exhibition held in the centre of Ludlow for 17 summer days each year.  Open submissions are received from local, regional, national and international artists, selected by an expert panel of artists and arts professionals. 

Private view

Thursday 25th July and Friday 26th July, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.

Exhibition website



Christopher le Brun

Painter, Printmaker, sculptor and current President of The Royal Academy of Art.

David Cleaton-Roberts

Director, Alan Cristea Gallery, London

Nathaniel Pitt

Artist, Director, Division of Labour

Anne de Charmant

Director, Meadow Arts


Worcester Open 2013

Myth I: This is the Place - John Brennan, 2012, oil on canvas, 20 x 20 x 4 cm

Myth III: Protect and Survive - John Brennan, 2011, oil on canvas, 20 x 20 x 4 cm

Myth VII: Nostalgia - John Brennan, 2011, oil on canvas, 20 x 20 x 4 cm

Three paintings from my series 'My Mythology' have been selected for exhibition in Worcester Open 2013

Exhibition website



Juneau Projects


Anne De Charmant

Director at Meadow Arts 

Wendy Law

Director at Turning Point West Midlands

Nada Prlja


Gavin Wade

Artist, Curator and Director at Eastside Projects Birmingham