The Recessionists are a group of artists working for the Ten Parishes, Taunton Deane, Somerset, Great Britain. The name comes from a fusion of the words recession and the Impressionists. The reason they are called this is that they all met up during the current recession, and decided to support each other financially and help promote each other's projects.
I am sorry to say, that due to their merely localised fame and my only recent interest in them, there is a lot I do not know about these people. I do know that Sam Jeffs studied at Kingsmead Community School where my mother taught him. It is likely that a lot of the Recessionists went to Kingsmead. I have essentially no knowledge of their backgrounds.
Their symbol is that of a burning Minotaur, the reason for which goes as followed. One of the younger artists is Sam Jeffs, who makes sculptures from scrap metal. One of his sculptures was a life size depiction of the Minotaur. As part of the preparation, he galvanised the statue by setting fire to it . The Recessionists decided to take a photograph of this and use it as their symbol. This is because the Minotaur reminds them of the Ancient Greeks, and all their achievements and hard work. The burning reminded them of how all this achievement collapsed, almost uncontrollably before their eyes. In all, they saw it as a symbol of mans futility, that they feel was emphasised perfectly during the current recession.
The Recessionists, however, do not intend their work to have deep meaning. They just make their art and allow art viewers to interpret them for themselves, occasionally giving their own opinion when asked.
The art work is a mixture of sculpture, photography, painting, drawing and computer aided design. Most of the works are orthodox, but a few, particularly the computer aided design, are quite abstract. This however is too vague a description, since a lot of the works have shape and organisation, but look like nothing you would see in real life. I have very little knowledge of their influences, but Mr Willis's paintings resemble Turner's in some way. As well as the Minotaur, Sam Jeffs other works include Afro Buddha III, King of the Afro Buddhas and King of the Monkeys. Other sculptures include those made from strips of wire woven to form shapes. The computer aided design essentially consists of rings of colour, other abstact art includes photographs of oil and paint patterns. The photography is that of an intimate nature, one photograph depicts two men in a bath together. There are also photographs of abandoned modernist buildings. There is a highly wide range of drawings and paintngs, from landscapes depicting the countryside to portraits of spiders coming off the subject.
They have exhibition's of their work all over the 10 parishes; however their main exhibition is at the Chapel Gallery in Wiveliscombe near Kingsmead Community School. The Chapel Gallery was built as a Methodist Church. Since then it has been a house and a restaurant before becoming a gallery.
Other notable members include:
There are seven other members plus two benefactors or “friends.”