Nestled in the shabby-chic surroundings of the East End’s artistic hub, Redchurch Street, painter Tim Silversides debuted his latest exhibition at The Outside World Gallery over the Bank Holiday weekend. Entitled Limbo, the exhibition is a brave and honest exploration of Silversides’ own experience of depression, with echoes of loneliness and despair emanating from the gallery walls. While many of the paintings and drawings on show are borne of his imagination, Silversides has also used sketches from his time working with sufferers of senile dementia to imbue his work with a sense of solitude and isolation. Figures with contorted limbs and tortured facial expressions haunt his work, and reflect Silversides’ fascination with externalising inner torment. Wonderland caught up with him at the opening night of Limbo to discuss inspiration, depression and Bacon. Francis Bacon, that is.
What was the inspiration behind Limbo?
Limbo is myself – the way I think and express. The inspiration for the show is the same as what inspired me to grow, personally. I learn from the people around me and the people I love. The exhibition is inspired by our pasts and hidden depths.
You said that you’ve battled with depression. How instrumental do you think art has been in helping you overcome it?
Art has always been a means to learn more about myself and the world around me. Through this, I have found painting a great way of easing my anxiety and depression.
Your work is very expressive. If you were told you could never paint again, how else would you express yourself?
If I couldn’t paint again, I don’t know what I would do! I know I wouldn’t use a spray can, though.
If you could choose an artist, living or dead, who would you love to come and see one of your exhibitions?
Francis Bacon. He knows how to encapsulate the atmosphere of an image, and as an artist that inspires me. I would be interested to know whether or not he think I have been successful in achieving a sense of atmosphere.
What’s next for Tim Silversides?
For now, I am just really happy with the reception I’ve had from my last two shows. I am looking forward to the next show, which I plan to have at Mother London where I work.
Words: Gavin Jewkes