'The Baptism', Neil Rumming

Painting showing a mechanical machine with two heads attached to the top, one is dipping into a tank of liquid

Oil on canvas, 245 x 178.5 cm, 2008

Artist's statement

I have always been drawn to the abject and absurd reality of modern living. Violence and happiness tucked up in bed together. Cartoons and comedy highlight the ritual humiliation of everyday life. Humour - a defence mechanism when faced with suffering and anguish. I saw a terrible car crash when I was a teenager, people hung upside down, covered in blood. Trying to free these people from the car, I came over all funny. Spontaneous laughter erupted from me, uncontrollable joy anchored in guilt and anxiety. The scene was wild, uncensored, a new territory, and my only
response was to laugh.

This exploration of our psychological make-up is something that feeds my work. The invented, animated characters within my paintings are my attempt at examining human behaviour and interaction on a very basic and fundamental level. This is given life by using the biological and industrial landscape that surrounds us. I have always been fascinated with how things work and revealing the mechanistic beings that we all are.


Neil Rumming was born in Frome, Somerset in 1973. He studied at Kingston University London 1992-95. He has exhibited in 'Becks Futures 3' ICA London (touring) 2002, 'Happy Go Lucky' VHDG Leeuwarden The Netherlands 2004, 'Tinta' Eduardo Leme Gallery São Paulo Brazil 2006 and 'The Souvenir Mine' Mizuma Gallery Tokyo Japan 2006. His solo exhibitions are 'Off with their heads!' Habitat Gallery (Kings Road) London 2002 and 'Neil Rumming' Karyn Lovegrove Gallery Los Angeles 2003.

Neil Rumming website