February 13, 2024 → May 20, 2024 · Bethlem Gallery | Exhibition | ORTUS

Cognitive Distortions

An exhibition of recent works by Jan Arden - until 20th May

Jan Arden: Cognitive Distortions

ORTUS, 82-96 Grove Lane, SE5 8SN

8am – 5pm, Mon – Fri, until 14 April 2024

Bethlem Gallery presents Cognitive Distortionsan exhibition of recent works by Jan Arden.

With no formal training, Arden considers himself an Outsider Artist, free to express all that he needs to through the medium of his artistic talent. The title Cognitive Distortions relates to how he navigates the world around him, attempting to filter out the misery that makes us feel bad about ourselves with joyful images. The work is fluid and dense so that the viewer is continually processing the narrative to all the information held within the drawing.

Arden likes to combine Celtic knot-work with African faces and south American Shamanistic Aztec priests, peoples, animals, symbols and shapes. He creates what he sees on the paper after moving the Biro in dance-like movements, eyes closed and reaching into the subconscious for inspiration and guidance.

Recently, he has been drawing on leather jackets in his distinctive style and experimenting with new mediums.

Arden was born in Dublin, Ireland of mixed Irish-Dominican parentage, and weaves together the cultural style and artistic influences of his heritage. He is also a great fan of Jimi Hendrix, having met him at a party in 1969, and has painted some pictures inspired by the man and his music.

His favourite medium at the moment is the humble Biro and he also likes to work with acrylics.

Cognitive Distortions is run by Bethlem Gallery, at ORTUS, Denmark Hill, in collaboration with Maudsley Charity.