HMP Dead Logistics — painting by artist John Cake

What I’m about

I am a child of 70s/80s North West England, where punk was a spirit, not a pose. Where Hip Hop, House and Techno resonated and thrived. Where life was and still is brutally absurd.
(Scally, DIY, remix, laugh)

I’m trying to deal with the many contradictions of being raised in an autistic/religious/working-class household, where there was just enough rebellion but way too much subservience. 

I plunder these symbols and language of arbitrary power structures, revelling in the leftovers, errors and redundancies. I flip between digital and analogue techniques to abstract, clip, collide and layer these elements. They coalesce into a wild-style-mind-map, a calligraphic vibrant web of visual fragments that resist and relinquish power.

A model cannon protrudes from a pile of rubble.
Soviet Pooh dawdles beneath an Ultra’s burning scooter.
Potato-snack-based omens lie ensnared as kit-designs are ruined by sponsors.

I largely make this art for myself, to create an illogical nonsense, to refocus my intentions and thoughts. But for you, I want my work to induce a state where your certainties are thrown off-kilter yet inspire optimism and hope.

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2022 — Bankley Open 2022 — Bankley Gallery, Manchester

2022 — TBH Cats (late + current) — The Edge, Manchester

2022 — round the corner, down the stairs — PaintingWriting, Manchester

2020 — Mcr Open — Home, Manchester

2019 — Paintings — Comme Ca, Manchester

2018 — Winter Exhibition — Comme Ca, Manchester

2015 — Les moissons de la cité — Space Collection, Liege

2011 — We Were Young and Immortal — Good Friday, Brussels

2011 — Space Collection — Atelierhaus, Aachen

2009 — Auckland Festival — Seed Gallery, Auckland

2009 — The English Lounge — Tang Contemporary, Beijing

2009 — Palais de Tokyo — Paris

2009 — Parcours St Germain — Paris

2009 — KSB — Markus Winter, Berlin

2008 — Two of you, among you, with you, TAG / My Life In Art, London

2008 — Tatton Park Biennial, Cheshire

2007 — Deptford X — London

2007 — Jeux de Mains, jeux de vilains, Good Friday, Brussels

2006 — Art Crazy Nation — Kulczyk Foundation, Poznan

2006 — post_modellismus — Kunsthalle, Bergen

2005 — post_modellismus — Krinzinger, Vienna

2005 — Art Craziest Nation — Walker Gallery, Liverpool

2004 — Lick Your Selves — Bloc, Sheffield

2004 — Crazius Craftus Creativus — The Reliance Gallery, London

2004 — Art Crazy Nation — Comme Ca, New York

2003 — Art Crazy Nation — Catto Contemporary, London

2001 — This Is Modern Art — Cornerhouse, Manchester

1999 — Gavin Turk’s Rubbish — Decima, London


2021 — Arts Council England DYCP


Walker Gallery, Liverpool

Space Collection, Liege

Sandra Hegedüs Mulliez, Paris