Connor Addison - Artist, Homepage



Sublime Affliction

Whatever is in any sort terrible or operates in a manner analogous to terror, is a source of the sublime; that is, it is productive of the strongest emotion which the mind is capable of feeling.
Edmund Burke


An Image of Your Future

We all have vision, not as in sight, but as self-projection into an imagined reality. Foresight, premonitions and intuitions sketch out something on the other side of now, an image of hope, fulfilled desire and actualisation. All that has ever been created started as a humble electrical event in the brain, an idea that tomorrow something new will begin; a decision to be different. But the future remains an ever illusive spectre, like chasing the eyes of an owl as it endlessly turns away, we can never see its face. It does not exist. The ceaseless temporal horizon of the future inspires neurosis. Causing us to forget we have already arrived, at the present, beginning in this very moment.

An Image of Your Future, 2020,
Oil and tar on linen, 150x150cm


How Green Is The Grass?

How Green is The Grass , 2021,
Oil on linen, 300x200cm




Avoidance, 2020,
Oil on linen, 172cm x 87cm


Waving, Drowning

Waving, Drowning (After Stevie Smith), 2020,
Oil on linen, 190x135cm


Secular Handover &

Secular Handover (Reina Sofía, After El Greco), 2020,
Oil on linen, 100 x73cm

Untitled (Reina Sofía, After Richard Serra), 2019,
Oil on linen, 100 x73cm

Since the turn of the 20th century new forces took-over our collective
consciousness. The Age of Science and the Individual began to replace the order of the Church. The discovery of evolution and advancements in physics destroyed the supernatural in Christianity. The World Wars, Atom Bomb, Spanish Flu and Great Depression produced the ‘lost generation’ a generation where Gods purity turned into nihilism. There could be no noble meaning to such horror.  This nihilism soon gave way to an existential realisation: In a godless world, we were the central characters in the phenomena of being.

Realising our responsibility to choose meaning rather than have it prescribed by some deity, handed significance over to the Secular. Churches were replaced by art galleries and music venues. Saints and Profits became thinkers, artists and celebrities. The individual became the master.

Just like church was once a place to find God’s sublime power, in a more secular society art allows us to face death, our own insignificance and freedom, arts ability to evoke something greater grants us access to the sublime.

The two figures represented in the painting ‘Untitled (Reina Sofía, after Richard Serra)’ are, in some-sense, portraits of visitors to art galleries seeking emotional responses to the sublime in secular society.


The Speechless Sublime

Ah!, 2020
Oil on linen , 95x57cm

Fuck, 2020,
Oil on linen , 95x57cm

..., 2020,
Oil on linen , 95x57cm


The Eventual End

The Eventual End, Salk Institute, 2020,
Oil on linen, 200cm x 200cm

An event as cataclysmic as the end of humanity is something embedded in our collective consciousness. On a cosmic level, the ephemeral presence of humanity is a blip in the strangeness of the universe, something we all know must end. Despite this end, it is curious that we can more easily imagine the end of humanity at the hands of an asteroid impact, or virus, than from self-destructive and perpetual consumption; because wxho can imagine the end of capitalism?

Humanity’s attempt to leave an indelible mark on the planet, through art, discovery or the continuation of a family bloodline all amounts to nothing in the eventual end.

But the horror of our own annihilation can be accepted with dignity rather than a cacophony of panic. A final ‘well…it’s been fun’ would suffice, after all, we’ve already seen and done so much.



Entanglement (South Bank Centre, after Giambologna), 2020,
Oil on linen, 200cm x 142cm

Relationships are not objects that we can put on a shelf and looked at, their front, back, shape and borders cannot be seen. At best they can be represented, contained as mementos and symbols of connection: a holiday photo or wedding ring. These symbolic flourishes are only reflections of an intangible connection. When two people stand side by side, they can touch, but the real connection is woven together by invisible threads, felt only by them.

New threads nurture intimacy but present more wires on which to trip. Fall once and relationships can entwine into a confusing mass. Connection constricts, lines become misunderstood, others step in to be entangled. A form too large to understand, love, is knotted.
Suddenly there is beauty in its antithesis: freedom.

Whilst this invisible mass is untangled, the holiday photo looks down blissfully unaware, permanently portraying yesterday’s connection. 


Merge-Separate, Tension-Release

Merge-Seperate, Tension-Release, 2020,
Oil on linen, 200cm x 164cm

The vulnerability of love is manifest in deep connection and tension expressed in moments of physical affection. It is a dance of interlocking beings, capable of cultivating some of the strongest and most rewarding emotions in our emotional field. When we bond with another, we find ourselves in chains. Chains which are sources of great power welded together by unbreakable trust.

But equally, we are captured by the movements and desires of the other, vulnerable to the tension of two souls pulling in different directions. Reconciling a capitulation of the self and an authentic expression of ones inner-world strikes a delicate balance in which everything can be gained and lost.  The fear and beauty found in the power of love.


Innocence Lost

Innocence Lost, 2020,
Oil on linen, 172 x 87cm


Objects of Desire

Objects of Desire (After Laurence Weiner), 2016, Oil on linen,
196 x 196cm

Sublimity comes from somewhere beyond, or deeper than immediate sensation - it cannot be literally visualised. Thus, figures in the Sublime Affliction series interact with mysterious overbearing entities, sources of sublime power, fear and anxiety.

Like other paintings, this artwork features the interior spaces of an art gallery and other artists work, in this case the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) and part of ‘Objects of Desire’ by Laurence Weiner.


The Fall of Freewill

The Fall of Freewill, 2018,
Oil on linen, 100 x 77cm

‘The Fall of Freewill’ investigates our sense of freedom and the anxiety it produces.

When we consider our potential decisions, their possible outcomes stretch into the future as endless causal chains of events for which you are responsible. This causes us to recoil in terror, at the sublime power of infinite possibility, our persistent responsibility and ultimate freedom.

Confronted with this terror we either take a leap of faith with our decisions or fall into despair, usually by looking to relinquish our freedom and responsibility onto others, society and physical world.


Luke I
Luke II

Luke I,  2014,
Oil on linen, 50 x 70cm

Luke II, (After Yves Klein), 2016,
Oil on linen, 50 x 70cm

Despite Art, the vastness of the universe and death being sources of sublime affliction, people themselves also embody and evoke sublimity. Friends and family are not forgotten for complexity and how they inspire respect and admiration.


Brother & Sally

Brother & Sally, 2012,
Oil on linen , 140 x 100cm

Love can unearth some of the most powerful feeling and emotions we know, it glues people together and drives purpose.

It inspires intimacy, warmth, tenderness.
Passion. It inspires obsession, wrath and violence.

At all levels of society love operates with unimaginable depth and mystery, its vastness sublime.  


The Scream

The Scream, 2014,
Oil on linen, 100 x 67cm

The sublime reminds us of the unfathomable, immense and invisible.

Because the sublime makes us aware of the intensity of reality it causes a triumphant terror, our existential scream.


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Connor Addison - Artist, About

Connor Addison
          Painter and photographer based in Barcelona, Spain and London, UK

Co-founder of Last Universal Creative Ancestor 

Available for contact, commission or curatorial work  —
On Instagram @connoraddisonart

After studying painting at Central St Martins I went on to study Politics Philosophy and Economics at the University of Manchester. Both my academic and artistic practice has come to motivate my creative investigation into the sublime, aesthetics, emotion and pattern. I have exhibitied work in places like Leighton House in London and Salon d’Automne in Paris. 

Portrait of Connor Addison
photo © Charlotte Gilks

by Psychic Garden Magazine 

1. What artists and styles are your main source of inspiration?

Broadly, my work counters the idea of difference for the sake of difference, I love the rich history of creativity that has gotten us to where we are, it should not be thrown away as a relic of yesterday, rather reinterpreted.

With this in mind, I try to incorporate a wide range of inspirations.Picasso’s cubism and Bacon's paintings are latent in my works but there is also inspiration from the renaissance, Brutalist architecture, poetry, Stanley Kubrick, Conceptualism and Pop Art, especially in my upcoming paintings.

I think I'm attempting to bring as many influences as possible together because all art comes from the same creative source and builds upon yesterdays discoveries.

That's true for all elements of human progress, it has taken millennia to build this foundation of inspiration, all of it is valid in this constantly unfolding story of humanity.

2. Tell us about Luca Gallery... what is the art scene like in Barcelona?

LUCA, which stands for Last Universal Creative Ancestor, is a long term project of founding an online/offline art collective of creatives from different backgrounds, to sustain their practices and encourage-cross disciplinary experimentation.

The name is borrowed from the biological Last Universal Cellular Ancestor, the first common single cell that appeared 3.6 billion years ago, from which all life was born; our genetic origin. Similarly, our creative origin comes from the first-ever work of art, a ceremonial Acheulean hand axe, which, though mimetic evolution, has become all the art forms we see today.

I would love to see LUCA become a platform of experimentation between different species in this family tree of creativity, putting filmmakers and painters together, sculptors and musicians etc. I'm reasonably new to the Barcelona scene, but it is quite a relief from the scene in London where it sometimes feels like drowning in a sea of artists. 

What is your process for painting? Any advice you wish to share?

Today, just like fast fashion there is too much fast art, I have no problem with work being quick to make, but I feel in the 21st century we are losing an appreciation for slowness and craft. 

When I paint, I take my time, probably to my detriment. Often works arrive as a mental image and I work to extract that onto a canvas.

I feel anyone looking to paint should learn two things above everything else, patience and a strong sense of self-belief. Patience is more obvious, it allows for more detail, larger works, more consideration. But self-belief is the harder one, when anyone is really pushing their creative limits they need to sit in a space of doubt, for me it means sometimes the canvas is an oppressive surface, it's in charge, but you have to wrestle with it and believe in what you are doing or face defeat.
Tell us a bit about your story... where were you born?

I would love to give you an amazing life story about overcoming adversity, like that I was born in a plane wreck in Siberia where I was raised by wolves and went on an epic journey to discover where I came from, but In reality, I'm just like anyone else. I was privileged enough to be born in London, went to a state school, university, met a girl, moved country and became an artist. That’s it!

But that averageness is just what you should know about me, even when nothing special happens it’s still really intense and deeply interesting. I'm very interested in that, existence as a universal; the philosophy of human experience. My paintings try to create windows that invite reflection into our own incomprehension, pain and joy for life and, I hope, remind everyone that you’re not alone in it sublime unravelling.