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10 March 202014 March 2020

‘FIGURATIONS’ brings together the works of four artists, all having in common an embodied approach to the expression of queer existence in contemporary image culture.

Featuring work by Elija Grybe, Chris Daubaras, Oscar Cheung and Maria Unger.

These instances, citing corporeality as a key reference in their works, range from Oscar Cheung’s positioning of selfhood in relation to the hierarchical conflicts that underline heteronormative taste in graphic design; to the brightly coloured paintings of Chris Daubaras, which play on the fantastical, however dark and dangerous, place of imagination and self-identification. In addition, Elija Grybe’s works strategises the visceral components of aestheticized violence to articulate self-assertion. Likewise, Maria Unger engages through mixed media and performances throughout the exhibition, to wield a sense of identity and sexuality accumulated to the close research of through sensual and physical encounters.

As our physical registers are essential premises of our being in the world, ‘FIGURATIONS’ explores representation, queer agency and identity through a series of artistic externalisations that arrives at an overarching theme of ‘body’.

Curated by An Nguyen and Ella Winning.

Launch Event | Tuesday 10 March, 6 – 8pm

About the Artists

Elija Grybe: Fleshy crimson and warm orches bruised with cool blues are signature to the bulging, swirling forms of Elija Grybe’s visceral canvases. It is through these images that Grybe seeks to construct a sense of self to make sense of their identity and dignity in abuse survival. References are made to the brand of on-screen, ‘play’ violence typified in digital entertainment to explore the agency, control and placement of the individual in a media-led age where such representations of brutality can prove to tempt imitations off-screen.

Website | Instagram

Chris Daubaras’s practice weaves a mythology of the self, one realised through the chimeric bodies of unidentifiable creatures – bearing resemblances at once to devils, dogs and deities alike in ambiguous morphologies to address a personal history of LGBTQI experiences, mental illness and Lithuanian nationality.


Oscar Cheung’s graphic design ethos combines play and provocation to address an aversion to the low-brow/high-brow opposition. By unifying both forms under a postmodernist lens to challenge ideas of good taste, this strategy in turn serves to reflect experiences of being queer as the Other to the One of heteronormative conventions.

Website | Instagram

Maria Unger’s painting practice explores the immediacy of the sensuous physical touch. These studies close in on isolated body parts – be it images of the mouth, legs, or feet. Such fixations double as antitheses to the compositional wholeness of the classical portrait, and as a fetishistic exploration of their distinct erogeneity in being delegates of the entire sexual body. It is also through these investigations that the corporeality of gestural communications is examined in relation to spatiality and exchange.

About the Curators

An Nguyen graduated from Univerity of Brighton’s History of Art and Design BA in 2018 and has been curating both photography and painting, focusing largely on subjects of knowledge and LGBTQ identities and practices.


Ella Winning: Focusing their work particularly on processes of Othering within British culture Ella Winning is currently studying Cultural and Critical Theory: Aesthetics (MA) at University of Brighton.


10 March 2020
14 March 2020
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ONCA Gallery
14 St George's Place
Brighton, East Sussex BN1 4GB United Kingdom

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