The three new series will be shown in separate rooms in the Saatchi Gallery, each entirely distinctive in style. They are united under the exhibition’s title, The Suggestionists, as Hewlett explains in the film below. “All three of these different projects at the time to me were separate, there was no connection, but the more I worked on them, the more I realised that the connection between them was suggestion, they all had very strong suggestive qualities,” he says.
Directed by Denholm Hewlett
The first series is inspired by tarot, with Hewlett creating a set of 22 larger-than-life cards for the exhibition. The tarot cards are perhaps most reminiscent of Hewlett’s previous work, featuring traditional characters redrawn with hints of Hewlett’s playful trademark style. A series of works showing details of pine trees is by contrast pared-back: portrayed in black-and-white, they were inspired by the trees Hewlett saw on visits to Cap Ferret in the South of France.
Strikingly different again are a set of fake film posters, which all feature a fictional erotic actress named Honey. In the space, these will be displayed in a series of giant lightboxes, with the intention of evoking the sleazy ambiance of an adult cinema lobby, a fairly nostalgic notion in the contemporary world of internet porn.
Hewlett is keen for audiences to the exhibition to make connections between the artworks for themselves. “We live in a culture where the mainstream is over-explained and everything is delivered to us in high-definition graphic overkill, which is not only exhausting but it’s robbing us of the ability to imagine what happens next for ourselves,” he says. “That’s why the exhibition is called The Suggestionists, because it’s opening the door ever so slightly and allowing you to peek in and see something, and the rest is up to you.”
The Suggestionists will be on show at the Saatchi Gallery in London from November 18 until December 2. Prints can be purchased pre-exhibition at jamiehewlett.com.