Poet, painter, illustrator and filmmaker Michael Aurel has exhibited in London, Edinburgh, Falmouth, St Ives, and Los Angeles, where he also completed a residency. Themes of identity, loss, nation and the academy dominate his work.
His Romanian heritage, and his attachment to an Eastern bloc whose political history has outlived its geographical existence, penetrate the otherwise natively British scenes of his drawing -- the poetic lines that underscore his drawing Pub Grub (2017) hints at a perspective both within and without. Aurel is both observer and participant. The Orphan (2012), meanwhile, engages a trauma both bio- and historiographic. It is difficult to come to a total appreciation of Aurel's visual art without also considering the poetry with which it frequently engages. In his poem Childhood, he writes that he ‘marched with little brother through the highlands of Scotland bone collecting, and we threw rocks at jellyfish to see if they would sink...’; a curiosity that appears not to have left the artist, whose work today strides disciplinary and aesthetic frontiers with an outsider’s intrigue.