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Interview with Refractive Pool


Since moving from Iran to Liverpool , this city , with its own unique visual and natural beauty , has been the background to my current style of painting , as it has developed . It has played a real hand in the creation of the work that I do.

I have created my own world of creatures and infused them with the style of traditional Iranian miniatures . I try to show relationships and tensions among humans , animals and technology and place my paintings in the lineage from traditional Iranian forms to the present moment , to reflect the zeitgeist of the moment.

For me , painting goes beyond colour and canvas . I am interested in trying to make painting as practical and accessible as possible and , in doing so , I am interested in painting on all conceivable surfaces , especially clothes , kitchenware and other consumer products

The Story

In 2020 we launched a crowdfunding campaign to produce a Refractive Pool book, which was supported by over 100 backers. The aim of the campaign was to produce a book that not only acts as a snapshot and lasting document of Liverpool’s current community of artists, but was also an exciting creative collaboration between the different disciplines of painting, photography and poetry. As artists ourselves we are passionate about sharing the vibrant art scene in the city with a wider audience; revealing what a diverse group of people these artists are and equally, just how varied and wide ranging their output is, while still remaining under the umbrella heading of contemporary painting.

We worked with almost 40 artists to produce this dynamic and creatively executed book, showcasing Liverpool based artists who make painting a significant part of their artistic practice. The book presents a diverse range of artists at different career points, who are working in and around Liverpool at this moment. Each artist produced a new painting for the book, which was combined with a photographic portrait of themselves using an innovative technique to produce a single image that represents them and their work in a unique way. The content of the publication is heavily image based, putting an emphasis on the visual, but also includes a new text by Liverpool born poet Paul Farley. writing on the dual subjects of painting and Liverpool. Paul’s writing, produced exclusively for Refractive Pool adds a new chapter to the catalogue of works by this award winning writer.

With this book we aim to raise the profile of the city’s contemporary painters, raising public awareness of the breadth of painting practice taking place in Liverpool. This book is the visual record and legacy that has been missing from the recent history of the area and the ‘go to’ document for anyone looking to explore the artistic fabric of the city.

We would like to thank everyone who supported the Refractive Pool book through our Kickstarter campaign.

Artists included in the Refractive Pool Book are:

Nima Javan

Lucy Archer


Jacqui Chapman

Jay Chesterman

Pete Clarke

Joana De Oliveira Guerreiro

Fran Disley

Luke George

Cherie Grist

Charlotte Hill

Jason Hollis

John Hyatt

David Jacques

Louis Jeck Prestidge

Barbara Jones

Gareth Kemp

Anna Ketskemety

Karl Kolley

Max Mallender

Richard Meaghan

Paul Mellor

Brian Mountford

Millie Olateju

Bernadette O’Toole

Zahra Parwez

Jon Pountain

James Quin

Arthur Roberts

The Singh Twins

Luke Skiffington

Tony Smith

Gary Sollars

Emma Worth

Yumiaba Art

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