K. Bumbag is a UK based artist whose work is a mixture of introspective self-portraits and expansive wallpapers that touch on, chart, document and satirise the changing human condition and geopolitical landscape around us. Whilst the subjects and themes of the work remain fluid they are underscored with a series of pervasive ideas and motifs.

Much of the work focuses on the playful drifting of identity.  This looks at the disconnect between the animal and modern civilized person; literally and in abstract; physical and metaphysical.  The dialogue between the modern and medieval brain; the conscious and subconscious; posited realities outside of human sense perception.  A posterior perturbation pervades the work often dreamlike, sometimes sinister.

As we are bombarded and submerged in an ever-increasing slurry of imagery, information and meaning we see things through layered perceptions.  Ephemeral constructs. ‘Perception’ creates a unique sense of consciousness and unique filter focal planes which are in turn fed with a subconscious animalistic sensibility.  A tightrope is walked between the primordial animal and modern consciousness.  More often the loss of cognitive control and the freedom to explore the feral mind will take the work in a new direction. 

Over the last century or so we have seen the movement away from literal interpretations to value filtered experiential interpretations as viewed by the creator.  This has progressed over time although it is important to note that literal interpretations were actually never as such.  Abstraction has presented a vehicle for which we may assume something different.  Here the tightrope straddles a divide between the tangible and recognisable (something meaningful onto which to grasp) and something out there, confusing or suggestion of what is beyond.


The process of painting each piece starts by addressing a consciousness- what has not been determined.  This emanates from a dream like soup of the conscious subconscious nothing- what is not yet determined, morphs from what was not, to what is.  As with the process of waking up- consciousness from nothing- not yet determined (habitual= rational consciousness)- a field of potential transforms into actuality.  Initial ideas that may have been formulating in some murky dream like background spring from the eye of the mind without seeming logic or reasoning.  Transition from what was not into being- as in Genesis.  From this process, order from potential, the journey begins to confronting some sort of truth and cognizant determination. 

The process of creation becomes the journey- an exploration and entity in itself.  With the autobiographical, self-portraiture this becomes a window into the physical, spiritual unknown, physically unconscious internal self; the privations of the mind and the metaphysical. 

Larger political pieces plunder the partially informed indeterminate soup of contemporary western society and are tinged with the vagaries of the mind and dream revelation myths of past and present.  These often combine snapshots of dark and cynical persona residue with an equally frivolous sense of play and humour.  The composition of multiple portraiture pieces ape tapestries of old and the repetitious block patterning of wall papers through the ages.  


The work is polystylistic- overlaying and sampling multiple technics and stylistic approaches within a single piece.  There are a number of motifs and themes that run through the work.  These include but are not limited to;

  • The repeated inclusion of animal metaphor, especially dogs heads as literal connection to our subconscious base animalistic sensibility. These are suggestive of the animal within, part of our subjugated inner self; the wild rabid dog whose unbridled animal instinct is beyond rational temperance.


  • The conflation of orifice as black hole. The circle, the orifice, especially the mouth connects the inside to outside both literally and metaphorically; physically and intellectually.  It espouses and consumes; projects and internalises; seals off and opens up.  It is a metaphysical gateway into something abstract beyond; an event time horizon to the unknown or alien.

  • The freewheeling dream sequence. The ambiguous slurry of image and content and the punctuation of this with moments of high energy intensity- kinetic -non rational clarity and sense making from random disjointed realities.


  • The line dividing line between good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being (Solzhenitsyn). This embodies the eternal human condition, as with sufferance is the idea of confronting, even embracing your inherent evil.  This cognitive dissonance is symbolically represented by the dog at once ‘man’s best friend’ as well as a symbol of immorality, barbarism, vulgarity, and ignorance;  ‘Do not give dogs what is sacred, do not throw your pearls to pigs if you do they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces’    Matthew 7:6


  • Abstraction and chance are visited with multiple imagery superimposed to create Trompe l’oeil effects using perceptual depth (binocular disparity) and rendered depth (micro contrast) to create an interplay of denotative and connotative imagery that can present the viewer with the belief that they are seeing or experiencing things that others may not.

Journey and process involve building up and then stripping away or reductionism; detailing and then abstracting, creating and then deconstructing.  Cartoon overlays serve to focus content, like calligraphy or sign writing a distilled messaging.  Like a signature; this personal abstraction can hint or twist in meaning and reading; superficially innocent or a shadow perturbation as posterior attribute.