Astral Smile was an exhibition of new paintings by Dereck Harris, and the research for those paintings in the form of digital/collage drawings completed during his Linbury Teaching Fellowship in Figurative Drawing at Wimbledon School of Art.
Astral Smile presented the human figure in states of hedonistic abandon. Based on photographs, the nightclub becomes a site of organised ritual, of uncontrollable mental experience, and of the transcendental pleasure of an unending euphoric trance.
Dereck draws attention to the ongoing trance through a collaged representation. He suggests that this is further evident by ‘ the painted surface which filters and synthesises photographic, digital, and painterly material, in contrast to an abstracted background of fantastic or psychedelic spaces’ .