Strategic Plan by Spanish artist Juan Carlos Meana is an installation that is part of a broader work which deals with identity tensions between the individual and society. Juan’s installation fills the gallery with rulers and set-squares tells us that the space is reduced to numbers and measurements which, in an obsessive, hoarding manner, ends up depriving the subjects and their private identities. By ‘occupying’ the gallery and preventing the public from being able to physically enter into the installation, the artist wishes to emphasise the occupation of a space that cannot be inhabited and where the subject has been expelled.
Juan studied Fine Art at the University of the Basque Country.He continued studying in Paris (ENSBA) with C. Boltanski. He is currently lecturing in Fine Art at the University of Vigo (Spain). Over the years he has had around twenty solo exhibitions and many collective ones, in cities like Bilbao, Vigo, Vitoria, Barcelona, Madrid, Berlín, Amsterdam, Paris and Lisbon. This is the first time he has shown his work in the UK. Alongside his artistic work he has developed a body of reflective texts about artistic creation.
More information on Juan’s work is available on his website: juancarlosmeana.es
The private view for his show will be on Thursday 6 April, 6.30 to 8.30pm
Scenes from a Virtual Journal is a series of paintings by Rose Parker based on language collected from the Facebook posts of her grandmother’s travels in the Arctic Circle.
Rose was intrigued by what her grandmother wrote while travelling because her use of social media was atypical. Most people use photos and captions when posting about their travels, but Rose’s grandmother was unable to do this, as she felt that her camera was repeatedly failing to produce the images she wanted to create. Instead she resorted to language, in order to convey, not just what she saw, but her emotional responses.
Rose thought it would be an interesting experiment to see if she could become a substitute for her grandmother’s camera and turn her descriptions into a visual representation of her experiences. Rose wanted a tangible link between her grandmother’s writing and her paintings and has created, in her works, a typography from words found within the original source text.
Graduated from Wimbledon College of Art in 2015, with a BA in painting, Rose lives and works in Waltham Forest.
Private view: Friday 10 March, 6.30 to 8.30pm
Barrie J Davies (born 1977) is a British artist from Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, Wales. He graduated from the Southampton Institute with a Fine Art degree in 2000 and completed his Master’s Degree at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff in 2004. He has exhibited nationally and internationally for over ten years and has made various playful works in painting, photography, drawing, sculpture, print making, performance, fashion and installation.
His work is owned by well-known comedian, Noel Fielding and has also featured in the second series of Channel 4 Comedy “Raised by Wolves” written by Caitlin Moran. His artwork uses a provocative, colourful psychedelic and humorous approach to expose the human condition: notions of success, money, glamour, love, death, sex, gender and religion are picked at with dry comedic use of tragedy meshed with absurdity. The paintings in the show are influenced by the internet, 24 hour shopping, trashy magazines, kitsch obsessions, bootleg songs, day glo fashion, dubstep beats all fused together in a mishmash of pop styles.
E A Everall is a founder-member of Stuckism, the infamous international ‘outsider’ art movement. Founded in 1999, Stuckism originated as a riposte to the then dominance of ‘conceptualism’ and non-painting in general and is committed to the act of fine-art representational painting. The Stuckists are probably more familiar to the general public as the colourful crowd who regularly demonstrate outside the Tate in response to the meanderings of the Turner Prize. Behind this light-hearted façade, however, there lies a group of people with serious intent; witness the scores of exhibitions they have undertaken, often at prestigious locations (The Walker, Liverpool, Mayfair and Kent University).
‘The Face of Stuckism’ is an ongoing project by E A Everall intended to create an archive of portraits of fellow Stuckists. For this exhibition, E A Everall is showing the portraits he has completed to date, which are painted in a mildly heroic manner and are often accompanied by biographical notes and poems. The paintings represent the first few years of, what the artist envisages to be, a long-term project.
The private view for this show is on Friday 13 January from 6.30 to 8.30pm.
In-habitation brings together a rich variety of media: digital, drawing, models and book art, all exploring the notion of built structure as a metaphor for the self and as a framework for belonging. Artists Helen Scalway, Claire Reed and Ali Clarke who have collaborated in thought and process over the last year, present thought provoking, engaging work on the themes of strength, fragility and belonging in ‘habitation’.
Ali Clarke’s concrete paintings and architectural sculptures embrace her journey through architecture and set design. They explore themes of enclosure, boundaries, decay and urban nature whilst playing with extremes of solidity versus the fragile and delicate.
Claire Reed specialises in edgy and powerful site-specific work using a wide range of media. She is currently exploring the theme of belonging in a context of change, using the interplay of word and image. Claire will be interweaving the digital and hand-drawn, using elements of book and typographic structures, to create a series of works in 2D and 3D.
Helen Scalway’s work is greatly influenced by her experience of working for some years as an artist within a university department of interior architecture. Her current work is based on the idea of the house or built dwelling place as expressing human identity. She explores the idea of ‘the habitation of the self’ through such elements as house facades,doors and openings as giving access to apparently outward looking spaces, but leading to walls, barriers, trapdoors, impossible stairways, guarding more inaccessible areas. She investigates this materially and metaphorically, often through drawing and book structures.
Using printmaking as a medium of exploration and process to inform image making, the work in this exhibition investigates how process is linked to the development of the idea. Through observing, collecting and recording the urban and natural, and where they interconnect, they have built their own vocabularies of shapes, marks and textures that relate to their personal observations. They share an engagement with drawing process as a means to an end. Avison and Willberg’s prints interpret the physical differences of printmaking process to focus on the elements that are often overlooked.
Avison’s drawings are informed by looking for and finding similarities across landscapes, large and small, urban and natural. Her drawing practice explores texture, shape and the patterns thrown up by repeated looking. The recent prints come out of many sketchbook drawings, and they also recycle and rework previous images, exploring both the internal catalogue of observation and memory, and new marks that come out of the physical process of making prints to invent new landscapes.
Willberg’s work plays with an assemblage of shapes and grids that have taken inspiration from discarded objects she has observed and recorded from the city streets. Through a range of mediums including intaglio, relief and screen printing these different objects have adopted new characters and are now identified by their shape and interaction with colour, rather than their previous function or use. Sitting together they play with form and textures sometimes recognisable to us but always on our peripheries.
“Borderlands: The Edges of Europe” is a collection of analogue photographs representing the people and places along the borders of the European Union, developed with the purpose of creating an archive of images narrating life at the edges of Europe.
Since 2012 Paola Leonardi has photographed along the land borders of the European Union, following methodically the boundaries traced on maps, and building a distinctive experience of the European frontier that includes unplanned encounters with its inhabitants. This series focuses on the connection between people and territory and the significance of trans-national and transcultural identities, exploring the relevance of European identity and its relationship with concepts of home and belonging, memory and territory and how these have been shaped by events.
This project concentrates on land borders, and the concept of geographical Europe is juxtaposed to that of political Europe/European Union.
Paola Leonardi (born Italy 1980) is a London based photographer and a lecturer in Photography at University Campus Suffolk and London Metropolitan University.
Since completing the MA Image and Communication at Goldsmiths College in 2006, Paola has worked both commercially as well as developing personal projects. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, taking part in personal and group exhibition in the US, Italy, Denmark, Armenia and Germany.
For more information on Paola’s work: www.leonardiphoto.com
Artist Eugene Macki will be in conversation with Emma Hunter to discuss his current exhibition ‘Among Others’ at the gallery. The discussion will focus on the paradox of dividing and connecting and draw attention to the sculptural qualities. The talk will also explore the interconnections between shape and form. The event aims to stimulate thought and reflection on various complex relationships.
Eugene Macki grew up in Hackney, East London. Macki holds an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Arts and has participated in exhibitions across the United Kingdom. He received a fellowship from Atelier Austmarka in Norway, and was invited to participate in a residency at the Muse Gallery in London.
Emma Hunter currently lives and works in Hackney, London. Hunter is a sculptor as well as a spatial designer and associate lecturer. In 2015 Hunter completed three ambitious large-scale permanent sculptural public artworks in Oldham and Greater Manchester.