Pervilion at Silver Building: May 30th – June 2nd

30.05.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Cover Image: Still from To Spoor A Stockroom by Dorothy Feaver

Today in East London, opens a new and interesting exhibition at the Silver Building space in Silvertown.  “Pervilion at Silver Building,”  curated by Dorothy Feaver features the likes of scent, sculpture and film creatives, respectively Katharina Dubbick, Jack O’brien and Stella Scott. For the show, these artists explore the various states of dissolution as they replicate and activate the defunct of the boiler rooms of a sixties office block. Proposing several ways in which the body may register, absorb and release tensions within a built environment. 

In the concrete chambers the Silver Building, sculptor Jack Obrien presents a series of hanging sculptures titled “Buildings that Weep” that approach the body’s complex interactions with surrounding physical structures. Featuring husk-like forms, made of pigmented silicon, silicon chains and taut lines that trace the folds of drapery while mimicking the patterns of veins and muscular definition. While scent designer Katharina Dubbick fills the upper boiler room with an installation called “Time Capsule 7.23am (2019).” 

“I want to capture the moment of exhaustion after a climax – the sense of space that’s left when feelings settle, ” she explains. Through steam the space is filled with scents that stimulate associations of sweat, saliva, sex, gin and tonic, cigarettes, smoke,  sticky skin among other products, capturing the smells of latex and body odour with the help of perfumer Meabh McCurtin. And in a film entitled “To Spoor Stockroom (2019)”, filmmaker Stella Scott tracks liquid cycles that confront the sanitised the future and fetishisation of space in central London. The exhibition is a response to both the pressures and pleasures of the urban fabric of London, presented in abstract ways to intrigue the entire human sensory system. The exhibition will run for four days and close its doors on June 2nd.

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Soft Opening: Belly Room by Nevine Mahmoud

23.05.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

British visual artist Nevine Mahmoud recently partnered  with London art gallery Soft Opening on her first European solo exhibition entitled ‘Belly Room.’  The exhibition which opened earlier this month features a selection of five sculptures carved from marble and hand-blown glass.  Throughout the themes of the exhibition, the artist explores her ongoing interest in disembodied body parts with the series of glass forms that represent single breasts and full busts, re-opening the conversation around women’s bodies and their objectification thereof. 

With a palette of pinks, amber and nude, the translucent sculptures subtly distort and dissect the female human form, with each sculpture swelling and sagging along the walls of the gallery.  The sculpture series also includes curving marble slides and sheets mimicking a sort of abstract plastic humanity.

Throughout the exhibition, “the artist negotiates the boundary distinguishing perception and expectation. Searching for a form at once recongnizable and alienated, these uncanny sculptures reverberate with suggestive innuendo.”

The belly room is currently open at the Soft Opening in London and will run until June 30th. 

Nevine Mahmoud, bust (phantom Li), 2019 
Nevine Mahmoud, breast (tamarind), 2019
Nevine Mahmoud, carved slide (2019)

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Public Gallery: “The Redemption of Delilah” by Alexi Marshall

02.05.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Cover Image: Your Hair Was Long When We First Met, 2019, Alexi Marshall

In less than a week, London based gallery Public Gallery, will present an exhibition featuring the work of British visual artist Alexi Marshall titled The Redemption of Delilah.

The exhibition, set to open on the 8th of May will reveal a series of work from Marshall exploring and reimagining denigrated women of history through the humanity and nuance that lies in what has been traditionally known as sin. In her work, with the use of print, fabric, drawing and embroidery, the artist invites her viewers for a deeper analysis of condemned female figures, with the story centred around the biblical story of Samson and Delilah. As Delilah’s name has been known to be synonymous with the qualities of being voluptuous and treacherous, her fate following her actions highlighted in the bible has never been revealed, which in turns, forever shows her in a degenerated light.

Throughout the exhibition Marshall highlights the characters’ powers as well as their fallibilities as she explores the internal and external forces and at play.  Each pieces of wrk highlights characters from different narratives including Mexican and Trinidadian folklore that tell stories of tragedies, fate, forgiveness and life and death. 

“At a time when powerful women are still regularly denigrated in contemporary society, Marshall shines a new light on these ‘imperfect female sinners’ offering them a voice beyond the confines of history. These characters from religion and folklore become Marshall’s own personal deities, neither benevolent or malevolent but acting as symbols for fate and the innate wild nature of humanity. ” The exhibition will run its course throughout May at the Public Gallery until the 4th of June. 

Sweetest Downfall, 2019, Alexi Marshall
Jezebels Burden, 2019, Alexi Marshall

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Congregation by Sophie Green

24.04.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

For the past two years British social documentary & portrait photographer Sophie Green has been working on a project in celebration of Southwark’s community of Aladura Spiritualist African churches and congregations. As the product of her detailed studies, Green has created a compilation of all the documented images of the community that is often referred to as the “white garment” churches and will be presenting them in the form of an exhibition and hardcover titled Congregation this Thursday at the Hannah Barry Gallery. 

The images give a front row seat to the Christian denomination practised by Yoruba Nigerians that throughout the past 40 years has become a greater part of Southwark London —  being the community which hosts one of the highest concentration of African churches in Europe. Congregation will also raise conversation about collective identity and power within subcultures, cultural practices and traditional dresses, food and customs in modern technology and fashion. For the project, the photographer collaborated with members of the congregation through portrait sessions and photographic workshops which go hand in hand with the candid images of the men, women and children throughout their religious practice. 

Congregation will be launched available online this Thursday and can be purchased via Loose Joints.

Congregation by Sophie Green 
Congregation by Sophie Green
Congregation by Sophie Green

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Love Me by Stella Asia Consonni – April 25th

23.04.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

This Thursday Italian photographer Stella Asia Consonni is set to open the doors to her solo exhibition entitled Love Me . The showcase, set to take place for one night at Protein Studios in Shoreditch, London, will feature a compilation of intimate images of with diverse couples as subjects.

The photographer first began shooting for the project a year ago, with the intention of creating an online photo series as a means of healing as she overcame her then-recent break-up. One of the images from the original series, featuring two men mid-kiss was uploaded by the photographer via instagram and was soon after deleted by the platform for “not following community guidelines.” Instagram later issued an apology and allowed the image to be re-uploaded but the second time around Consonni was met with homophobic comments and slurs in reaction to the image.

This was when she decided the best way to contest the homophobes and bigots was to create an entire exhibition in celebration of the many colours and forms of love. In addition to the photo series, the photographer will also debut a short film complementing the series by documenting short bits and pieces of these love stories. 

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Hayward Gallery: “Kiss My Genders” 12 June – 8 Sep

05.04.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

Cover Image: Martine Gutierrez, Masking Fish Mask from Indigenous Women (2018)

On June 12th this summer, central London art gallery Hayward Gallery will open it’s doors to a group exhibition titled ‘Kiss My Genders,’ showcasing the work of 30 international artists whose repertoires engage in conversation around gender identity. Curated by Vincent Honoré, the exhibition will feature a compilation of over 100 artworks by several generations of artists from across the world who share interests in articulating with themes of gender fluidity, non-binary, trans and intersex identities communicated throughout their work. The exhibition will include wide range of several types of media including installations, videos, paintings, sculptures, portraitures etc.

Juliana Huxtable Untitled Lil’ Marvel (2015)

The panel of creatives will include names who explore gender expression through the forms of performance, drag and masquerade. Such as names like Ajamu,  a London-based visual activist whose work challenges conventional understanding of sexuality, desire, pleasure and cultural production within contemporary Britain and Amrou Al-Kadhi, a British-Iraqi writer, drag performer and filmmaker, who in collaboration with British photographer Holly Falconer, created a photographic portrait Glamrou (2016) using triple exposure to communicate the experience of being in drag as a person of Muslim heritage. The exhibition will also bring forth political undertones with artist artist Hunter Reynolds who is an AIDS activist as well,  whouses art as a tool to process trauma as well as transform it. The Kiss My Gender exhibition will also be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue featuring original essays and a roundtable discussion with and from a few of the artists along with the exhibition’s curators and a performance by Berlin based artiste Planningtorock, whose song lyrics were featured as the showcase’s title. The exhibition will run throughout the summer and close its doors on September 2019. For more info visit Hayward Gallery.

Zanele Muholi, Phila I Parktown, (2016)
Catherine Opie, Mike and Sky (1993)

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Public Gallery ft. Joan Cornellà: “IM GOOD THANKS”: Apr 3rd – May 4th

03.04.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

London based contemporary space Public Gallery in collaboration with renowned Catalan artist Joan Cornellà presents ‘IM GOOD THANKS’ — a solo exhibition featuring the artist’s work set to open on the 3rd of April. The exhibition will feature a series of new works by Cornellà featuring his instantly recongisable mix of pitch black humour and deeply unsettling imagery as he gives his audience a glimpse of his dystopic view of contemporary life. Throughout the exhibition paintings will line the walls and surround a central sculpture which represents the artist’s trademark suited character. Each piece of work included in the upcoming exhibition acts as a mirror into the depraved nature of society; confronting topics like our obsessive attachment to social media and masturbatory selfie culture to politically controversial topics such as abortion , addiction and gender. Upon first glimpse the artist’s work may appear as playful and lighthearted but upon further thought and inspection it reveals his admirable method of twisting saccharine settings to dissect modern culture.

“I think we all laugh at misery. We must start from the idea that when we laugh, we laugh at someone or something. With empathy or not, there is always some degree of cruelty. In spite of that, I am aware that if one of my cartoons happened in real life , I would not laugh at al,” he comments. In sync with the growing feeling that the world is sinking further into depraved absurdity, Cornellà sheds some light unto human nature, presenting us in his notoriously dark and disquieting manners. The exhibition is set to run until the 4th of May.

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“Tim Walker: Wonderful Things” – The Visionary’s Largest Exhibition To Date comes to London

30.03.2019 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

Cover Image: Duckie Thot, Aubrey’s shadow © Tim WalkerStudio

This Autumn London’s largest museum Victoria and Albert is set to host an exhibition on one of fashion’s most celebrated photographers Tim Walker. Titled Tim Walker: Wonderful Things , the exhibition is scheduled to open on September 21st, and will include the largest collection of Walker’s images to date. Curated & designed by leading creative director and Walker’s long-term collaborator Shona Heath , the exhibit will feature 10 new photographic projects which have been directly influenced by the V & A’s vast collection. In preparation for the exhibit, the photographer scoured the museum 145 public galleries, scaled the roof of the 12 acre South Kensington site and explored the labyrinth of Victorian passages below level. Where he encountered , antique jewellery , erotic illustrations, the museum’s largest photograph as well as many other rare artefacts to serve as inspiration for the projects. 

“To me, the V&A has always been a palace of dreams – it’s the most inspiring place in the world. The museum’s collection is so wide and eclectic, and I think that’s why it resonates with me so much. Many of the objects that I saw during my research at the museum made my heart swell and I wanted to try to create a photograph that would relate not only to the physical presence and beauty of that object, but also to my emotional reaction to it. Each new shoot is a love letter to an object from the V&A collection, and an attempt to capture my encounter with the sublime. For me, beauty is everything. I’m interested in breaking down the boundaries that society has created, to enable more varied types of beauty and the wonderful diversity of humanity to be celebrated. Preparing for this exhibition over the past three years has pushed me into new territories, which is very exciting, and I’m at a stage in my life where I feel brave enough to do that,” said the man himself. 

‘Tilda Swinton’, Renishaw Hall, Derbyshire, 2018 (c) Tim Walker Studio

The exhibition will begin with  showcasing over 300 items including short films, photographic sets, props, sketches, scrapbooks and other items from which Walker drew inspiration as well 100 photographs from his previous projects. It will the continue into 10 additional rooms filled with the photographer’s work work inspired by the V & A, his films installations and evocative sets and props alongside the images they inspired.  The exhibition will take it’s bow on March 08, 2020. For more information, visit V & A. 

‘Zo, Kiran Kandola, Firpal, Yusuf, Ravyanshi Mehta, Jeenu Mahadevan, Chawntell Kulkami, Radhika Nair’, Pershore, Worcestershire, 2018 (c) Tim Walker Studio
‘Karen Elson, Sgaire Wood & James Crewe’, London, 2018 (c) Tim Walker Studio

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J Hammond Projects: “Fuck Paintings, Etc.” by Betty Tompkins

01.03.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

This week London based exhibition space J Hammond Projects presents the opening of their latest exhibition “Fuck Paintings, Etc” by pioneering feminist artist Betty Tompkins. The exhibition which opens today features a series of pornographic images aimed predominantly at men missing heads, hands and other identifiers until the work takes a form of abstractionism. The artist tells the stories of sexuality and desire from a female perspective, in attempt to break the monopoly of the male gaze. The  series will include a selection of ‘Fuck’ , ‘Cunt’ , ‘Pussy’ and ‘Dick Paintings’ which the artist has completed throughout the last decade along with four brand new text works from Tompkin’s “Insults/Laments” series. 

The “Insults/Laments” is a combination of the artist’s work featuring quotes of crude and degrading language directed at women. “I’m always moved by what I’m quoting, by including the words in my paintings, I’m showing respect for how women have survived these awful experiences,” stated Tompkins.  

The artist began her journey of making giant genitalia ‘Fuck Paintings’ over half a century ago and was presenting a body of work which had initially been rejected by all corners of the art world for its sensitive subject matter. As a result, despite a handful of group shows during the early 1970’s these  paintings have been ignored for the past three decades stored in the Tompkins’ New York studio until a solo exhibition in 2002 and her participation in La Biennale de Lyon the following year. The exhibition is set to run throughout March until April 13th. 

Betty Tompkins Who Will… Acrylic on canvas 2019
Betty Tompkins Cunt Painting 2017, Acrylic on Canvas

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Hen The Exhibition, by Bex Day

01.03.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

British fashion and documentary photographer Bex Day in collaboration with producer curator Sandrine Servent and artist publisher William Esdale have recently joined forces in the conception of a campaign which seeks to raise awareness and visibility of the UK’s older transgender community.  The campaign titled ‘Hen’ is an initiative Day has been working on for the past three years, that aims to promote a better understanding of integration in and outside the transgender community through an exhibition, film, talks and workshops. 

According to Day, “Hen is an anthropological study on gender fluidity and an exploration into the lasting impact societal restrictions concerning sexual identity and gender roles upon us. It examines how gender stereotypes have affected the older transgender community and questions how we define gender and if as a society we should, as well as exploring the inherent social and cultural problems within these alienating classifications.” The exhibition is set to display a series of 30 photographic portraits in various sizes and a newly commissioned film featuring subjects over the age of 40 which with successful funding, will take place in London at the Herrick Gallery during the first week of April following Trans Day of Visibility day on March 31st.

Unfortunately , the campaign is sans funding and is in attempt of seeking financial sponsors to cover the expenses of the panel discussion, transport and installation of the artwork, equipment for the three workshops among other costs. The workshops will be hosted by the charity Stonewall Housing with whom the exhibition has partnered with to ensure that 50% of prints sales goes to the organization as one of the UK’s LGBTQ+ and trans only supported accommodations. Twenty percent will also be contributed to partners Press For Change as one of the UK’s leading campaign groups in focus of the rights and treatment of transgender people. To donate, visit Hen The Exhibition, to learn how. 

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susan pui san lok: A COVEN A GROVE A STAND

18.02.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Earlier this month at the Firstsite gallery Colchester,  opened an uncanny exhibition titled “A COVEN A GROVE A STAND.”  The exhibition pioneered by artist susan pui san lok, is an exploration of the age-old practice of witchcraft and the history of witch persecutions across East Anglia during the 16th and 17th centuries where over 300 witches were executed by the Witch Hunter General Matthew Hopkins. 

Throughout the exhibition , the artist’s focus is on an 800 year-old oak tree called the ‘Old Knobbley’ located in Mistley, Essex and is rumoured to be where witches were thought to have hidden.  The exhibit also includes a sound installation which echoes several versions of the folk song “Cruel Mother” around the tree. The showcase is set to conclude in April and will evolve overtime as the artist will encourage her audience to participate in the exploration of the themes of voice, place, collective remembrance and resistance.  

Famous Old Knobbley oak tree in forest in Mistley, Essex – Image by Callum Redgrave
 A COVEN A GROVE A STAND, 2019. Photo Douglas Atfield, Courtesy Firstsite
 A COVEN A GROVE A STAND, 2019. Photo Douglas Atfield, Courtesy Firstsite

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Twin Magazine presents “Twin X” : Jan 31 – Feb 02

04.02.2019 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

This week Twin Magazine opens our doors in London to a group exhibition  entitled “Twin X” which celebrates a decade of local emerging talent and creativity.  The showcase, which opens on January 31st at The Store X in East London, pulls on the visual archive of our biannual print publication featuring the works of several creatives throughout the industries of fashion, photography and art. Collectively curated by Twin Founder Becky Smith; Twin art editor and curator Francesca Gavin; curator and gallerist Antonia Marsh; image director Holly Hay and Twin fashion editor Naomi Miller, the exhibition is an amalgamation of the personal taste and perspective of each curator. 

It is a display which collectively showcases specially-commissioned editorial images that focus on independence and individualism, which are themes that have been carried throughout the magazine since it’s conception in 2009. 

“As publications have come under increased pressure to compromise over the last decade, Twin has remained a distinct and independent platform for pure creativity. The show celebrates the artists that have helped shaped and define independent publishing as it stands today, ” says Founder Becky Smith.

With work from photographers such as Stef Mitchell, Cass Bird, Boo George, Bibi Cornejo Borthwick, Dexter Navy and Akinola Davies Jr, the show deconstructs a central narrative into four sections: Photographers, Models, People and the Unseen. Exploring the thoughts behind these characters, faces and creatives who are defining the nature of contemporary creativity. The Unseen section of the exhibition will also feature never-before-seen outtake shots from the magazine’s photographic archive, providing spectators with a rare insight into the world of image-making and its process. Twin X features free admission and concludes on February 3, 2019. 


Photograph by Yaniv Edry, Issue 19, 2018.

Photograph by Akinola Davies Jr., Issue 19, 2018.

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V & A : “Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams”

21.01.2019 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

On February 2nd, London based Victoria and Albert Museum will open the doors to the largest comprehensive exhibition to be staged in the UK on the fashion house of Dior. Titled “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams,” this exhibition will trace the impact of one of the 20th century’s most influential couturiers while exploring the works of the six artistic directors who succeeded him. Although based on the major exhibition “Christian Dior: Couturier du Reve,” at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the showcase is reimagined for the V & A by curator Oriole Cullen and includes a brand new section which explores the designers fascination with British culture. 

“There is no other country in the world, besides my own, whose way of life I like so much. I love English traditions, English politeness, English architecture. I even love English cooking,” a quote from Christian Dior. The designer deeply admired the British  way of life, even his first fashion show took place at London’s Savoy Hotel and he then later established the brand as Christian Dior London. 

The exhibition also gives insight to Dior’s creative collaborations with jewellers, shoemakers, and glove makers as well as a focus on some of his earliest elite clients. These include author Nancy Mitford, dancer Margot Fonteyn and a special highlight of the Christian Dior dress worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday. The exhibition will presents over 500 objects and over 200 rare Haute Couture garments displayed alongside the designer’s personal possessions. The show will reveal the sources of inspiration which help define the Dior aesthetic, from the intricate designs of Yves Saint Laurent to Maria Grazia Chiuri’s feminist vision. The showcase will be held across 11 sections which include titles such as The Dior Line, Dior In Britain, Historicism, Travels, among others. Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams opens February 2nd until July 14th , to book your tickets visit V & A.

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Hanna Moon & Joyce Ng: English as a Second Language

09.01.2019 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

English creative hub Somerset House has recently tapped two of fashion’s headlining Asian photographers Hanna Moon and Joyce Ng for the conception of an upcoming exhibition entitled ‘English as a Second Language.’  The exhibition, set to open on January 25th, will be driven mainly by the work of these two Asian-born London-based photographers. It will offer a series of images with an interesting perspective, which shall incorporate cultural signifiers, set design and of course fashion as they present their take on Western aesthetics and fashion ideals. While at the same time bringing distinct Asian perspective to their works and challenging the concept of “otherness” to reflect upon the power fashion photography holds in shaping our general perceptions of beauty style and taste. Curated by Shonagh Marshall,  ‘English as a Second Language’ is set to be arranged across three rooms. The first of which visitors will be welcomed by the works of Hannah Moon in her series called ‘Heejin and Moffy’ where she uses the architecture of the Somerset House to capture the imagery of the models who respectively hail from South Korea and London in a dramatic re-imagination of Somerset’s neoclassical setting. The exhibition will then continue with the work of Joyce Ng , whose speciality is working with street casted models and natural environments. She will present a body of work which features a cast from the House’s community across a six week period as she invited visitors to take part in on-site shootings. The series will include inspiration from renowned Chinese novel Journey to the West, which the photographer selected participants to embody each character from the novel within the hidden public spaces of Somerset House. The exhibition  will also feature an extensive wardrobe from iconic names such as Vivienne Westwood, Phillip Treacy, Molly Goddard, Yohji Yamamoto among others.  For further details check out Somerset. 

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Serpentine Gallery x Grace Wales Bonner

07.01.2019 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

London’s Serpentine Art Gallery and British-Jamaican designer Grace Wales Bonner, have teamed up for the release of an exhibition at the gallery in honour of the designer’s iconic work and research. The exhibition set to be opened on January 19th will explore the themes of mysticism, rituals and magical resonances throughout black cultural and aesthetic practices. The audience will be treated to a multi-sensory installation which will include an assemblage of shrines, a carpet installation by Rashid Jognson and a series of meditation workshops led by musician Laraaji during the opening days. The designer will draw inspiration from the improvisation, intentionality and repurposing of shrines from the Black Atlantic as material portals into multiple worlds and frames of experience. As she references images, rituals and ceremonies from across the world into a unique collective. The exhibition will culminate on February 16th and will lead into the presentation of her upcoming Autumn Winter 2019 collection titled Mumbo Jumbo. To RSVP, visit Serpentine.

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Sadie Coles HQ: Katja Seib, Dear Diary

15.11.2018 | Art , Blog | BY:

London based contemporary art gallery Sadie Coles HQ introduces their most recent collaboration with German visual artist Katja Seib in an exhibition entitled Dear Diary at their gallery in Mayfair. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in London which will feature a collection of new paintings which go by the theme of lucid figuration blurs into dreamlike symbolism, sharing a quality of psychological depth in common to her previous work.  On large burlap canvases, Seib depicts characters from real-life models to imaginary personae with materials which permeate both texture and imagery.  The artist’s paintings are often marked by reoccurring symbols and themes such as female sexuality and subjectivity and reality shading ambiguously into fantasy. She explores the use of light and colour using fluctuations in shadow and tones to render spatial depth. Also installed upstairs of the gallery will be an exhibition of her smaller works made on square canvases. This collection is mainly based on photographs she has taken of people she encounters during her life in Los Angeles. The exhibition is set to open on November 16th and will conclude on January 05, 2019. Be sure to stop by and have a look.

Eve’s Curse, Katja Seib (2018)

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Virginia Jaramillo: Where the Heavens Touch the Earth

19.01.2017 | Art , Blog | BY:

From today Hales Gallery will play host to Virginia Jaramillo’s first solo exhibition outside of her native US. Entitled ‘Where the Heavens Touch the Earth’, the exhibition will display her work from the 1970s, which is striking in its underlying geometry. Bringing together a selection of large-scale canvases and the series Visual Theorems, the work crosses boundaries between painting and drawing, and canvas and paper, creating a tangible materiality.  

Virginia Jaramillo’s career has spanned almost six decades. Born in El Paso, Texas, she spent her formative years in California, before living briefly in Europe and then relocating to New York City, where she still lives today. She is focused on expressing cultural constructs and sensory perceptions of space and time through her work, and draws inspiration from widely varied sources, including science fiction and Celtic and Greek mythologies. We spoke to Virginia about her work, New York in the 1970s, and her artistic influences.

The name of your exhibition “Where the Heavens Touch the Earth”, lends itself to the notion of boundaries and transcendence. Where does this title come from and how do these themes feed into your work?

The title stems directly from Teotihuacan, an ancient archeological site several miles outside present day Mexico City. Teotihuacan symbolizes and alludes to, “the place where the heavens touch the earth” and “the place where the gods were born.”  This place, aligned so precisely with cardinal points and certain star systems, has played a large role in my work.  Since childhood I’ve been fascinated and intrigued with why people and cultures believe what they do, and how their myths of creation are transformed into truths. What happened for this belief system to take hold?

Virginia Jaramillo, Untitled, c. 1973

Virginia Jaramillo, Untitled, c. 1973

How does your work play with the structural patterns we use to interpret the world and the flow of space and time? 

My work is an aesthetic investigation of the sensory matrix we superimpose upon our environment, our lives, and our cultural myths, so we can comprehend and survive in the world around us. I believe that the fabric of time and space is inextricably interwoven into every civilization that has ever existed.  

Your choice of materials has developed since your celebrated ‘Black Paintings’ that were made in California. What drove your selection of medium at that time?

The ‘Black Painting’ period was a time of extreme financial and political hardship, socially and artistically. If I wanted to paint, I had to use any material that was readily available at our neighborhood hardware store. I began preparing my own rabbit skin glue and gesso from scratch and using cheap black and dark brown paints that I grew to love.  The journey with the black paintings, which began from a period of financial need, was a blessing in disguise for me as an artist. It gave me a voice.     

Can you tell us about your year spent living in Europe in the 1960s, how was that formative for you?

California is a very special place, and its beauty had a tremendous effect on my formative years and still feeds my sensibilities as an artist. But coming straight from California, Europe, and specifically Paris, was an eye-opener. Europe was truly an alien planet. Everywhere I walked or looked, there was a sense of the historical, and I was present and a part of it. Everything was ‘art’; the food I ate, the shop windows, the paintings hanging in Le Louvre. It was a visual and sensory feast.  After living in Europe, I never looked back. I knew I could never survive as a creative being in an art environment where so much was closed to minorities. 

Virginia Jaramillo, Visual Theroems, 11, 1980

Virginia Jaramillo, Visual Theroems, 11, 1980

During your transition from West to East coast, how did your painting develop, and how did your relationship to abstraction shift?

I have always been concerned with abstraction. My involvement with a particular spatial construct allows me to look beyond the literal, which the canvas creates. It becomes deep sensory space.

Whilst in New York City in the 1970s and 80s, you were involved with various feminist organizations, including the celebrated Heresies Magazine and legendary A.I.R. Gallery. Can you discuss this moment for women artists and your place within it? 

To be honest, at the time I was not as involved as many women artists of the period. Being married to a black artist, raising two children, being a Mexican-American woman artist, and squeezing in time to do my work was difficult. Dealing with the racial bias of the time could defeat anyone. My life was a political statement. During this period I worked with the staff of Heresies Magazine for their ‘Third World Women’ issue, which was very gratifying. Being on the board of advisors of ‘The Feminist Art Institute’, and helping to organize a successful benefit auction for a scholarship fund for women artists is something I’m very proud of. As is being part of ‘Women Artists of the 80’s’ at A.I.R. Gallery in New York City, which was curated by Corinne Robins.

Virginia Jaramillo, Visual Theorems 18, 1979.

Virginia Jaramillo, Visual Theorems 18, 1979.

This will be your first solo exhibition outside of the US. What’s next?       

I’m excited to be participating in two major museum shows later in the year; ‘We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women 1965-85’ at The Brooklyn Museum in New York and ‘Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power’ at the Tate Modern. In May, Hales Gallery will feature several of my Curvilinear paintings from the 1970s in the Spotlight section of Frieze New York art fair.

Virginia Jaramillo: Where the Heavens Touch the Earth, will be on display at Hales Gallery between 20th January and 4th March 2017.

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