“Nearness” – an exhibition in celebration of British Black History Month

24.10.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

Imagery courtesy of Ronan Mckenzie

This evening Brixton Village will celebrate UK Black History month with an exhibition curated by British acclaimed designer Bianca Saunders. The showcase, titled ‘Nearness’ is a pop up installation that explores black creativity in a vast variety of forms. It will include the works of multi-disciplined filmmaker & video artist Akinola Davies Jr, fashion designer Jazz Grant, poet and director Caleb Femi as well as photographer director and curator Ronan Mckenzie. 

“As London continues to grow and evolve in this age of gentrification, we need to keep stoking the fires of multiculturalism and inclusivity by celebrating creativity in up and coming areas. 

The concept of this exhibition is something that speaks to me on a personal level — supporting other artists of colour in London. I reached out to each of these artists personally, based on their unique creative vision: my favourite multidisciplinary talent from the community that enriches London’s culture dialogue,” explained curator Bianca Saunders. 

The exhibition will open it’s door tonight at 6pm at the Market Row in Brixton and will run until the evening of October 27th.

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“The Invisibles” by i-D & Jermaine Francis

17.10.2019 | Blog , Culture | BY:

Next week , photographer Jermaine Francis in collaboration with i-D will present an exhibition titled “The Invisibles.” The expo is a documentary of  London’s Homeless crisis through the photography of tents that serve as temporary homeless shelters around the city. 

Francis initially began shooting this project a few months ago and had the final project — The Invisibles featured in i-D’s most recent issue. 

“I didn’t enjoy making this project. About a year ago, I began noticing tents popping up around the urban landscape. I already knew that homelessness had increased and increased everywhere, not just in London — but the tents cemented it. Research from Shelter has revealed that there are about 300, 000 homeless people in the UK, an increase of 13, 000 in the past year alone . This means that one in every 200 people in Britain are homeless. If you add in those who are unrecorded, or sleeping two and three to one tent, that number is even higher. 

It felt strange seeing so many homeless people living in tents here in Britain; we’re the fifth largest economy in the world. This is a place that’s supposed to be able to help the most vulnerable in our society. I decided to document them,”  the photographer wrote in an article about the project. 

In addition to Jermaine’s photography, there exhibition will also include an auction of work from artists such as Robi Rodriguez, Lena C Emery, Mel Bles, Vinca Peters and others. All of whose proceeds from the draw will go towards supporting charities such as Shelter’s Home Team &  Family Support Service.

“The Invisibles” will take place on the 23rd of October at Protein Studios 31, from 6-9pm.

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Fragile Face Laid Flat: A coup for Matches Fashion as Venetia Scott turns the focus on her own photography work with gallery duo Sion & Moore

26.09.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

What’s in a face? What expressions do they hold. What do they aim to reveal, and what do they choose to conceal to the viewer.

Venetia Scott, Fashion Director of Vogue whose own photography work spans over a decade, has put the spotlight on some of the most famous faces she has shot, cropping down the image, and spotlighting a tight frame on nothing above the crown and nothing below the neck.

The result? Mesmerising faces entrance and envelop the viewer, as we are caught in their beam. The graininess of the zoom only enhances a sense of retrograde nostalgia about the shots: are we looking back into something or forward?

Scott developed the idea for the work whilst blowing up parts of her images – she noticed that, whilst detail is lost in the zoom, a new quality arises – one that draws you in. The portraits are beautifully eerie, looking as if they might have been taken from missing person files. The face of each girl captivates the viewer but stops short of telling us everything we might want to know. 

The name of the exhibition came about after Venetia saw it written on the side of a packing crate in Paris. Is it a face of fragility or resilience? Is it a two dimensional shot or is the woman looking right back, while sealed in the frame?

With all the images being of faces made famous from fashion shows and magazines, notably many from Venetia’s intrepid career, we are also presented with faces some of us have grown up with and have shaped our ideas of beauty and grace. They are familiar, from Lindsey Wixon to Lineisy Montero Feliz, and yet we hardly know them at all. 

In conjunction with the brilliant Sion & Moore, whose duo of former photography agent Kim Sion and creative consultant Lucy Kumara Moore, director of Claire De Rouen Books, have launched quite the partnership in a contemporary gallery project, the exhibition also heralds a new movement coming into play in Matchesfashion. Exploring the overflow of fashion into other creative spheres, the exhibition hopefully signals many more photography expositions in the 5 Carlos place address. Matchesfashion, as ever, has the finger on the creative pulse, and by celebrating the arts in all its fascinations, they are opening their doors wide for a new stream of showcasing and celebration. 

Fragile Face Laid Flat runs until 28th September at Matchesfashion, 5 Carlos Place, Mayfair, London

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Saatchi Gallery Presents – Sweet Harmony: Rave ft Seana Gavin and others

12.07.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

Today,  London’s Saatchi Gallery opens it’s doors to an immersive retrospective exhibition devoted to presenting a revolutionary survey of rave culture through a variety of various voices who have experienced it. The exhibition, titled Sweet Harmony: Rave| Today is set to open on Friday July 12th and will include several portrayals of the new world which emerged from the acid house scene. Throughout the exhibition, the space will feature multimedia room installations and audiovisual works by some of the rave movements experienced by first hand. As the concept of the acid house revolution is set to be recalled through photo series , live music events, talks and panel discussions by the movements’ architects and influencers of the 80s and 90s. 

The Saatchi Gallery’s director Philly Adams in partnership with co-curator Kobi Prempeh have assembled a team of youthful visionaries and photographers including Sheryl Garratt, Agnes Bliah, photographers Tom Hunter, Vinca Petersen and a Twin favourite Seana Gavin. In anticipation for the upcoming event, we called upon the London based artist for a quick chat on what to expect. 

. In anticipation for the upcoming event, we called upon the London based artist for a quick chat on what to expect. 

For the exhibition, your work is mainly based off your time during the Spiral Tribe,  what would you say was the definition of  the term “rave” during a time such as this?

The raves I attended began in London. They were parties put on by collectives and sound systems such a Spiral Tribe who would take over abandoned empty buildings like office blocks, factories, post offices and outdoors in fields and quarries and would transform them into spaces where people from all walks of life could sweat the night away on a dance floor surrounded by likeminded individuals. The parties were run on a donation only entrance policy. Their ethos were all about the freedom to party as a way to break away from the commercial club culture that was emerging at the same time. They were illegal, very underground and it became a subculture. When Spiral Tribe left the UK in 1993 they would continue their mission across Europe. Other sound systems followed and raves turned into multi sound system Techno Festivals known as  ‘Teknivals’.

New Years day,Barcelona by Seana Gavin

 How would you say rave culture has changed since then and in what ways has the way in which you document rave culture since then evolved?

Overlapping with the scene I was part of, rave culture expanded from illegal warehouses into ticketed commercial club events. Even though raves and Teknivals still go on today they can’t have the same energy and rawness from the early days. Nothing can be repeated like that. In the early days to find out about the parties there was a secret party line info number you’d call on the night. It is incredible to think that between 30-50,000 people attended the iconic Castlemorten 3 day rave in the British countryside in 1992 purely through these channels and on a word of mouth basis.

In Europe, flyers were also handed out to pass on info about the next party. In my era it was pre-smart phones and social media so there was less documentation. Nowadays the digital age and overload of selfie culture has tainted things. Everyone has a portable camera in their phone so there is less mystery around it.

I think it’s great that clubs like Berghain in Berlin try to keep things more old school by storing your phone as you enter the club. Which also forces you to be present in the experience and not live through the lense of your smart phone camera.

record dusting, hostomice Teknival 1998, by Seana Gavin

 What would you like your audience to take away from your series?

I’d like to think the viewers would feel a sense of intimacy to the subject matter. I wasn’t a photo journalist documenting this scene at the time, I was immersed in this way of life . The photos I’ve included in the show capture the raves locations, the journeys in between, the aftermath of the parties and people who defined the scene.

I would hope the viewers would get a sense of the perspective of what it felt like to be part of that community which was more than a night out but an alternative outlook to society and a way of life.

Twice as Nice, Aiya Napa, London, 1999
VINCA PETERSEN Bus And Rig

Other names of images makers included in exhibition are Ted Polhemus, Dave Swindells and Mattko. Throughout the exhibition, a space is created featuring the visually stimulating collections of each artist accompanied by a Spotify playlist with sub-genres of Detroit Techno, Acid House, Happy Hardcore, UK Garage and Grime. Uniting a selection of like, yet diverse minded creatives including electronic musician, visual artists and of course photographers. After the exhibition’s debut this Friday, it shall remain open to the public throughout the summer, until September 14th. For more details, visit Saatchi Gallery.

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Three Cities, an exhibition of new photographs by Niall O’Brien

24.04.2018 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

The Sid Motion Gallery in London celebrates the work of Irish photographer Niall O’Brien in a new exhibition that opens this week.

O’Brien spent six months documenting the area around Silicon Valley, observing the contradictions and contrasts within the landscape and social structure.

“This was one of the most expensive places to live in the US, and it was kind of bland.” Says O’Brien. “It was full of the most cutting edge technology, yet the aesthetic had been forgotten. Cars and highways were all you could hear. There was nothing beautiful about the place – except the mountains that surrounded it, and the nature that persevered to appear in the least expected places.”

Niall O’Brien photograph from ‘Three Cities’ exhibition at Sid Motion Gallery

The photographer documented area around the seven-mile long Bascom Avenue every day, at the same time. The result is a atmospheric collection. The inequalities of wealth underscore the absurdity of the area, where these disparities exist side by side. Meanwhile the natural world offers another contrast. Niall O’Brien’s photographs ensure that perspective is given and that the hyper-intense tech world is rendered against the wider, ephemeral environment.

Niall O’Brien photograph from ‘Three Cities’ exhibition at Sid Motion Gallery

During his time in Bascom Avenue O’Brien bonded with two individuals, Blake and Dana. The exhibition portrays their daily lives, capturing their routines and rituals. The images are candid and intimate, conveying the friendship and trust between O’Brien and his subjects.

Niall O’Brien photograph from ‘Three Cities’ exhibition at Sid Motion Gallery

Together the portraits of people and the natural environment that they live vividly conjure the microcosms of this world. Don’t miss.

Niall O’Brien photograph from ‘Three Cities’ exhibition at Sid Motion Gallery

‘Three Cities’ An exhibition of new photographs by Niall O’Brien at Sid Motion Gallery in London April 26th – May 26th, 2018. 

Niall O’Brien photograph from ‘Three Cities’ exhibition at Sid Motion Gallery

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