There’s nothing better than attending an art fair to focus the mind, encourage you back into the studio and create artwork. I was privileged to attend the opening of the Other Art Fair at Ambika P3 in London last night. I was impressed by the variety of work on show. An array of fine art, photography, sculpture and even tattooing!
The first Other Art Fair at the Bargehouse in November 2011 showcased the work of 80 of the UK’s best artists and attracted 4,300 visitors over three days. In May 2012, The Other Art Fair moved to Ambika P3 in Marylebone with the hope of making the experience of the inaugural fair even better. Staged in May and November 2012, both events saw a continuation of art sales and opportunities for exhibitors. Ambika P3 I believe is the setting for the show in October this year.
It was good to see familiar faces including Debut Contemporary artists Elizabeth James, Toni Gallagher and Damilola Odusote exhibit and I congratulate them. Their work was outstanding as per usual but I was equally impressed with the art of others including Eva Wilkinson. Eva explores the theme of domesticity and confinement through using repetitive, monotonous and laborious processes such has hand-sewing to create sculptures which are simultaneously dark and humorous. She uses recycled and household objects to create the structures very quickly whilst placing more emphasis on the surfaces which mostly or fully hide the original sculpture altogether. She avoids using colour in her work, preferring to focus on texture.
Rachel Ann Stevenson provided very intriguing work, combining taxidermy and fine art sculpture to produce some very arresting pieces. I particularly liked “Loveless Bird’ which seemed to represent opposing character traits of a woman who appears strong, stern and independent but secretly vulnerable and exposed like the small mouse incased in the exhibit.
Rachel’s work represents, as she states “… the delicate smoke and mirrors between the conscious and the unconscious mind; distorting the fabricated glare of social order for a vague realism where we allow ourselves to be absorbed into the familiar comfort beyond the gloaming; inviting peace through the jolting madness of a lucid mind, where the dreamer can unveil their fears, dreams and desires; the past and present mixed as one, we roam free unbound by the isolation of society or actuality; within our dreams we confess the truth to ourselves. “
Also exhibiting was award-winning artist Maria Mari Murga. A graduate of Barcelona School of Arts and Design, Maria pursued her studies in Florence, Italy where she specialized in the Renaissance Old Masters painting techniques at the Angel Academy of Art. I liked seeing a replica of her “Men at your feet” limited edition sculpture that cleverly uses her charcoal drawings of male nudes to coat a single stiletto.
The show runs from 11am to 7pm today and tomorrow and 11 to 6pm Sunday. I thoroughly recommend this art fair if you’re in and around London this weekend.If not, I hope you have a great weekend whatever you do and wherever you are!
For details please visit http://www.theotherartfair.com
This week I’ve had the pleasure of attending the private viewing of Debut Contemporary’s November exhibition. The show is definitely a good platform for any art follower to discover and support great talent from emerging contemporary artists. The show maintains a quality I expect as well as a diversity of styles, delivered through a variety of mediums. The featured artist include Heloise Toop, Elizabeth James, Paulette McKoy and Damilola Odusote. The work is in a positive flux, making me eager to see what else these artists will produce for upcoming shows. Debut remains, in my view, a primary location to see the most exuberant, fresh and freewheeling styles of art in one room. I’m happy to see the work of such talented individuals being genuinely praised and admired as they were last night.
Some of Debut’s artists are particularly busy over the coming weeks. Paulette McKoy is a featured artist at the gallery this Saturday. Blue Moves is a special one day special event where Paulette will be creating visual art inspired by the issue of combating the stresses of everyday contemporary life. The public is invited to engage in Paulette’s creative process, as she works with raw materials live, accompanied by the sounds that ignite her creativity, in this site-specific installation. She will explore the powerful source of the colour blue through a collection of monochrome work. Blue, so prominent in nature, is considered beneficial to the mind and body, as it is known to slow human metabolism and produce a calming, tranquil effect.
Also this week photographer Toni Gallagher has her solo exhibition entitled ‘The Gluttonous Lady that swallowed the Fly’ at the HorseHospital gallery, Colonnade, Bloomsbury London from Friday 9th to Thursday 22nd November. For further information on the show and some of the artists please visit the following websites:
As part of the UN international Peace Day, a collective of artists from Debut Contemporary are collaborating with twenty retail outlets, restaurants and stores in London’s Notting Hill for a special exhibition. The initiative supports the Peace One Day movement and comprises of 40 works of art at several locations. The artists commenced their impressions of peace yesterday. The instigator of this initiative is Natalie Bruyns of KIAAE Ltd. The exhibition is a creative idea taking the artists out of the traditional gallery space, giving them a fantastic opportunity to showcase work in alternative surroundings.
Each store was picked for either their clientele or locations in prime intersections where the general public would see the art. The idea of window displays is a creative way to really catch the attention of the public – putting the notion of ‘peace’ in the minds of customers and local pedestrians in this culturally rich and vibrant part of west London.
The following displays will be up for one week:
Junko O’Neill @ CRANES on Body Works West Windows, 11 Lambton Place, W11
Damilola Odusote @ Bloody French 147 Westbourne Grove, W11
Toni Gallagher @ PEACE WALL , Westbank Gallery 133-137 Westbourne Grove, W11
Elizabeth James @ PEACE SIGNS, Illy 118 Westbourne Grove, W11and R.S Curie
Qing Qi @ DOVES, Debut Contemporary, 82 Westbourne Grove, W2
Caroline Kha @ DOVES, Kell Skott 93 Golborne Road, London, W10 5NL
Caroline Kha @ DOVES, Bee.Me 251 Portobello, W11
Qing Qi@ DOVES, Pesheria Mattiucci 8 Blenheim Cresent, W11
Work also features at the following locations:
Emily Kirby @ Casa Nova Chocolates 140 Portobello, W11
Nilwe @ The Grocer on Elgin, 6 Elgin Crescent, w11
Nats @ MAY 61 Lancaster Road
Nicola Taylor @ Pesheria Mattiucci
Phaedra Peer @ 80 West, W11
For all other information please visit www.thenottinghillexhibition.com
Photography courtesy of Anne Vinogradoff
A wet Jubilee weekend ended with the opportunity of being inspired by several contemporary artists at Debut Contemporary London’s Juicy June exhibition.
Debut Contemporary provides a progressive platform for talented and ambitious artists to further their professional careers. It claims the unique title of being the only UK gallery providing a continuous professional development programme; something very rewarding for artists to explore innovative ways to market, network and secure income streams. Debut’s success continues the fortunes of its founders Samir Ceric and Zoe Knight. They are the force behind Salon Contemporary and Wolf & Badger, achieving much acclaim and earning industry titles such as ‘One of the UK’s Most Powerful Couples in Art & Fashion’ (The Times Magazines), ‘Kingmakers of Creative Talent’ (International Life Magazine) and’London’s Top Tastemakers’ (Time Out London).
The June show exudes a rich eclectic mix of thought provoking themes and a welcomed array of colour. As with most shows, there are works of art that stand out to the subjective eye.
Elizabeth James continues to impress with photography that therapeutically and gracefully captures colour in motion. Elizabeth is also working on a project called “ART2HEAL” running at select spaces in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames ,providing art in health environments (wards, waiting rooms and therapy rooms) to promote healing via visual stimulation.
I particularly enjoyed Heloise Troop’s oil painting entitled “Just Right’ which shows the artist’s mastering of colour, tone and texture.
Equally appealing is Suzanne Huwae’s painting of Naomi Campbell. Suzette graduated with a 1st BA Degree in Drawing Painting at HKU – Art Academy Utrecht, Holland.
She is based in London focused mainly on painting on canvas and ceramics. Her theme is colourful, strong multicultural women, as she believes that every woman should “Enjoy life in style and abundance to the full till it overflows”
Suzette likes to pay attention to details, requiring her work to be unpredictable and exciting.
Whilst I would have preferred more information on each participate and each work at theopening, I thoroughly enjoyed the show and look forward to following each artist’s career. They undoubtedly will make their mark on our artistic landscape in years to come.
Debut Contemporary is located at 82 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill London W2 5R. Please visit the official website for further details on shows and artists.
Official Debut Video
Last month I had the pleasure of attending a group exhibition entitled ‘Art in Mind’ organised by The Brick Lane Gallery London. This is an ongoing group exhibition offering emerging artists a platform to showcase their work to a fresh and growing London audience. One of the artists is photographer Elizabeth James. She kindly agreed to share her thoughts on her preferred medium and the prospect of exhibiting for the first time.
How did you get into Photography?
It was something natural that just happened. I remember as a little girl looking down in to the viewfinder of my mum’s old Baby Rollie Flex 4×4. I was fascinated with the camera itself, its mechanisms, how it worked and the end results; which in those days were not instant, film was sent away to be developed. I was 9 when I got my 1st automatic camera, through trial and error I learnt and for my 18th birthday, mum gave me my first SLR camera, a Pentax which I still have.
Which photographer has influenced you the most?
Irving Penn, an American photographer known for his still life, portraiture and fashion photography (world war2 feminine chic and glamour photographs. Penn created images of great clarity and detail. This is something I aspire to achieve in my own work utilising my own artistic instincts and photographic vision. His subjects were vastly varied and his prints have a clean/clear appearance. Whatever the subject, his composition stands out; his work is confident and bold. I find his approach to his subject very similar to mine. I enjoy capturing parts or sections of my subjects and leave a little to the imagination. Like Penn, I strive to capture the essence of my subjects.
Photography, controversially, has at times been perceived differently to other visual art forms. Do you see yourself as an artist and your skill as an art form or something bespoke?
It took a long time for photography to be accepted as an art form. Photography is to document, express, create, visualise and record. It is a combination of subjective thought, creative imagination, visual design, technical skill and practical ability. The camera is a visual notebook affording the user power and purpose and it is also a powerful medium of persuasion and propaganda.
You had your first public exhibition last month. How did it make you feel and what’s next?
Yes, I exhibited 6 Boxed Canvas Photographs as part of Monochrome- an Art in Mind Exhibition at The Brick Lane Gallery London E1. Opening night was very exciting; there was a very good turnout and an indescribable atmosphere. It was more than I ever imagined. It was so nice to finally see my work hanging in a popular and established gallery in London. I am currently putting together a few exhibition proposals for 2011-2012, whilst establishing contacts within the art industry, with a view to collaborating on projects, creating a web presence and building a body of work focusing on structure & architecture. I hope to have my work published, gain further commissions and opportunities to exhibit
What would be your advice to other budding photographers wishing to establish their careers?
My advice would be: don’t be put off by mixed opinions, try to come to terms with rejection, not everyone will like or appreciate your work. Listen to constructive criticism, take it on board, address it, learn from it and move on. Stay focused, persistent and just do what come naturally to you. Enter competitions, submit and apply, if you don’t inquire you will never know if it was your style of work they are looking for. When submitting, do your research, only supply what is required.
Please visit Elizabeth’s website