Quick dash through the glorious Friday afternoon chaos of Ridley Road Market and over to check out Reshape at BSMT Space, luckily the show has been extended for another weekend, didn’t think there was going to time to catch it, thankfully there was. Ridley Road is alive in the spring sunshine, alive with strange smelling fish and stranger looking fruit, aalive with the sound of dub reggae and lovers rock, brilliant un-gentrified place, no fancy coffee shops here, this is proper, long may it last. BSMT Space is a stones-throw up the busy high street, a short walk from all the colour of market, there waiting to be discovered just beyond the Rio Cinema and that square where you find the Vortex and such. BSMT Space is just that, a space in a basement, A-boards out on the main Stoke Newington Road mark the spot, an unassuming grey door just past the letting agent, you’d never know it was there if it wasn’t for the A-board sign that points you in and invites you down the wooden stairs, and there you are, a basement gallery space, underground for real, hiding in plain sight on a very busy North East London street. .
Reshape is a group show featuring the creativity of five artists – Joe Furlong, Mr Wim, Krom Balgesky, Lady Gonzalez and Vesna Parchet. Five artists and designers from very different backgrounds, five different nationalities, “a fresh wave of new personal pieces” and a small show alive with inviting diversity, a more than healthy mixture of methods and mediums. Collage next to screen print, fabric next to puppet-like doll, “a show centralised around breaking and reshaping common ideas”, artists bouncing off basement walls as well as each other, “exploring creative constraints and perceptions”
“A bid to define our own time” proclaims the wordery that comes with the show. “Each artist has been affected and moulded directly by the closure and disregard of autonomous practical creative space in the face of rampant and irresponsible gentrification projects throughout the capital. Their spectacle stems from this hidden matrix of handmade corners, opposing angles and hard knocks. A collision of conventions and constructing questions for 2016 and beyond….” We are invited to “discuss, rectify, reshape”.
What we have here is an alternative basement gallery space over there in amongst all the real life of Dalston, alive with a slightly old-school d.i.y feel, alive with hand screen-printed t-shirts, handmade painted clothing, digital manipulation, art zines, paint, paintings, prints, street art flavours, strange dolls, puppets, collage, stickers, wall hangings, a punk rock feel to it all, almost defiant – you can take away our spaces but we’re still going to do it, five artists feeding off each other, reacting to each other, sharing walls, sharing space, sharing an ethos, an ethic, a rather positive creative defiance and some rather intriguing pieces of rather energetic art, Rather like this show, both the whole and the parts, and there are some really pleasing parts, lots of detail to get in on and explore in there with the undertones of creative anarchy, the textiles and creative making-it-happen, creative mind-sweeping… rather like this show…. (SW)
Reshape at BSMT Space has been extended for an extra weekend and now runs until 6pm on Sunday March 13th, with an extra late evening opening (until 10pm) on Saturday 12th. BSMT Space is at 5d Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, London, N16 8BH
Click in an image to enlarge or run the slide show
The artists in the words of whoever put together the words that came with the show….
JOE FURLONG is a visual artist currently focused on perfecting freehand line drawing and live art performances under the alias JOEFUR. He is currently working with ink on wood as well as body art, screen-printing, illustration and muralism. An upfront juxtaposition of modern comic surrealism and harsh realities dominates his work which aims to contrast social constructs of the present moment with the delicate collective nature of the human spirit. A refreshingly weird banner of what is slowly disappearing from clear view due to our rampant individualism. He wishes to challenge the position of the artist in modern society and seeks to promote collaborative activities and creative community outreach through projects such as ‘Minesweeper Collective’ Co-op of which he is co-director and co-founder. He also co-runs the Undercurrents Gallery in Deptford, S.E. London.
MR WIM; Born Antwerp, Wim went to Jesuits, studied art history, joined the army and decided to become an artist – a peaceful revolutionary! He is hailed as one of the godfathers of the sticker movement and street art. Influenced by tattoo and graffiti movements of early in the ’90s Mr Wim spreads his art works between epic murals, human bodies, hand-made stickers and the finest screen printed editions.
VESNA PARCHET work revolves around themes such as growth and transformation, conscious and subconscious, real and abstract, fusing imagery from personal experiences with magazines and newspapers cut outs to explore the complexity of the human form and the body as a convoluted entity. Her primary influences are Abstract Expressionism, Outsider Art and Japanese culture. Vesna works in a variety of mediums ranging from painting, printmaking, photography to collage art. Her work has been shown around the UK, Europe and Asia.
LADY GONZALEZ’s signature of digitally manipulated textile prints form the core of each design, and her strong anarchic values always feed into her work. The explosive combination of her methods and ideas have earned her the accolades ‘Neosurrealist’, and ‘Digital Print Storyteller’. Her inimitable sartorial style have carved out a true niche in the world of design. Throughout her dynamic trajectory through the art and fashion fields, her work has so far been featured in publications such as ID (online), Vogue Italia (online), Vision China, Super Super, Tank (online) and Carpark magazine amongst others. She has exhibited alongside the likes of Alejandro Jodorovsky, Charles Bronson, Alex Noble, Fred Butler and Iris Schieferstein and curated alongside the Mutoid Waste Company site-specific artworks and large interac-tive installations at Glastonbury Festival 2013.
KROM BALGESKY uses drawing, muralism and sculpture to express different aspects of his creativity. Krom’s new work represents visions of figurative silhouettes, which appear spontaneously, echoing the memories of mystic creatures from our collective past. This genetic shadows arefloating in space, seemingly being independent from the physical world.