Five Recommended Art Things? No time for an editorial this week, squares to square, things to hang, our own trumpets to blow. Five more upcoming art things to check out this coming week. Hey, I know we said it last time but we will try to do it most weeks, and yes this admittedly rather fractured Five Art Things feature is intended to be a regular, almost certainly weekly, or something like something near weekly thing – an almost weekly round up of recommended art events. Five shows, exhibitions or things we rather think might be worth checking out. Mostly London things for that is where we currently operate and explore, and like we said last time (and the time before), these five recommendations come, as we already said up there, with no claims that they are “the best five” or the “Top Five”, we’re not one of those annoying art websites that ignore most things whilst claiming to be covering everything and proclaiming this or that to be the “top seven things” or the “best things this weekend”., no, this is simply a regular list of five or so art things coming up soon that we think you might find as interesting as we do, five art things coming in in the next few days in no particular order…
1: Stine Deja, Last Resort at Annka Kultys Gallery – opening night Thursday 27th February – Annka Kultys Gallery is an art space with rather a lot of credit in the bank at the moment, the recent Cacotopia04 shows as well as the emergence of Marton Nemes amongst other rather rewarding shows over the last two or three years, the small gallery above a shop on the Hackney Road here in East London is constantly coming up with the goods. Really not sure what we can expect from the month-long Stine Deja that opens this Thursday but right now we trust the gallery enough to thing it will be something worth checking out and it does rather sound like it will be worth your time. Here’s what the gallery has to say
“Stine Deja’s practice explores the sticky in-between of real and virtual worlds with a striking arsenal of media that includes 3D animation, immersive installation, moving image, and digital surrogates. In Deja’s simulated spaces, uncanny avatars hinge between what’s strange and familiar, seducing us with not quite-real products informed equally by the artist’s simultaneous fascination and revulsion with our hyper-commercialized contemporary culture. Concealed beneath a sleek surface, multiple layers of social critique meld with absurdist aesthetics and tragicomic narratives to create a cybernetic landscape of fantasy and desire. At the heart of all of Deja’s projects is a keen interest in how these heightened emotional states, often coaxed out by late capitalist narratives of self-care and guilt-free indulgence, are displaced onto the body.
Stine Deja was born in Denmark in 1986 and currently lives and works in London. She received her MA in Visual Communication (Moving Image) from the Royal College of Art in 2015 and her BA in Interaction Design from Kolding School of Design in 2012. Since 2017, her work has been represented by Annka Kultys Gallery. The artist has had three gallery solo exhibitions, including CYPHORIA, a virtual travel agency that explored the techno-social phenomenon of living concurrently outside/inside the machine, then There is Life Outside intended as an exposé of our increasingly artificial world. More recently, Deja has also collaborated with the artist Marie Munk on the exhibition Synthetic Seduction examining synthesised intimacy.
The Stine Deja show opens on Thursday 27th and then runs until 28th March . ANNKA KULTYS GALLERY is at 472 Hackney Road, London E2 9EQ. You find the space through the red door and up the stairs, right by the bus stop, just around the corner from Cambridge Heath station. The opening times are 12-6pm Thursday to Saturday (or by appointment). Go to the opening then carry on up the Hackney Road, turn left when you got yo Horatio Street and cut through to Shipton Street and the lastest Cultivate show at Shipton Street Gallery jsut off Columbia Road.
2: Nothing is Square Pt.2 – a Carefully curated painterly group show, 38 artists, 140 identically sized square pieces. Opening night Thursday February 27th, 6pm until 9pm. The show will happen at Shipton Street Gallery, Shipton Street, Columbia Road, London, E2 7RZ. All work is on 20cm x 20cm canvas, all work will be on sale at what we think will be an affordable price to most….
Opening night Thursday February 27th 6pm until 9pm) and then the show will run over two long-weekends until Sunday March 8th, 11am until 5pm (or by appointment).
STOP PRESS: Disclaimer, before we go any further, this is us, Cultivate is as part of the Organ thing, Cultivate shows are run by us Organ people, you probably knew that already, but hey, just in case, you didn’t, yes this is more of us blowing our own trumpets, walking it as well as talking it, doing it rather than just writing about it…
Bring your own booze and such, once again we artists will be spending our money on paint and canvas and everything else. Everyone welcome, none of that get on a list or give us all your details annoyance, none of that jumping through hoops just to get in nonsense. Entry is free, just turn up, bring some drink if you wish, come look at some art, come meet people, come hang out and enjoy yourself…
Nothing is Square Pt 2, A group show curated by artists Sean Worrall and Emma Harvey, will open at the end of February and happen in March as part of the 4th and probably last month-long Cultivate Columbia Road Takeover at Shipton Street Gallery right there by Columbia Road, East London. Once again, very much like Nothing is Square Pt.1 at the same gallery back in November, everything will be square, all about squares, squares of art, all uniform. What the invited artists do within those squares is really up to them. The square will be a canvas, 20cm x 20cm x 1cm, once again, like before, and like it will be again for parts three, four and five, we require every canvas to be EXACTLY the same in terms of dimensions. There is no theme besides the square, the square is the theme, the squares will unite the art in the show, besides the square and everyone working on the same size canvas, there are no other rules.
Once again we’ve been very very (very) picky in terms of the artists we’ve invited to take part, this isn’t a free for all, we are always very selective. Once an artist is invited what they do with their 20cm square is really up to them. Once again, like the first time, we anticipate a healthy mix of contemporary painting, abstract goodness, figurative warmth, a touch of forward looking pop, maybe a street art flavour or two (carefully avoiding the street art clichés of course), some of the artists will be familiar ro Cultivate regulars, others will be new to Cultivate We intend this to be an ongoing series of shows in different spaces and places, always the same format, lots of different art, and who knows where part three or four will be
ARTISTS ; ALICE HARLEY, AMY CROUCH, CATHERINE HALL ELINOR ROWLANDS, EMMA HARVEY, EMMA LEE CRACKNELL, HANNAH LEHANE, HELEN RAWLINS, HELLY FLETCHER, JAMES BELL, JAMES JOHNSTON, JAN ANSELL, JANE WALKER, JESSICA BORROW, JESSICA SCOTT, JOHN GATHERCOLE, LAPINUS MORGAN, LAURA PLY, LIZ GRIFFITHS, MADELEINE STRINDBERG, MANDEE GAGE, MARTIN JACKSON, MARY T SPENCE, MATT ATKINS, MIA-JANE HARRIS, Mr. VON HUGO, PAUL BLENKHORN, QUIET BRITISH ACCENT, RUTH BATHAM, SAL JONES, SEAN WORRALL, SUSAN DIAMOND, STEFDIES, STEPHEN HARWOOD, SUZIE PINDAR, TRIBAMBUKA, VALERIYA VAKUTINA and YULIA ROBINSON. Cultivate
Opening night Thursday February 27th 6pm until 9pm) and then the show will run over two long-weekends until Sunday March 8th, 11am until 5pm (or by appointment). Shipton Street Gallery is on Shipton Street, just off the Hackney Raod and at the top end of Columbia Road, London E2 7RZ.
3: Misshapes: The Making of Tatty Devine at Stephen Lawrence Gallery – opening night, Friday February 28th (6pm until 10pm) – Tatty Devine’s founders Rosie Wolfenden and Harriet Vine set up a market stall in Spitalfields Market in the late 1990s. Together they challenged jewellery conventions and in 2001 a trip to New York led them to discover laser cut acrylic. At that point, a disruptive technology laser cutting unleashed a whole new set of creative possibilities and ideas. On their return to the UK, they invested in a laser cutting machine, going on to create personality-packed jewellery much loved and still culturally relevant 20 years on. Their DIY, unknowingly anarchic approach resonated with industry and public who were hungry for something different from the commercialised, mass-produced products on offer.
Turning throwaway disposable objects like scraps of leather and guitar plectrums into jewellery not only landed the brand in Vogue magazine but also in the hearts of loyal fans all over the world. Creativity, self-expression and hand-making are at the heart of their work. Tatty Devine’s statement jewellery is constantly ahead of the curve—able to tell stories and generate conversation.Collaborations have allowed the duo to become markers of the time they were made in: Tatty Devine have worked closely with musicians, artists, designers and brands from Gilbert and George to Belle and Sebastian—all people they feel closely connected to. The exhibition features over 100 pieces from the past 20 years, from the early leather cuffs and piano belts to giant two-metre versions of their ‘greatest hits’ including a lobster, their magpies and a huge banana, alongside sketchbooks, photos, flyers, and two newly commissioned films. Stephen Lawrence Gallery is at 10 Stockwell Street, Greenwich, London, SE10 9BD, the exhibition runs until March 31st
4: Fags, Birds and a Couple of Guns: A retrospective dedicated to the extraordinary work of Nancy Fouts at Hang Up Gallery – Now we’re not big fans of Hang Up and their unfriendly door policy, there’s a real attitude problem with them Hang Up people, but this does promise to be a show worth exploring even if the gallery is run by a bunch of (insert insult of choice here). American-born artist Nancy Fouts, who passed away in April 2019, is best known for her distinctive sculptural works, which reconfigure commonplace objects and materials with a subversive and playful humour. Nancy’s work brings together these seemingly disconnected items, religious artefacts, creatures and symbols to create bizarre juxtapositions of the everyday, wickedly funny taxidermy sculptures, and even giving Old Master paintings a surreal twist.
The artist described her approach to gleaning ideas as “beachcombing”, rediscovering the familiar with a perspective that she likened to childhood naivety. Admired for her boundless enthusiasm and passion for disrupting the everyday, the ‘modern-day surrealist’ is genuinely much loved and respected by artists, curators and collectors alike for her wild imagination, wit and generosity of spirit. Nancy’s admirers include Banksy, Gavin Turk and Sir Peter Blake. Curator James Putnam, who worked closely with her comments, “Her deliciously infectious smile and dry wit made her a magnet for artists and curators of all ages, coupled with her talent for throwing unforgettable parties at her art-filled Camden house.”
Working closely with the artist’s estate, the Hang-Up retrospective will feature work spanning several decades, including some of her best loved sculptures and framed works alongside unseen pieces from her converted vicarage home and studio space in Camden. Cathryn Wright, Executor of Nancy’s estate comments, “Nancy’s retrospective ‘Fags, Birds and a Couple of Guns’ brings together a fabulous collection of her artworks from past to present to make what is sure to be a suitably weird and eclectic exhibition. This will be the first major show of her works since her death last year and we are delighted to be working with Hang-Up Gallery for what will certainly be a fitting tribute to an extraordinary woman.” Hang-Up has now moved to a rather big new space at 10D Branch Place, Regents Canal, Hoxton, London N1 5PH
5: Sara Cwynar: Marilyn at The Approach – Opening Night, Thursday 27th February 6pm until 8pm – “The Approach is delighted to present the first solo show in the gallery by Sara Cwynar. In her practice, which includes photography, installation, and film, Cwynar surveys the transitory object-life of visual matter in our time of image infatuation. Her composite photographs of found objects and images court feelings of time passing and glamour fading. Using studio sets, collage, and re-photography, the artist produces intricate tableaux that draw from magazine advertisements, postcards, or catalogues. This exhibition features ‘Red Film,’ the third film in a trilogy she has made on the study of colour—not only of its optical and psychological effects and its inherent biases, but also of the way in which colour is marketed by commercial industries to regulate taste. ‘Red Film’ critiques capitalism’s persuasive, constant pressure to conform and consume; it questions the effects of this torrent on the self; and it points to the use of ‘high art’ to sell aspirational merchandise. The film avoids drawing any conclusions but rather tries to recreate how it feels to be a human in relationship to capitalism”.
The Approach Gallery is on the first floor, above the pub of the same name at 47 Approach Rd, London, E2 9LY The Sara Cwynar show runs until April 5th
And, even though it will be one of the must see shows of the coming days, we really can’t be getting away with recommending one of our Cultivate shows as one of the five so we’ll add a sixth recommended art thing. yeah, I know, sweet wrappers and love heart popart isn’t exactly radical but there is soemthing about this SweatArt show that appeals……..
6: SweetArt, ‘Sweet Nostalgia’ at West Contemporary – Opening night Tuesday 3td March – “Featuring giant iconic sweets and treats made entirely of discarded Quality Street sweet wrappers resulting in meticulously hand-crafted collages set behind glass, as well as limited edition prints”.
“This is the second solo exhibition of the SweetArt husband and wife duo, Vic and Simon Dry. For this show, they invite the public to immerse themselves in the excitement of the sweet shop experience we all recall from when we were children. As well as their signature giant Quality street collage artworks, other works pay homage to Toblerone, Liquorice Coils, Black Jacks and Fruit Salads, as well as the Lindt Bunny and Cadbury’s Creme Egg.
One of the highlights of the show for which many hold a sense of nostalgia, is the much loved Coca Cola glass bottle, entitled, ’The Real Thing’ which has been a new challenge for Simon of SweetArt to create. One of the most iconic objects in pop culture and pop art since the creation of its initial ‘Contour’ glass bottle in 1915, it was designed by The Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Indiana and has made count- less appearances in the art world ever since, such as in the work of Pop Art’s creator, Andy Warhol.
Another key message of SweetArt’s work is to raise awareness of the environmental global problem we face of how to tackle single-use plastics. They also hope their work will encourage more artists to re-use materials by up-cycling them, rehashing and reusing them in creative works of art.
“Following a sell-out show in Brick Lane and subsequent successful art fairs, we really wanted to fulfil the dream of having an art show that would offer the “kid in a candy shop” experience – for the big kid in all of us.” says Vic Dry. “Rubbish up-cycled into a work of art that evokes happy memories – which doesn’t in- volve consuming any calories!”
The ‘Bashful’ pink shrimp is the largest piece Simon has produced as it was Simon’s favourite penny sweet when he was a kid, holding a great affection for him. Vic has a soft spot for the Quality Street “Goldfinger” – her favourite Christmas sweet – which has already sold.
”This time around the pieces are more complex, better crafted and took longer to make. We have also expanded our subject matter to include classic soft drinks,” said Simon. Vic added, “It is still nerve-wrack- ing but there is even more love and nostalgia in this show – SweetArt has really touched people. Mention sweets and we all have memories of spending money at the local sweet shop, Christmases, birthdays and our favourites… it’s an evocative subject and is always greeted with enthusiasm.”
The SweetArt Story – A few years ago, a pile of discarded Quality Street wrappers sat on the post Christmas dinner table. A light shone through the wrappers and created a beautiful shadow effect on the wall. Simon Dry thought there could be a way of creating some beautiful images using them, but had no idea how to do it or what the subject matter should be.
For years after, the couple collected used wrappers from family, friends, and neighbours until their studio was bursting. Once Simon had enough raw material, he toyed with various ideas until Vic had a brain- wave. ‘Why not make big images of iconic sweets?’ Then, after much experimentation, SweetArt was born.