Where were we? Still Proddddddding at things? We already said all this, we almost certainly do need to do that five art things thing again don’t we? We probably should? Just a bit more of that glue that holds the who or what together. The art of repetition? Where were we? No one ever reads the editorial at the top so we could say anything here. We are kind of still repeating ourselves whilst under stress, the so-called lockdown is kind of lifting now isn’t? Did you even notice the repeating? Do you just cut to the chase every single time?. And well, we could do it again, we could? We could? We really could? Shall we? Who reads this bollocks? The Five Art Things thing? We said all this last week didn’t we? And the week before, and we really can more than almost smell open galleries now, indeed we’ve been to quite a few, we’re not almost in Kansas, any more, we have actually been out to one or two, no actual opening nights, but real walls and art hanging on them. Indeed our in-box is bursting with press releases and galleries telling us they’re open again.
So five art things, five more art things happening somewhere around right now, or coming up any moment now, five art shows to check out in the coming days . Hey, I know we said it last time but we will try to do it most weeks and now we appear to be coming out of lockdown, and yes this admittedly rather fractured Five Art Things feature was and 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 and not a selfie of any of us hanging out at the damn show next to a piece of art either…
1: Tewodros Hagos, The Desperate Journey II at Kristin Hjellegjerde Melior Place – 16 Jun – 17 Jul 2021, “Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery is pleased to present the solo show ‘The Desperate Journey II’ by Tewodros Hagos”. Now this looks like it will be a powerful show, an uncomfortable show, dare we say a vital show? These are the places art needs to (sometimes) go
“Exhausted faces, framed by bright orange life jackets, gaze out at the viewer, their eyes filled with emotion while other figures are huddled together in groups, their bodies wrapped in shimmering golden blankets as they watch distant boats on stormy seas. These poignant paintings are a continuation of Ethiopian artist Tewodros Hagos’series The Desperate Journey that aims to not only raise awareness of the global migrant crisis, but also address the dehumanising effect of journalistic imagery and footage. For his solo exhibition entitled The Desperate Journey II at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London Bridge, Hagos presents exquisite new works that elevate not just the tragedy of the situation, but also the emotional experience of each of his subjects.
The series initially began as a response to the artist’s increasing realisation of the ineffectiveness of news stories and imagery to convey lived experience or complex truths. While many of the images that we are fed by the media may provoke an immediate emotional response, they are often deliberately sensational in order to shock the viewer and over time, the bombardment of such imagery risks normalisation of what ‘remains one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time.’ ‘People don’t realise that the migrant crisis is ongoing. The media focus switches from one direction to another, and at the moment, it’s on coronavirus, while here in Ethiopia and Africa more generally, millions of people continue to be displaced as a result of conflict,’ says Hagos. Through the classical, static medium of painting, the artist invites a slower, deeper kind of contemplation that counters the fast-paced consumption of digital media.
Significantly, the works, especially the close-up portraits, convey a sense of strength as well as tragedy, loss and grief. The painting entitled Journey (40), for example, depicts a young boy staring directly at the viewer. Instead of pleading, his expression is solemn and dignified. In many of the works, Hagos also transforms the foil blanket, which is traditionally used in emergencies to keep people warm, into a thing of beauty, its gold and silver surfaces luminous in the darkness.
At the same time, the stark contrast of light and dark creates an unsettling atmosphere and almost surreal effect. This is perhaps most notable in the work entitled Journey (42) in which a man appears enrobed in a golden blanket, his presence huge and looming against the inky blue background of the sky and ocean. The composition recalls traditional portrait paintings and the portrayal of grandeur, but instead of a lavish, homely domestic setting, the vast, empty sky conveys an aching sense of isolation and loneliness which is mirrored in the man’s expression and watery, red eyes. In this way, Hagos creates a more complex, layered narrative that demands a deeper level of engagement, while questioning which individuals and events are traditionally recorded by history.
Amongst the most devastating paintings are those that take a wider perspective, focusing on the perilous sea journey that hundreds of migrants make every day in search of better living conditions. In one work, a dangerously overcrowded boat floats towards the front of the canvas while in the background a second boat is enveloped in flames, smoke billowing into the sky in huge plumes. Another painting depicts life jackets floating emptily on the waves, once again underlining the potentially fatal risk that such a journey presents. As with all of the works in the series, the paintings possess a haunting sense of stillness that reflects the historic impact of the crisis and appeals to our shared sense of humanity”.
Kristin Hjellegjerde Melior Place is at 2 Melior Place, Londo, SE1 3SZ. The show runs from 16th June until 17 July 2021
2: The Rebel Dykes Art and Archives Show at Space Station Sixty-Five – We’ll take the words of one of the participating artists, Anne Robinson, for this one – “I am very happy to be showing with the Rebel Dykes at the opening show for newly ‘done up’ Space Station Sixty-Five.. including films from 80s and recent work ‘Darks’ from 2018! The ‘Rebel Dykes Art and Archive Show’ opens this summer at Space Station Sixty-Five in Kennington, London SE11 4PT. Opening night event: June 24th – I think this may be sold out now – but come along to the show.. Open: June 25th – September 17th 2021, Thursday – Saturday 12 – 6pm. Curated by: Atalanta Kernick and Kat Hudson. The Rebel Dykes Art & Archive Show is produced by Rebel Dykes History Project CiC in collaboration with Lesley Magazine. And of course look out for the ‘Rebel Dykes’ film as it goes on release.. starting in the UK at Genesis Cinema Mile End on 23rd June.
More Rebel Dykes covage via these fractured pages…
3: D*Face – A Right Royal S#*! Show at StolenSpace – well look, I’m no fan of the Liz and her lot, stick her on the Council waiting list and turn her palace into a skatebOard park, I mean that out-of-touch family, how much do they cost us? What an outdated idea, I do like the pop art that flows from the artist known as D*Face though. The Stolen Space people might not be the most friendly in the world but that backroom is a beautiful space to view art, they do put on some excellent shows, some important shows.
“D*Face and StolenSpace Gallery are thrilled to present, in combined celebration of her Majesty’s 95th Birthday and the UK’s newly restored social freedom (spoke to soon there didn’t you, did you really trust Johnson not to spaffle it up again?), ‘A Right Royal S#!t Show’. The gallery be exhibiting her ‘Winged Highness’ across a variety of mediums, from D’s very earliest 2000 screen-prints to his upcoming digital artworks. Alongside the backdrop of his work, StolenSpace will also be hosting the UK release of D’s latest collaborative sculpture with Medicom Toys, ‘Dog Save The Queen’. This 40cm tall, solid stone resin bust of Queen ‘Liz will be available in limited quantities fresh from the box, as well as a small number of hand customised busts by D as part of the show”.
Words from the artist: “I’m stoked to be able to invite people back to StolenSpace to enjoy and exhibition in person once again. Whether you love her or hate her there has always been something unifying about Queen ‘Liz and that’s what people need right now, whilst it lasts anyway. I’m also really happy to be releasing the DIY pieces too, mainly so I get to watch parents cringe as their child totally wrecks their new D*Face Ceramic but also because it’s a great way to bring people back together after endless months of video calls and social distancing”
StolenSpace is at 17 Osborn Street, Whitechapel, London, E1 6TD
4: Zachari Logan, Wild Flower at Canada Gallery – June 28 – September 18 – An artist we rather enjoy around here – “For his exhibition at Canada Gallery, Saskatchewan-based artist, Zachari Logan, has combined key elements of his practice. Logan has always seen nature and the body as both inextricably linked and interchangeable. The forms of flowers and foliage in his exquisite drawings can ‘stand in’ for the human body and for human emotions. In some of his works metamorphosis takes place, and the body changes into nature, and vice versa. However we are not talking about flower arrangements in a vase of carefully cultivated blooms.Zachari Logan is wild. The flowers and plants he is drawing have come up the hard way and have led interesting lives. Whatever humans have built, these plants have found a way through the concrete, finding and exploiting cracks to get to light and water, to thrive and grow. Whatever we do, we cannot hold these plants back. In these works the flowers stand in for liberation, freedom and diversity.These blooms are also very Canadian. In the large pastel ‘Still Life in a Ditch’, Logan has collected all the plants that he could find growing wild by the side of the road around his hometown, Regina. He has drawn them triumphantly arranged in a stone urn, elevated to high status. This change of context is typical of Logan’s work and he often shifts context and a sense of place to alter and extend meaning. What may appear to be just like a bunch of flowers, has deep, wild depths.
Alongside three monumental pastel on paper works, Zachari Logan has included two distinct series of highly detailed pencil drawings. Firstly: the drawings in ‘Spaces Between’ are part of a continued exploration of the spaces represented by wild self-seeding gardens. Logan seeks to articulate these landscapes with meaning and perception, memory and the queer body. The roadside ditch containing wild flower species remains a metaphor for sites of resistance to both monoculture and conformity, and the cultivated garden is represented as a collaborative effort, as an amalgamation of wild impulses and human desire.
The exhibition also shows his response to the COVID pandemic, a series of works based around the advice “go back inside”. For these works he has combined his signature flowers with skeletons, and depicted a magical Wild Man, a figure inspired by Renaissance engravings and, in particular, the etchings of Martin Schongauer. This Wild Man, a self-portrait hybrid, maintains the delicate balance between man and nature by casting spells”.
Zachari Logan, Wild Flower at Canada Gallery – Curated by Fred Mann, June 28 – September 18, 2021, Mon – Sat 11.00am – 5.45pm. Canada Gallery Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5BJ
Previous Organ coverage of Zachari Logan
5: Our Types first group show of the year, Yes, with Gallery46, the xxhibition runs 23rd June – 4th July, there’s very little info about this one but the line up does look rather promising, okay there might be a couple of names who’s art tend to be a little predictable, dare we say Mr Eine has been treading rather predictable rather commercially safe waters for a few years now? It does look like a rewarding line up though, the artistdd featured are Jessica Albarn, Dotmasters, Nettie Wakefield, Ellice Kitty, Ben Eine, Fanakapan, Lucie Flynn, Josh Stika, Voyder, Nerone, Sarah Woodburn and Matthew MacDonald.
The “private view” is (or way, with Johnson spaffling things up again with his red list and his lockdown confusion you’d better check for last minute news) 23rd June 2021 6 – 10pm The Exhibition dates are 24th – 4th July 2021, Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 12 – 6pm, Sunday 11 – 6pm
Gallery 46 is at 46 Ashfield Street, Whitechapel, London, E1 2AJ
Oh look, here’s a bit more about the Our Types artists, the words aren’t ours, they come from the gallery…
Dotmaster, a.k.a. Leon Seesix, hails from London but started painting on the streets of Brighton in the early ’90s. He takes a sideways look at a populist media, with a typically British sense of humour.
Nettie Wakefield (b.1987) is a British artist based in London. She spent summers at the Charles Cecil studios in Florence before completing a foundation year at Chelsea College of Art, a BA in Art History at Leeds University and her Masters degree in Drawing at Wimbledon College of Art, graduating September 2013.
Nerone‘s is a french artist based in London. London’s vibrancy and nightlife inspire many of his paintings. His more organic work represents unique colourful flowers mixed with the surreal lighting of fluorescent tubes. As he is aware of the various ecological challenges and economic problems of today’s world, Nerone constantly insists on spreading a positive message through his art.
Jessica Albarn is known for her fine line drawings on paper. She also explores surface using glass clay wax and honey. Sometimes incorporating pressed flowers and insects by creating multi layered pieces.
Josh Stika combines his love for letters with an urge to create pieces with physical tactility – things that we can touch and interact with in a 3D landscape. 2021 sees Stika move away from a career as a Creative Director and shift focus back to making artwork (where he belongs)!
Fanakapan is a self taught London based street/ graffiti artist -since the early 2000’s. Fanakapan’s 3D creations of helium balloon-based subjects will stop you in your tracks, they allow him maximum opportunity to demonstrate his superb free hand skills, use of shadow & reflective highlights to make his works just pop off the surface!
London based Graphic Designer and Teacher, Ellice Kitty’s dot portraits blur the line between clarity and distortion. Her portraits are dictated by a grid structure that is then filled with coloured pencil dots. This systematic approach to portraiture offers a definitive beginning and end to the creative process. The subjects of Ellice’s portraits are often of powerful and inspirational women.
Lucie Flynn is a contemporary artist who has moved into creating large scale paintings on the streets across the globe, her work is instantly recognizable and stands out loud and proud – nothing comes close to her dynamic style and the path in which she practices her form. Using combinations of spray paint, acrylic, inks and collage Flynn builds bright, clashing palettes with bold sweeps and splatters, layers of paint pulse and crackle.
Sarah Woodburn is a London based artist. Her paintings are focused on experimentation and her methodology is to have no plan. This approach gives room for gesture, space and movement. Woodburn is always chasing the perfect composition and authentic mark.
VOYDER is a multi disciplinary artist, a self taught painter with roots in graffiti and later oil painting. VOYDER’s current work explores the juxtaposition of classical painting with the most primitive form of leaving one’s mark upon the world. I’m also good at writing in the third person when I put his mind to it.
Born in London, Ben Eine is one of the most successful street artists in the world and is regarded as a pioneer in the exploration of graffiti letterforms. Originally a graffiti writer, Eine started his career over 30 years ago, leaving his first tag all over London before developing his distinct typographic style. For this exhibition Lucie Flynn has collaborated with Ben Eine, blending their individual painting styles in a series of unique canvases.
There is always an art exhibition, art is part of what we do. Organ’s sister site is Cultivate, Cultivate is a London-based art gallery, an artist-led thing founded by two painters, Emma Harvey and Sean Worrall, originally housed in Vyner Street, now nomadic with shows in all kinds of spaces and places. Cultivate has existed since 2011. Alongside the now 150 plus physical shows we’ve put on, there has now been 16 on-line shows,Still is the16th
The Still show is now open and can be explored via this link right here