Offering artists the chance to show work in one of London’s cultural hubs, The Brick Lane Gallery’s ‘Art in Mind | Photography Now’ exhibition slices through the medium showing a cross-section of artists’ work. As part of the ‘Art in Mind’ series this show allows emerging photographers (as well as those already well respected) a chance to dip their creative toes into the art world.
Containing the work of Jose Lasheras, Jean Al- Shuhayeb, Basile Pesso, Youngsun Park, Nick Braithwaite, Tony Bowen, Anthony David King, Caroline Gunston and yours truly ‘Art in Mind | Photography Now’ runs until the 24th February in ‘The Annexe’ on Sclater Street.
Being my third article in, surely this is time for me to start talking about myself? No! Attending the private view, which coincided with the Art in Mind | Contemporary Painting show, I found myself very pleased to have been hung alongside some truly awesome emerging artists. Having a little soap box here at Vada lets me have a little shout about some of that very work!
‘Scratch: Urban palimpsests’ presented as two framed and mounted photographs by Tony Bowen explores found glass surfaces in London and Sussex. Depicting various narratives, both natural and deliberate, these surfaces tell “half-told, semi-visible, obscure, over-written, often crude” experiences which “trigger a sense of forensic curiosity”. By seeking to examine this mark, Bowen invites us to ‘see’ rather than just to ‘look’ at these banal everyday locations and to ask of the concealed narrative. Making something that seems banal interesting and, in my opinion, beautiful to look at this series works well in understanding the value of rawness and addresses the concert of the ‘traces’ which is fundamental to the medium.
I’ll continue with Anthony David King’s large scale photographic artworks. ‘Bound’, displayed here as a triptych, is a collaborative project created with young Samona Naomi Williams. Translating his subject’s personal experience of having a debilitating illness into an artistic format, King creates a visually stark series rooted in display. Of the three images displayed, the central panel featuring Samona in shimmering gold, encrusted in diamante details, demands the viewers attention. Dominating, in my opinion, the images presented, this particular image represents and conveys a sense of empowerment. Samona’s empowerment. Through this project Samona admits that she “didn’t have to be afraid anymore, it gave me purpose” helping her to calm her thoughts at an understandably difficult time. Courageously she also confesses that “It gave me my life back” which, in the times of cuts to arts funding, is why we should be protecting and promoting projects that tackle the adversities faced by ordinary (but yet extraordinary) people.
Moving on I would also like to talk about the work of Caroline Gunston. Gunston’s fine art photographic practice is currently influenced by David Montgomery’s ideas about the artistic process as ‘unlocking the psyche’. Focussing on what it means to be human, Caroline describes her work as “fleeting moments when light, form and content combine in a magical alchemy that resonates with how I feel at the present time.” Showing a selection of work from her project ‘Being present –Moments in time and space’ Gunston’s work, I feel, does connect with individuals on a fundamental level. Moving through her series I recognise myself hearing and feeling the space being portrayed as they are situations we can all relate to. Her use of cream tones in the images helps to create a parallel between the locations shot and her choice of composition which aids in forming a sense of calm and stillness in the imagery.
See, told you I could get through this article without talking about myself! In all seriousness though ‘Art in Mind | Photography Now’ has a great roster of photographers on show right now and is open until the 24th Feb. I highly recommended popping into both the main gallery and the Annexe to see those I have spoken about, the others I couldn’t include and well even my humble offerings to the art world!