Salon

Etienne Clément, Paolo Giardi, Jay Cloth,
Alberto Brusamolino, Nina Fowler,
Simon Ward, FeltusFeltus, Bronwen Sleigh,
Francisco Lobo, James Green, John Stark,
Jock Mooney, Neil Zakiewicz, Helen Murphy,
Flora Whiteley, Nicko Staniero,
Maria Clemen, Henrijs Preiss

 

17 January - 21 February 2015


Whitecross Gallery is delighted to present its annual Salon. Traditionally a place for the exchange of ideas and the gathering of the social and cultural elites, our Salon will bring together the work of eighteen established and emerging contemporary artists, whose works encompass a range of media and engage in exciting ideas and themes.

Etienne Clement’s comic and sometimes sinister photographs of aging and discarded toys are set amongst a backdrop of intricately constructed stage sets. Vacant, dilapidated buildings transform into arenas where often disturbing narratives are born and the toys roles go beyond the childlike, to darker and melancholic places.

Paolo Giardi, Jay Cloth and Alberto Brusamolino reassemble cuttings gathered from glossy magazines, newspapers, photographs and personal memorabilia. Giardi’s latest work titled “Don’t you feel, somehow, buried in History?” is a reflection on the obsession of collecting. His unsettling cityscapes depict statuettes and figurines that become monuments and glass vases that become skyscrapers, while Cloth’s hybrid creations combine haunting and glamorous images thus creating something darkly comic and dreamlike. Brusamolino’s elegant Sympathy for Japan series of multi-layered, often homoerotic collages, fuses Japanese prints, symbols and photographs to create one singular interwoven aesthetic that examines conventional ideas of gender identity in contemporary culture and Japanese ancestral past.

Nina Fowler’s almost photographic like drawings offer a gentle glance at the gap between fantasy and reality, the screen idol made material, the impossible yearnings that exist between the icon and the fanatic, bought closer through the humble medium of pencil. Her beautifully sculpted frames depict a series of adoring, sub-servant women all in various states of blind agony. Nina has recently had a piece of work published in the Bernie Katz book ‘Soho Society’ which was exhibited alongside such artists as Tracey Emin and Sir Peter Blake at the Lazarides Gallery.

Simon Ward’s striking images of dead animals are created in what he describes as 'a single brushstroke of scanned light’. Using a flatbed scanner he captures his subject, sometimes still bloodied, so clearly that every hair and every feather is exquisitely illuminated. Ward’s macabre yet beautiful  ‘Still Life’ series is powerful and certainly unforgettable. Recent exhibitions include ‘Anticipation’ at Ultralounge, Selfridges, curated by Kay Saatchi.

FeltusFeltus, (brothers Joseph and Tobias Feltus), have collaborated in photography since 1997, drawing influences from the Italian Renaissance and twentieth century figurative painters; their recent work challenges the current digital trend with images shot exclusively on film, avoiding any digital manipulation. FeltusFeltus have a solo exhibition in February at the Whitecross Gallery titled ‘Domestic Zirkus’.

Bronwen Sleigh and Francisco Lobo both utilise techniques of printmaking and drawing. Sleigh creates her meticulous prints and abstracted views of urbanism from her own photographs, which she then manipulates into drawn plans and models and re-constructs into her final pieces. Alongside his interest in construction as a conceptual tool, Francisco Lobo merges the disciplines of fine art and graphics; he is particularly interested in exploring ways in which the viewer’s expectations of the artwork together with the social figure of the artist can be incorporated into the artwork itself. His prints have been recognized and acquired by the highly esteemed Clifford Chance Collection.

John Stark’s unnerving mystical visions and idyllic landscapes attempt to trace how myths and legends have been used to make sense of the world and understand human nature through metaphysical investigation. “The paintings themselves are reflections of a doomed world and metaphors for a ‘utopia’ that religion and politics have continually promised us a failed to deliver”.

Created especially for our annual Salon, James Green’s colourful and skillfully hand crafted masks are based on the changing face of John Merrick, the legendary Elephant Man. Often creating his own fictional stories, this odd collection of miniature masks, “happened upon in 1897”, are archived in a museum like cabinet, questioning how our civilization will be looked back upon in millions of years’ time by the things we leave behind.

The multitalented Jock Mooney utilises a range of different mediums to create his work, ranging from drawing and graphics to sculpture and installation. In his previous triumphant exhibition, ‘A Hell of a Fight for the Last Piece of Pudding’ at the Whitecross Gallery, Jock constructed a monumental installation from hoards of miniature figurines and oddball characters with dislocated limbs and severed heads. Referencing an odd mix of pop art, cartoons, nursery rhymes and traditional eighteenth century illustrations, Jock’s inspired wreaths and drawings are equally uncompromising.

Other participating artists: Neil Zakiewicz, Helen Murphy, Flora Whiteley, Nicko Staniero, Maria Clemen, Henrijs Preiss.