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The Beautiful Octopus Club returns to the Royal Festival Hall

Event preview

ON SEPTEMBER 6, 2014, The Beautiful Octopus Club, the largest multi-media club night in London, which celebrates the best of learning disability culture, returns to the Royal Festival Hall for its sixth year with five stages, over twelve live performances and twenty top DJs.

This year’s club will be inspired by five Heart n Soul artists: award-winning singer Lizzie Emeh, multimedia artist and filmmaker Dele Fakoya, singer and performance artist Tilley Hughes, visual artist Ifeoma Orjiekwe and Dean Rodney of glitch pop band The Fish Police.

All are working in collaboration with artist Ben Connors, who will be creating a special edition pullout comic based on their stories. Ben Connors is an artist who has designed visuals for numerous music and performing artists including Gilles Peterson and poet Dean Atta.

The club, which has previously attracted audiences of more than 3,000 people, invites the public to get involved in a multi-sensory artistic experience, take part in a range of creative activities and experience high quality art.

A key highlight of the club will be the SoundLab where audiences will get the chance to create and experiment with their own music tracks. App makers Amplify Studio will create a unique installation just for the club where audiences will be able to create their own digital band using their brand new app NOiZE, which will be premiered at the event and made available for general release later in the year.

There will be live music across three stages including Lizzie Emeh, who will be performing tracks from her new album with a four-piece string quartet, and music from The Fish Police, who have invited some of their favourite bands from their UK tour earlier this year.The evening will also include DJing from some of the best DJs on the learning disability club scene across the UK.

The Tunnel of Love, Heart n Soul’s multi-media installation in Spirit Level, Royal Festival Hall, will also be open to explore, including the Piggie Powder room, created by Tilley Hughes with Bobby Baker.

Heart n Soul is a leading creative arts company who believe in the power and talents of people with learning disabilities. Their work is about art, training and taking part. Diverse artists and participants work together towards their goal of making a more creative, fun and open world. They offer a range of opportunities for people to take part in, train in a new skill or develop their artistic talents. Artists and participants share their work live, recorded or online for as many different people to enjoy as possible. The company reached over 30,000 people per year in live events, creative sessions and online.

Lizzie Emeh was the first solo artist with a learning disability to release an album to the mainstream public with Loud and Proud in 2009, describing her sound as a mix of ‘R&B, jazz and a lot of soul’. Since then, she’s won an award at the Radar People of the Year awards for her achievements in music and the arts in 2010, a Champion of the Year award at the AMI’s, and is currently working on her second album. She also performed with Beverley Knight at the London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony. She was discovered on the open mic at Beautiful Octopus Club in 1999.

Dean Rodney is the lead singer of The Fish Police, a three-piece band hailing from South London. Combining upbeat surreal pop imagery with glitch beats and a punk aesthetic, they have created their own unique blend of electronic future funk, pop and hip hop. Along with band mates Matthew Howe (guitar) and Charles Stuart (keys, co-songwriter, background vocals) they mix their love of computer games, cartoons, fast food and Japanese culture to create sounds that set them apart on the UK urban music scene.Rodney was cited as one to watch by Dazed & Confused magazine in 2013.

The much-anticipated return of Unlimited, Southbank Centre’s festival that celebrates the artistic vision and originality of disabled artists, will run from Tuesday, September 2 to Sunday, September 7, 2014. In 2012, Unlimited was one of the highlights of the Cultural Olympiad. It returns again for an ambitious and eclectic mix of theatre, dance, music, literature, comedy and visual arts honouring difference underpinned by a spirit of artistic adventure, searing honesty and wicked humor.

The Unlimited commissions celebrate the work of disabled artists on an unprecedented scale. In 2013, Shape and Artsadmin were awarded funding by Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and Spirit of 2012 to deliver a new three-year programme with key partners including Southbank Centre, British Council, Disability Arts Online and DaDaFest. Between 2014 and 2016, the Unlimited programme will once again support disabled artists creating extraordinary work.

Suitable for ages 18+.

Admission: Free.

Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London, SE1 8XX


Drawing on Style: Four Decades of Elegance

Drawing on Style: Four Decades of Elegance

Exhibition preview

GRAY MCA, leading specialists in Fashion Illustration, have announced that they will be holding a selling exhibition of original fashion illustrations from Post War 1940s through to the 1970s from Thursday, September 11 to Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at Gallery 8, St James’s, London.

Coinciding with London Fashion Week, the exhibition will include 40 original works by the leading fashion illustrators of the time from Britain, Europe and America, including Rene Bouche, Rene Gruau and Carl Erickson for publications including Vogue as well as advertising work for L’Oreal and other famous names in Haute Couture.

There will also be a selection of original designs by designers including Dior, Zandra Rhodes and Bellville Sassoon.

Prices will range from £300 – £10,000.

Illustration: Gerd Grimm (1911 – 1998). Fashion drawing for Frau im Speigel 1947. Indian ink and watercolour, signed, 42 × 30 cms. Price: £5,000.

Gallery 8, 8 Duke Street St James’s, London, SW1Y 6BN

Omar Ba: State of Emergency - Hales Gallery

Omar Ba, Afrique, Afrique, Afrique, 2014, oil, gouache, ink and pencil on corrugated carton, 190 x 143 cm.

Exhibition preview

HALES Gallery has announced its first solo exhibition with Senegalese artist Omar Ba. Entitled State of Emergency, it will be on display from September 3 to October 4, 2014.

Having lived both in Senegal and Switzerland, Omar Ba’s works combine memories of his motherland with experiences of his current home in Geneva.

Ba predominantly makes paintings directly onto corrugated cardboard sheets, the artists preferred surface. His relocation from Dakar to Geneva has had a major effect on his work bringing together both African and Western influences often centred around single figures, isolated on blackened surfaces.

The highly patterned and elaborate paintings draw together imagery associated with famine, tribal decoration, factional warfare and despotic self-styled leaders, along with advances in new technology and popular culture.

These almost mythological, ‘folklore’ inspired beings are not void of Western influences which serve as a nod to Postmodernity and the culture of ‘now’.

Omar Ba (b. Senegal, 1977) received his formal education in both Senegal (l’Ecole Nationale des Beaux-arts, Senegal, 2002) and Switzerland (l’Ecole Supérieur des Beaux-arts, Geneva, 2005 and ECAVMAPS Arts in Public Spheres, 2011). Selected exhibitions include: Biennale de Dakar (Dakar, Senegal, 2014), Vitalic (Hales Gallery, London, UK, 2013), La Jeunesse est un art (Manor Kunstpreis, Aagauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland, 2012), Swiss Art Awards (Bale, Switzerland), and others.

In 2011, Ba received the prestigious Swiss Art Award. 2014 saw the publication of The Prophecy of the People of Durban/La Prophetie des Gens de Durban, the artist’s most recent catalogue. Ba’s works can be found in private and public collections, including Credit Suisse, Fonds municipal d’art contemporain de la Ville de Geneve, Fonds municipal d’art contemporain de la Ville de Paris, Centre national des arts plastiques, France, and others.

Ba lives and works in Geneva, Switzerland.

Opening Times: Wednesday to Saturday, 11am – 6pm; or by appointment.

Hales Gallery, Tea Building, 7 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA


Photomonth 2014

Event preview

PHOTOMONTH is back (October 1 to November 30) and bubbling over with brilliant images celebrating photography in galleries and venues across East London.

Since 2001, the festival has established itself to become widely recognised as a major international event – bringing innovation and inspiration through the Open Call for exhibitions and encouraging participation in the wide variety of events on offer.

This year Imagining the East End is a strong theme flowing through the festival with artists who are radically changing our ways of seeing and exhibitions revolutionising our perception of an area whose influence reaches far beyond its actuality.

Photomonth opens at the Cass Gallery with a specially curated show ARCHIVE: Imagining the East End inspired by the East End Archive, a collection of contemporary and historical work. The exhibition showcases a diverse range of photographers whose work relates to the East End of London.

The East End is understood here as both a geographical location and an intangible space, a perpetually shifting frontier within the urban sprawl of London that is part real part imagined. As a reflection of this approach, the images range from documentary practice to works of the imagination and include work by Don McCullin, Tom Hunter, Jenny Matthews, Stephen Gill, David Hoffman, Susan Andrews, Steven Berkoff, Ian Farrant, Joy Gregory and Mike Seaborne.

The exhibition also profiles other local historical archives including those at Autograph ABP, Bishopsgate Institute, Eastside Community Heritage: Hidden Histories, Hackney Archives, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Tower Hamlets History Library and Whitechapel Gallery.

ARCHIVE: Imagining the East End is curated by Sue Andrews and Mick Williamson and runs from October 2 to November 2 at the Cass Gallery, 59-63 Whitechapel High Street, E1 7PF. It is open from Monday to Friday from 12 – 7pm, Saturday from 12 – 5pm and Sunday from 12 – 4pm. For more information visit

During October and November there will be a huge range of exhibitions and events produced by over 300 photographers whose energy and enthusiasm make photomonth east london a continuously enjoyable experience for everyone. Visit to find out more.

Disobedient Objects - V&A

Disobedient Objects

Exhibition preview

DISOBEDIENT Objects, the first exhibition to explore objects of art and design from around the world that have been created by grassroots social movements as tools of social change, is on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum (Porter Gallery) until February 1, 2015.

From Chilean folk art textiles that document political violence to a graffiti-writing robot, defaced currency to giant inflatable cobblestones thrown at demonstrations in Barcelona, to a political video game about the making of mobile phones, Disobedient Objects demonstrates how political activism drives a wealth of design ingenuity.

The exhibition showcases forms of making that defy standard definitions of art and design. The objects on display are mostly produced by non-professional makers, collectively and with limited resources as effective responses to complex situations.

The exhibition focuses on the late 1970s to the present; a time that has brought new technologies, social and political challenges.

The objects are made in a number of ways including: the appropriation of everyday objects for a new subversive purpose, as seen with the Bike Bloc which was produced from discarded bicycles and audio equipment welded together during the 2009 Reclaim Power protests in Copenhagen; the employment of traditional crafts like hand-appliquéd protest banners; and hacking cutting-edge technology to create such protest tools as a counter-surveillance drone.

Many of the exhibits have been loaned directly from activist groups from all over the world, bringing together for the first time many objects rarely before seen in a museum. Context is provided by newspaper cuttings, how-to guides and film content, including interviews and footage of the objects in action. Each design is accompanied by the maker’s statement to explain how and why the object was created.

Martin Roth, Director of the V&A said:

“This exhibition celebrates the creative ‘disobedience’ of designers and makers who question the rules. It shows that even with the most limited of resources, ordinary people can take design into their own hands. This is a brave and unusual exhibition; these are brave and unusual designers. We are proud to present their work.”

The first part of the exhibition introduces the design of activist objects in relation to four ways of effecting social change: direct action, speaking out, making worlds and solidarity.

A specially-commissioned film explores the history of ‘lock-ons’ – simple yet ingenious blockading devices designed to attach activists to the site of protest. Large shields employed on the front line during the 2010-11 protests against education cuts, were decorated to look like book covers, thereby changing the dynamic of the police’s confrontation with protestors. This design idea spread to similar protests around the world as it was such a powerful statement.

The way that protestors convey their message to avoid censorship and navigate the power of the media is considered. Giant puppets have long been a tool of social movements, and a tableau of three puppets used in protests against the first Gulf War by the politically radical US-based Bread and Puppet Theater are included.

Recently, simple pamphlets, placards and banners have been re-worked for the modern world and used in conjunction with social media. A selection shown includes a hand-painted placard made by gay rights activists in Russia and used in the antigovernment demonstrations in Moscow in 2012. A series of defaced currency is also displayed including ‘Occupy George,’ dollar bills circulated with fact-based infographics about the economic disparity of the US.

The maps and architectural experiments of protest camps illuminate the physical infrastructures that enable protest movements. The inflatable general assembly structure devised by 123Occupy offers protestors a place to gather, keep dry and discuss strategies and ideas. Meanwhile, a makeshift tear gas mask from the 2013 Istanbul protests, demonstrates a creative solution to support an individual protestor.

Creating a personal connection to a collective cause or identifying with an injustice can be an essential part of building a movement. This solidarity can be demonstrated by even the smallest objects.

On show are badges and t-shirts bearing the inverted pink triangle used by the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), as well as a display mapping how anti-Apartheid badge designs spread in the 1980s from South Africa to solidarity groups around the world. There are also pieces of jewellery design by members of the Black Panther party while in prison and sent to supporters.

The final part of the exhibition profiles a series of case studies in protest design from the last 30 years. This section opens with a data-visualisation mapping every protest since 1979.

The case studies include masks of the Guerrilla Girls who speak out against sexism in the art world, and the Tiki Love Truck, an anti-death penalty statement which takes the form of a mosaic-covered pick up vehicle by artist Carrie Reichardt. A web-based comedy series by Masasit Mati using finger puppets to lampoon the Assad regime in Syria is on display as well as a project by the Barbie Liberation Organisation which involved switching the voiceboxes on talking GI Joe and Barbie dolls to highlight gender stereotypes in children’s toys.

The whole space is hung with banners drawn from a diverse range of protest sites including the 1980s Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp in the UK to recent anti-nuclear protests in Japan.

An accompanying exhibition catalogue Disobedient Objects (pictured), edited by Catherine Flood and Gavin Grindon, is available from V&A Publishing priced £19.99 in paperback.

Admission: Free.

Times: 10am to 5.45pm and until 10om on Fridays.

Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL


Also at the V&A: Wedding Dresses 1775-2014 (until March 15, 2015).

Tim Hetherington: Infidel - Photofusion

Untitled Korengal Valley Kunar Province, Afghanistan. 2008 © Tim Hetherington. Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery New York.

Exhibition preview

PHOTOFUSION are hosting a solo exhibition of photographic work by Tim Hetherington (1970 – 2011), courtesy of The Tim Hetherington Trust and Foam, The Netherlands.

Entitled Infidel, it will be on display from August 22 to September 17 and continue from October 1 to October 31, 2014, following the Photofusion STILL/MOVING Film Festival.

The exhibition will present a mixture of photographs and video drawn from his series Infidel and Diary. In this work, Hetherington focused on the experience of war from the perspective of the individual.

Through his photographs, writing and films, Hetherington provides us with new ways to look at and think about human suffering as a result of war, both from the perspective of ordinary soldiers as well as the civilians caught up in the conflict.

Infidel consists of large-scale images of the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan, taken to set the scene, as well as intimate portraits of the American troops stationed there. The photographs were taken over a period of one year in 2007-2008, during which Hetherington managed to get incredibly close to the soldiers.

Describing the photographs in Infidel, Hetherington said:

“It’s all about the men. I didn’t want to pretend this was […] about the war in Afghanistan. It was a conscious decision. [It] comments on the experience of the soldier. It’s brotherhood. The flow of pictures is to introduce you to the Korengal Valley first and then to see the men in an intimate way…To get to know them and how they lived. Then you see them in combat in the traditional combat style. Finally, you see them as young men, sleeping.”

Alongside the prints of Infidel, Photofusion will show Hetherington’s film Diary (2010). Exploring his private thoughts and feelings about his work, Diary is a short film that collages original footage taken by Hetherington throughout his career.

The photographer described Diary, which he directed in 2010, as “a highly personal and experimental film that expresses the subjective experience of my work, and was made as an attempt to locate myself after ten years of reporting. It’s a kaleidoscope of images that link our western reality to the seemingly distant worlds we see in the media.”

Born in 1970 in Liverpool, Tim Hetherington graduated from Oxford University and later studied at Cardiff University. He received numerous grants and awards including a grant from the Hasselblad Foundation (2002), the 2007 World Press Photo of the Year, the Rory Peck Award for Features (2008), the Alfred I. duPont Award (2009), and the Leadership in Entertainment Award by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America for his work on the film Restrepo (2011).

His work was published amongst others in Vanity Fair, The Independent, Foto8 and Foam Magazine. Hetherington has been exhibited in many places, including at Host Gallery in London, the New York Photo Festival, and the ICP and Yossi Milo Gallery in New York. Hetherington was tragically killed on April 20, 2011, while photographing and filming in Libya. His images posthumously became part of the Magnum Photo Archive.

His year in Afghanistan also became the basis for the documentary Restrepo, which he co-directed with Sebastian Junger. The film was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2011 for Best Documentary Feature.

Admission: Free.

Times: Monday to Saturday, 11am to 5pm; Thursdays until 7pm.

Photofusion, 17a Electric Lane, Brixton, SW9 8LA


The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair - Autumn 2014

Event preview

THE NEXT Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair will take place at Battersea Evolution (The Marquee) from September 30 to October 5.

The Fair will feature a foyer display of fairground and circus artefacts, a highly stylised form of traditional folk art. Works will be drawn from exhibitors at the Fair and will be for sale.

More than 140 exhibitors take part at this Autumn’s fair, specialist design dealers with a wonderful variety of decorative British and European antique and 20th century furniture, objects and art.

Renowned amongst the interiors community as a source of the unusual and unexpected, the Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair attracts leading decorators and style pundits including Tom Dixon, Sir Paul Smith, Rose Uniacke, Kit Kemp, Olga and Alex Polizzi, Vere Grenney, Stephen Bayley, Spencer Swaffer; buyers from Colefax & Fowler, Anthropologie, Ralph Lauren, Candy & Candy, and interior designers and companies from America to Australia.

Thousands of private buyers attend to purchase distinctive, one-off pieces. You can find Scandinavian mid-century glassware priced from under £100 to Rococo Revival mirrors priced at over £50,000. Visiting is a voyage of discovery, with exhibitors creating enviable stylish stand displays that provide inspiration beyond compare.

Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London, SW11


Anselm Kiefer - Royal Academy of Arts

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Exhibition preview

FROM September 27 to December 14, 2014, the Royal Academy of Arts will be presenting the first major retrospective of Anselm Kiefer’s work to be held in the UK.

Considered to be one of the most important artists of his generation, the exhibition will span over forty years from Kiefer’s early career to the present time, bringing together artwork from international private and public collections.

The exhibition will be arranged chronologically, presenting the epic scale of his artwork and the breadth of media he has used throughout his career, including painting, sculpture, photography and installation.

Kiefer has also created a number of works conceived specifically for the Royal Academy’s Main Galleries, showcasing his continued interest in seeking new challenges and producing ever more ambitious artwork.

Kiefer’s fascination with history itself and with the work of past masters permeates his subject matter. From the cultural myths of folklore, to the Old and New testaments, Kabbalah, alchemy, philosophy and the poetry of Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann, Kiefer’s work wrestles with the darkness of German history and considers the complex relationship between art and spirituality.

His technical use of materials such as clay, ash, earth, lead, fabric and dried flowers amongst others, adds further symbolism and depth to his work.

Highlights of the exhibition include photographs and paintings from the controversial Occupations and Heroic Symbols (Heroische Sinnbilder) series of the late 1960s and early 1970s. These images record Kiefer’s re-enactment of the Nazi salute in locations across Europe, made in the belief that one must confront rather than supress the experience of history.

A series of paintings from Kiefer’s Attic series will also be exhibited, including Father, Son and the Holy Ghost (Vater, Sohn, Heiliger Geist), 1973 and Notung, 1973 depicting powerful renderings of wooden interior spaces based on the studio space that Kiefer was occupying in Walldurn-Hornbach in soth-west Germany, which he has referred to as “a place to teach myself history.”

The exhibition will also feature his monumental architectural paintings, such as To the Unknown Painter (Dem unbekannten Maler), 1983 that reflect on the neo-classical buildings of Albert Speer, Hitler’s atchitect, and the role of the artist in considering collective memory.

The exhibition will consider the key themes and the diverse, personal iconography that Kiefer has created in his work over the years and will look at the influence of place on his oeuvre. As he said in a recent interview, “Art is an attempt to get to the very centre of truth. It never can, but it can get quite close.”

Other paintings on display include Palette on a Rope (Palette am Seil), 1971 that uses the motif of the artist’s palette to represent Kiefer’s engagement with the facets of history, as well as a series of early watercolours including From Oscar Wilde (Von Oskar Wilde), 1974 and Winter Landscape (Winterlandschaft), 1970.

Anselm Kiefer will also present his celebrated lead books, including the paintings For Paul Celan, Ash Flowers (Fur Paul Celan, Aschenblume), 2006 and Black Flakes (Schwarze Flocken), 2006. Kiefer’s new works for the exhibition will incorporate a number of large-scale paintings and sculptures, including a major installation for the Royal Academy’s courtyard.

Kathleen Soriano, Director of Exhibitions says:

“While particular segments of Kiefer’s oeuvre have been shown at galleries in this country at intervals over recent decades, never before has a comprehensive overview taken place in spaces befitting the monumental character of many of his pieces.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity to consider and re-evaluate the trajectory of Kiefer’s practice and the importance of his innovations and contributions to the history of art, whilst celebrating one of our own Honorary Royal Academicians.”

The exhibition, organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, has been curated by Kathleen Soriano, Director of Exhibitions, Royal Academy of Arts, in close collaboration with Anselm Kiefer.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with contributions from Richard Davey, Simon Schama, Kathleen Soriano and Christian Weikop.

Anselm Kiefer Gallery

Tickets: £14 full price; concessions available; children under 12 and Friends of the RA go free.

Times: Daily from 10am to 6pm (last admission 5.30pm); Fridays until 10pm (last admission 9.30pm).

Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD

Tel: 020 7300 8000


Also at the Royal Academy of Arts: Radical Geometry: Modern Art of South America from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection (until September 28, 2014) and Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album (until October 19, 2014).

David Levene: Eyewitness - The Gallery at Foyles

Exhibition preview

GUARDIAN photographer David Levene is to exhibit a selection of his favourite Eyewitness photographs at the new flagship Foyles bookshop on Charing Cross Road. The free exhibition, curated by Mark Davy of Futurecity, will run from Wednesday, September 2 until Sunday, October 26, 2014.

Levene, one of the Guardian’s award-winning photographers, has been taking photographs for the Guardian’s pioneering Eyewitness series since it began in 2005. In total he has had over 120 photographs featured in the daily slot, and has now chosen ten of his favourites for this exhibition.

Each photograph has been blown up to over 1.5m across, allowing viewers to experience these powerful and monumental images on a scale at which they have never been seen before.

Guardian Eyewitness was revolutionary when it was introduced in full colour across the centre spread of the Guardian newspaper in 2005. Now the only daily print photo feature of this size in the British press, the hugely popular Eyewitness series continues to showcase some of the world’s best news photography.

In recent years Eyewitness has proved just as popular on digital platforms, launching as one of the first ever iPad apps in 2010. Since its launch the free app has clocked up over a million users around the world (

David Levene says:

‘An Eyewitness photograph should always provoke the feeling of being involved or part of the scene, and that is something that I always consider when I am composing or thinking about the subject that I am shooting. The exhibition selection began with a conversation with Mark Davy at Futurecity. We discussed how big the images would be, how they appear on the page and how this would be mirrored on the wall.

‘There are lots of things that are important and that I love about Eyewitness but the overarching rule is to have lots of detail, and lots to look at, and to be able to exhibit some of my images on an even larger scale is a great opportunity.’

Mark Davy, director of Futurecity, comments:

‘David Levene’s images set out unequivocally the heroic struggle of life in the city – multiple viewpoints and an epic scale force the viewer to contemplate the retina-searing visual chaos of urban life.’

Alongside the exhibition, Foyles will be hosting a discussion on Wednesday, September 24 exploring the journey of an Eyewitness image from its conception to appearing in the Guardian and beyond. Free tickets for the event, Guardian Eyewitness: from lens to page, which will feature David Levene alongside key members of the Guardian’s picture desk and imaging team, can be booked on the Foyles website (

This will be the second exhibition in The Gallery at Foyles, located on the fifth floor of the new Foyles bookshop at 107 Charing Cross Road, and curated by Futurecity to celebrate ‘the word’ in all its forms. The Art book department is located by the main entrance on the ground floor.

Mohara Gill, Head of Art at Foyles, adds:

‘Photojournalism can often be a more effective and immediate medium for communicating a point of view or observation than the written word. These photographs still retain the crispness and minute detail they exhibited on the page, making it possible to pick out individuals in the crowd and to appreciate the immensity of man’s mark on the landscape.’

Admission: Free.

Times: Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 9pm; Sunday, 11.30am – 6pm.

Foyles, 107 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DT


The Inner Self: Drawings from the Subconscious

Exhibition preview

THE Inner Self: Drawings from the Subconscious, a group show of the work of seven Outside In artists all living within Greater London and working on the theme of the subconscious, will be on display at CGP London Cafe Gallery from September 4 to September 21, 2014.

The selected artists are Jan Arden, Imma Maddox, Nigel Kingsbury, Hannah Swain, Billy Weston, Pat Mear and Terence Wilde. Also on display will be works from Nick Blinko.

The seven Outside In artists have been selected from a total of 154 black and white submissions focusing on the theme of the subconscious. The artists selected are all London-based and all feel they are facing barriers to the art world because of mental health issues, health, disability, or social circumstance.

One overall winner will be chosen from the selected seven artists for a solo show at the Julian Hartnoll Gallery, Duke Street from November 16 to November 22, 2014. The selection panel included CGP London Director Ron Henocq; Vivienne Roberts, Curator at the Julian Hartnoll Gallery; Outsider Artist Nick Blinko; and Outside In Manager Jennifer Gilbert.

Work by the Outside In artists will sit alongside Outsider Artist Nick Blinko’s minutely detailed monochrome pieces. Macabre and intense, Blinko’s images depict microscopically detailed interconnecting worlds and figures such as skulls, broken dolls, imps, foetuses and precisely handwritten notes.

Jan Arden combines Celtic knot-work with African faces and South American Shamanistic Aztec priests, people, animals symbols and shapes. He creates what he sees on the paper after moving the biro in dance like movements, eyes closed and reaching into the subconscious for inspiration and guidance.

Nigel Kingsbury uses pencil and pen to create fine, delicate portraits depicting women as mystical goddesses attired in glamorous ball gowns, decadent outfits and floating dresses. Drawing virtually every day, he sources images from paused TV programmes or from the nurses when he is in hospital.

Imma Maddox is predominantly a textile artist, although drawing is equally as important to her. She has found that she has her own language for drawing hands, feet, eyes, hair, tails and horns. The meaning of what she is drawing emerges during the process. She plays creatively with the line, often going to a place she has never visited before.

Pat Mear’s tiny spiral notebook drawings are a move away from her very cerebral and hard-edged paintings and prints in a bid to reveal an inner truthfulness and to practice drawing more quickly than it is possible to think or ‘tidy up.’

Hannah Swain was diagnosed with Bipolar at the age of 50 after the death of her mother. She began creating her works during her time in hospital, producing images of angels that embodied her mother, keeping her memories alive.

At the age of 14, Billy Weston had a brain haemorrhage which resulted in the loss of his drawing right hand. He never regained the use of his right side, but re-learned his natural artistic talent through his left hand. Since then, he has carried notebooks with him, drawing and painting life as it goes through his head.

Originally, Terence Wilde’s drawings were observational, accurate representations of their subject. Gradually, and particularly through use in therapy, he began to draw from personal life experience. He now uses drawing to map points on his spiritual journey to help him accept who he is.

The exhibition at CGP London will be accompanied by a series of events, talks and workshops organised by Outside In and its London partners.

Admission: Free.

Times: Wednesday to Sunday, 11am to 5pm.

CGP London Cafe Gallery, Southwark Park, Bermondsey, SE16 2UA

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7237 1230