SPOTLIGHT: Charles Moxon

We hope you all enjoyed Easter and the bank holiday weekend! Today’s spotlight post features the beautiful portraits by British artist Charles Moxon, who graduated in 2013 from BA (Hons) Painting at the infamous Camberwell College of Art, University of the Arts London.

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I first came across Charles’s work in the Catlin Guide, as he is one of 40 artists featured in the 2014 edition. The guide introduces the most promising new graduate artists in the UK, as recommended by a wide survey of curators, collectors, gallerists and course tutors, and it is a great way of discovering emerging artists.

Charles’s astounding skill in portraiture was first recognized whilst he was studying at Camberwell. In 2012 he was short-listed and highly commended for the Young Masters Art Prize, as well as being short-listed to the Final 300 in the BP Award 2012 – quite the achievement for a student!

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Drawing on traditional techniques of the Dutch 17th century Old Masters combined with his own distinctive edge, Charles uses fluid brush strokes to highlight minute detail with a startling accuracy. His careful depiction of light and shadow offer a powerful effect, reminiscent of the chiaroscuro style revolutionized by Vermeer.

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At the age of 24, Charles already has a number of achievements to his name, including being commissioned to paint a portrait of Roy Bentley, the ex-England and Chelsea football player as well as celebrity chef Alex Mackay. His work has also been exhibited at the prestigious Mall Galleries in London as part of the 2012 BBC series Show me the Monet.  His work has also been featured in the Independent and Rankin’s Hunger Magazine to name a few. With his meticulous eye for detail and intricate skill, Charles is a young artist with an astonishing talent – a sure one to watch.

All images © Charles Moxon

COMING UP: Shiri Achu

We are delighted to share with you all our next exhibition here at The Strand Gallery. We are bringing you a series of gorgeous African paintings by the wonderfully talented Shiri Achu in her London Exhibition ’35 in Prints’ at The Strand Gallery. Achu was born in Cameroon, West Africa until she and her family immigrated to London, where she has lived for many years. Today, she has studios in Cameroon, the UK and the US.

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She picked up her first paint brush at a tender age of 9, experimenting with several mediums including oils, acrylics, water colour, mix media etc. Achu’s art comes from everyday, unsurprising yet unexpectedly vivid moments, times, places and objects. She seeks to capture the spirit of her subjects and make them come alive through form, colour, texture and tone. She draws insight from her travels but in general her inspiration is very broad; from natural moments captured in Africa to still objects, from the human form to the human in action.

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The eternal optimist, Shiri sees beauty in almost anything and everything. She finds beauty where there is normalcy, and she sees colour through shades of grey. She therefore draws from this distinctively beautiful world of hers and aims to evoke an emotion, translating into images of delight or surprise, with the sole objective of capturing the soul of the subject.

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Composition and subject matter are key in Shiri’s works. The concept for each piece is clear, and the focus gripping, and although the viewer will understand some of the pieces, some may not be understood and apprehended, because abstract/tashism is explored by Shiri in some of her pieces, to leave her viewers to come to their own conclusions. Shiri’s art is bold, dramatic and uncompromising. Her pieces aim to delight and leave the viewer moved as well as leave the viewer with thoughts of wonderment, at times of bewilderment; also to engage ones diagnostic imagination.

Ever increasingly so, one of the aims of Shiri Achu’s Art is to showcase the culture of Cameroon and other African countries worldwide. It’s also to bring back the fond memories to those in the diaspora. There is a beautiful simplicity in the African culture she is trying to project into the Western world. She paints them to educate people in the West whilst trying to entice them to be inquisitive of the culture and to one day plan to visit and see for themselves.

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All images © Shiri Achu.

Achu’s works can be seen in the exhibition 35 in Print at The Strand Gallery from April 19th to April 25th.

SPOTLIGHT: Jemima Kirke

Girls superstar Jemima Kirke has recently opened her second solo show of painted portraiture. Not many people know this deep, dark actress as the outstanding artist she is, so we want to share with you all some of her recent works.

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Jemima Kirke

What I found most surprising about Kirke’s artistic talent is that she has it! We’ve seen (a lot of) Kirke on screen in Girls, but through these images we get a real sense of the artist behind the actress. And the girl’s got talent! Jemima is portraying to the world series after series of portraits that aren’t beautiful by today’s harsh standards, but have such a beautiful element of rawness that encapsulate real emotion. The finished pieces bring vulnerability, power and real elements of disconcertion.

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Jemima Kirke

They are real, and they are deep, and they show some true promise for this young artist. Having been shown in several group shows, and currently embarking upon her second solo show, Kirke has been noted as saying “If someone was willing to show my work… I don’t care why. I’m honoured to have the platform.” I think she needs to stop being so modest and really revel in the worldwide attention her works have been receiving. Because they have beenr receiving an lot of attention for a number of years now. There aren’t many painters who work in this kind of style, and it’s really refreshing to see.

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Jemima Kirke

All images © Jemima Kirke.

If you are in the San Fransisco area, Kirke’s exhibition runs at Fouladi Projects until May 10th.

For further examples of Kirkes work, please refer to her website here.

COMING UP: Herstories

We are delighted to announce our new exhibition ‘Herstories’, an art exhibition of oral history. The exhibition will take place from 26th – 29th March at The Strand Gallery.

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In our society women’s voices are often lost and unrecorded, particularly those of ordinary citizens. Therefore curator and founder, Radhika  Hettiarachchi came up with the idea to record histories, experiences and hopes of different families from a mother’s point of view. Mothers are often known to be the guardian of a family and therefore Radhika wanted to collect stories of mothers from the south, east and north of Sri Lanka.

With their collection being divided into hand written letters, photo essays, short videos, collective timelines and memory mapping, each of them tells us a extraordinary story of ordinary mothers living through such a difficult time.

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With herstories, the project expects to raise awareness among people who may not have otherwise known about the hardships different mothers have gone through in their lives. Many mothers in Sri Lanka may have lost their husbands and children in the war, and some still live with death, displacement and disability.

As many people might think that women like these don’t want to talk about their lives and what they have been through, Radhika found that they were surprisingly eager to talk to and had generous memories  of the whole family.

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Radhika stated that, “These women really wanted to leave something of themselves behind for the future and the idea that their words were going to be somewhere forever, was wonderful for them.”  The idea of herstories is not only to showcase a shared history but also to show how Sri Lankan’s are rooted in multiple identities.

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Up until now, the collection of herstories was only presented through a travelling exhibition in Ampara, Colombo and Galle in 2013. Therefore we are very delighted to host their first show in Europe which will showcase 60 pieces from the full 270 strong herstories collection.  However their entire collection will be archived online on their website.

The exhibition can be seen at The Strand Gallery from March 26th to March 30th, 11am t 7pm.

SPOTLIGHT: Eloy Morales

On one of my most recent ventures around the internet, I stumbled upon some interesting looking photographs depicting a male face covered in splodges of paint. I thought they were pretty cool and scrolled down to get some information on the photographer, and to my disbelief I saw that they were in fact paintings. Needless to say, my mind was blown. And I think if you take a look at the photos you will feel the same way!

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Eloy Morales

Absolutely stunning! To this day I still find it hard to believe that these pieces are painstakingly made with paint. Each piece takes around a month to complete, if Morales stays on top of his eight hour studio days. Each image portrays and reflects Morales’ relationship with paint, and before this series he had never painted a self-portrait before.

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Eloy Morales

What I find most enthralling about each image is the life the subject has behind his eyes. With other hyperreal artists you tend to find that something gives away their medium, be it a lack of a gleam in the eye or hairs that look slightly too fake. Not with Morales. Each and every portrait in this series brings the same eerily-human representation that stuns every single viewer.

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All images © Eloy Morales.

For further examples of Morales’ work, please see his website here.

COMING UP: Where do I belong?

Following their Portraits of Britain Exhibition at The Strand Gallery in November 2012. The  Economic and Social Research Council, who fund research into the social and economic questions facing us today, present ‘Where Do I Belong?‘, a photography competition for young people aged 14-18.

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In an exhibition which explores the creativity of young people around the UK, the competition challenges the contestants to give their unique view of society and to ask themselves the question ‘Where Do I belong?’.  The show manifests the way Social Science is constantly present in our every day lives, at work or school and even when exploring identity and expressing belief.

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Exhibited through various categories, such as family & friends, my community, interests & hobbies, opinions & beliefs, country & future, each piece showcases a different area of society, producing an enlightening exhibition, that poses questions about life for young people in the modern age.  

DCIM101GOPRO With over 2000 entrants from 332 schools across the UK, it is an eye opening exhibition, showing the way young people view their place in society today, bringing Social Science into the classroom, whilst engaging young people in creative projects. An eye opening exhibition, this is not one to be missed.

‘Where Do I Belong?’  will be showing at The Strand Gallery from 18th – 22nd March 2014, 11am – 6pm.

COMING UP: miNiATURE Design

We are very excited to announce our next exhibition, the debut miNiATURE Garden show, an exciting new event for the world of garden design!  Running from 6th – 8th March at The Strand Gallery.

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Thanks to the evolution of 3D printing, leading garden designers and landscape architects have been able to create their unique gardens in miniature 3D format, giving them innovation and practicality in their designs. These ‘mini’ gardens show the brightest ideas of today’s landscape architects, allowing a larger accessibility for all garden lovers.

Sarah Eberle, Adam Frost and Jo Thompson, three of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show ‘Best in Show’ winners, are among the 10 leading garden designers, you will be guaranteed a magical experience about gardens which are made entirely through 3D printing. Having London College of Garden Design and Hobs3D as their main sponsors, there will be live 3D printing in one of our gallery rooms to demonstrate the concept of 3D printing.

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The show is beautifully curated by Andrew Fisher Tomlin and Tom Harfleet, along with landscape designer Kajsa Björne. The team previously worked together in Australia, where they discovered their mutual interest in the power of gardens. All three have worked internationally across a wide range of projects. The show is free and open to everyone who is interested to see how 3D printing takes over and how such small, high-quality, detailed 3D models have a big meaning in the world of art and design.

miNiATURE gives a group of leading UK and International designers a chance to design completely new ideas in gardens and landscapes, introducing 3D printing to landscape design and the public with the world’s first model garden show.

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The concept behind miNiATURE is to create a platform where designers truly have the ability to create unique and ambitious gardens, even if they are in miniature. Currently show gardens provide a platform to engage people with new design but often these can end up as safe and self-limiting due to budget and in order to win a medal. miNiATURE aims to change this by giving designers an outlet to explore creative designs at low cost through modelling. Up until recently this took place ‘on screen’ and a physical model could take time and expense but now with the advent of 3D printing we have the ability to produce high quality, detailed and accurate 3D models to communicate ideas and engage directly with clients.

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All images © miNiATURE Design.

miNiATURE Design can be seen at The Strand Gallery from 6th – 8th March.

Further examples of the company’s work can be seen here.

Arnis Purple

Earlier this month Arnis Purple showcased their debut exhibition Re-Imagining London at The Strand Gallery! An  emerging and independent illustration company, founded by the two MA students, Henri Ghosn and Jun Kim, the pair teamed up with recent Media & Communications graduates from Goldsmiths and other freelance artists to create a unique experience.

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Having over 150 art lovers attending their private view, they had a great start with the launch of their new and exciting project which was founded only 8 months ago.

With both founders being concerned with the marginalisation of ethnic groups and city gentrification, they wanted to create a show which explores the cosmopolitan nature of London from a different aspect.  Henri said;  “there is more than one London; it is not just red double decker buses and Big Ben, but also a creative inspiration hub”

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Arnis Purple brought together artists from all over the world and they are further looking to expand into South Korea and the Far East this May, keep checking their website for regular updates! Good luck guys!

COMING UP: Arnis Purple

We are thrilled to announce ARNIS PURPLE’s first London illustration and photography exhibition at The Strand Gallery, running from the 21st until the 23rd of February.

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The exhibition, entitled “Re-Imagining London”, will explore the image and branding of the Capital. Yet there is a twist! Featuring a total of 10 artists, the collection presented to the audience shall range from photographs by Samuel T. Hart to illustrations designed by Gemma Latimer. Our artists have been set loose, asked to explore the cityscape with one caution- no pictures of shiny red buses please!

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We thus welcome everyone to come and question his or her own perception of the conurbation with fellow politicians, academics and other creatives. Once launched, the exhibition will move to the Far East, where it shall promote the various facets of London to the people of Seoul.

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Working along the idea of exclusivity, every ARNIS PURPLE product comes not only in limited sets, but also with a limited time frame. Our shows do not last more than a weekend, and it is the only time for our audiences to see the works in person.

ARNIS PRUPLE is therefore more than an online platform — it is a revolutionary, global stage, that promotes young and talented individuals both throughout the UNITED KINGDOM AND WORLDWIDE.

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A Look Back at 2013

Now that our first incredible exhibition of 2014 has sadly come to an end, we thought it might be appropriate to look back at the last year and pick up on some of the highlights of 2013 at The Strand Gallery.

Looking back, 2013 has been an eventful year. Prince William and Kate Middleton’s son Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge was born on 22 July 2013 and Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president who led the peaceful transition from white-only rule, sadly passed aged 95. Amongst all of the commotion of the real world, here at The Strand Gallery we conducted an array of inspiring exhibits and had many exciting moments. So, as we move forward to invite an  2014, we thought first of all we will celebrate some of our favourite moments of 2013.

With even our online Spotlight features taking us through a huge range of artists varying from the exquisite colourful and intricate installations of Jee Young Lee, who plays with the boundaries between reality and fiction, to the dark earthy paintings of Lei Chang who captivates multiple layers of emotion, narrowing down a small selection of our successful physical shows has been difficult.

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We kicked off with a successful burst, displaying a series from Press Association photographer Lewis Whyld. The shocking and telling photographs capture the riots that took place back in 2011. Whyld’s positioning during the outburst places us at a level where we are exposed, front row to the raw flames, revealing the full extent of the damage. Not only this, but the images also brought back the memories for the people. Safety was threatened and wider British culture and society was under threat, these harrowing photographs demonstrated this.

The Master

Another fantastic show we had was Hot Valve Leak: Visual Ramblings of Vic Reeves. We opened our doors to the surreal and comic artist who exhibited a selection of paintings, drawings and ceramics, opening our eyes to a selection of his ingenious wit and talent. Incorporating performance with humour, he led us to surrealist ideas, revealing a Dada-esque quality that is reminiscent throughout.

Showing the Ink by Tristan Pigott

Tristan Pigott exhibited his unique and surreal paintings with us here at The Strand Gallery in March 2013. Piggot explores human behaviour that is relatable, yet composed in a surreal way that it becomes something awkward, something that we are separate from. He plays with the boundaries between the real and unreal. The chalky tones mute the composition heightening the awkwardness of the surreal situation. These extraordinary paintings are intriguing and have provoked great critical attention.

Although we exhibited many, many more incredible shows, these were definitely our top three, and after a successful 2013 we look forward to another year of inspiring shows and online explorations, so bring on 2014!