Monthly Archives: November 2014


Now showing at The Strand Gallery: UpStArt – The Finalists Exhibition! UpStArt jpeg posterThe exhibition will display the work of thirty-four finalists and A-level art students  across Greater London, on display from the 23rd November – 6th December 2014.


SPOTLIGHT: Johann Arens

Johann Arens is a German, emerging contemporary artist currently attending the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam.

In September 2014, he joined the group exhibition Emotional Resources at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art in Sunderland and in November he will present Part I, The Dispute in Düsseldorf.

Arens (born in Aachen, 1981) graduated at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam in 2006, and spent 5 months working in Berlin taking part in the Nipkow Program. He also holds an MFA at Goldsmiths College in London (2011).

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Johann works mainly in installation, film and sculpture, languages that reflect on the investigation of the space in evolution and its virtual manipulation to analyse our historic situation and public behavior.

At the centre of his artworks we find domestic interiors, offices, computerized landscapes and urban environment that wander about their function in the visual culture and in our social structure.

The works display numerous devices at different scales in a complex system. Each exhibition traces a general viewing of the social dimension and the acting of us as users. A collage of different reality aspects characterize Arens’ production and his research in the visual art.

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During a long term stay in Rome last year, Arens presented Friday 13th at the British School. He collaborated with artists Daniele Genadry and Jurgen Ots, to create the innovative project Hard Copy (2014) at Pastificio Cerere Foundation.

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Recent solo exhibitions include Paradise Row (London), Apple and Pear (London), Effect Rating (Amsterdam), Internet Centre & Habesha Grocery (London), North of no South (London).

For further research and information about Johann Arens visit


The Strand Gallery is thrilled to announce in collaboration with UpStArt, our new exhibition for  thirty-four finalists and A-level art students  across Greater London, that have entered this exciting  fine art competition. UpStArt is an Anne Frank Trust, designed to identify and nurture new artistic talent. It helps people from all backgrounds challenge prejudice, supporting new talent, acceptance and charity.

Two sisters Natasha and Isabella Tagliaferri, lead the inspiration behind UpStArt. They collaboratively developed the idea to auction school art work in order to raise money for the Anne Frank Trust. This kick started the showcasing of up and coming young artists, promoting their work, as well as the work of school art departments in Greater London, to the leaders of the art world as well as the general public.

UpStArt has gained a huge amount of support from all areas of the art industry, from artists and broadcasters, to curators and lawyers. The impressive judging panel includes: Sky Arts TV, Saatchi Art, Goldsmiths, Slade, LCC, Royal College of Art, Lisson Gallery, Shape Arts and Channel 4 TV, along with the general public. Art work is sold at auction, with the proceeds divided between the artist and Anne Frank Trust. Prizes include over £1000 cash (thanks to Opera Gallery and Landview Properties), work placements (thanks to UK Greetings), Cass Art discounts for schools and £500 worth of vouchers, as well as the opportunity to participate in master classes from renowned artists, Nick Walker, Sarah Lightman and Kev F.

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UpStArt will be exhibiting at The Strand Gallery from 23rd November until  6th December.

COMING UP: Intercontinental Drift

This new exhibition celebrates two projects: an ongoing student exchange with the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad (India) and the 2014 MFA Photography graduates final work from University for the Creative Arts, Farnham.

Photography at Farnham has a long and distinguished history with many of our talented graduates acknowledged as leading figures in the field. Our (UCA) exchange project with the National Institute of Design in India (funded by the British Council) has been an extraordinary experience bringing together two vibrant learning environments and encouraging students into an ambitious programme of photographic activity within totally new cultural contexts. The results have frequently surprised and enchanted both staff and students, new territories and ways of working were embraced and long term friendships forged. This has been a life changing project for all those who took part.

In the MFA show (upstairs in the gallery) the cohort are exceptional; their work is both adventurous and intelligent, investigating subjects using the broadest range of photographic genres. The projects engage with social issues, personal histories, space and identity, abstraction and the materiality of photography. From transgender identity in India to a project based on the forms of Chinese painting. There are investigations into memory and trauma, contemporary domestic duty and as well a story about modern love. The work is visually dynamic and the projects diverse, each artist employing highly sophisticated strategies to achieve their aims. These graduates are the world’s future creative professionals, this exhibition marks the start of their journey.


Intercontinental Drift will be exhibited at The Strand Gallery from 18th – 20th of November 2014.

Artist Profiles: Intercontinental Drift

28 Days 28 Dinners – Debra Lorraine Grant

Grant’s interest in photography is in the domestic, everyday environment. The work she has made is autobiographical and documents aspects of womens’ ordinary lives. 28 Days 28 Dinners, records the meals cooked by Grant for her husband over twenty-eight days.

Photography is used to represent objects with the assistance of text to produce narrative. These types of everyday activities, that could be considered as mundane, are a fundamental part of daily life, and although this meal may greatly differ in content and form from home to home, it remains the case that we all eat. This body of work  records Grant’s own experiences of pain, on a daily basis, as well as a more general perspective on contemporary womens’ domestic lives.

Underground Within – Khris Riva

Underground Within is an approach to human expression in public spaces; it is an artistic exploration through a hidden camera, the portrait in an unconventional way. The “Underground “, the main public transport in London, covers the entire metropolitan area; the photographic device, used in the depths and hidden, juxtaposes light and dark; intimacy, warmth and secret.

People often seem to plunge into the ‘double-deep’ underground and their interior monologues, books or newspapers, are carried away by their thoughts, in a gaze that questions to nothing and challenges with mysterious emotions.

Thoughtlessly, it seems the perfect time for introspection within the city, paradoxically involving private and public, inner light and outer darkness. In Riva’s exploration, he has confirmed how and when we portray. His interest is to understand the nature of the human face, whenever the ego of every individual is eclipsed inside while it digresses.

8 original photographs taken from the short story Disreality –Emma Iiriti

Emma Iiriti creates narratives around contemporary social situations. Her work incorporates both literature and photography and her stories are often inspired by real life events. Emma’s current series explores the way in which modern technology is changing the way we communicate within our personal relationships and the inherent implications of this. The projection of identity is a key theme. The works typically are in the form of books, in which text and photographic imagery is interwoven to create an ambiguous mix that blurs the boundary between fact and fiction.
Questions regarding authenticity and authorship of both text and imagery are left to the interpretation and imagination of the viewer. This fuels the intriguing air of mystery that runs through Emma’s work.

Shanshui – Hao Xu 

Shanshui project is intending to draw aesthetic characteristics from Chinese landscape painting, by using traditional photographic materials and technique.
Shanshui in Chinese means ‘mountain’ and ‘water’ as landscape. It is an exploration and experimental project. It intends to push the boundaries between photography and painting. Consequently to start re-thinking about these two unique media and authoring language. These photographs  have been influenced by Grand impressionistic painting.

The Storm That Bends The Birch Trees – Pedro Maças 

“The storm that bends the birch trees” (a verse from a poem by Bertolt Brecht on violence) is a metaphor for, and the title for this series of photographs. This project is concerned with understanding and exploring the new topographies arising as a consequence of the abrupt halt of construction sites due to the hail of the crash in the real estate market.
“In areas close to my hometown in Portugal the financial crises generated a series of unfinished building sites, ghostly neighborhoods, disorienting and fragmented surroundings. The Storm That Bends The Birch Trees is an abstract narrative that aims to capture and convey the nature of these new topographies and psychologically frame these decaying environments.”
Pedro Maçãs photographic practice is concerned with understanding the role of photography in documenting and analysing broader questions as a whole, whilst exploring its intelligibility on the printed page and narrative structure.

Kothis, Hijras, Giriyas and Others – Charan Singh 

The Kothis (effeminate, underprivileged, homosexual men), Hijras (eunuch), Giriyas (partners of kothi and hijra) are indigenous terms used by the communities in their own dialect to define their different and particular sexual identities.
Singh (b. India, 1978) lives and works in the UK and India. His photographic practice is informed by his thirteen years of HIV/AIDS work and community activism in India, along with a formal study of art history and photography. He is interested in the representation of gender and sexuality, relationships, recovery, loss and desire.
His work was featured in Uncertain States # 14, a lens-based, artist led project in London and Take on Photography a special edition by Take on Art, New Delhi, India during Delhi Photo Festival, September 2013. He has also had work exhibited at the Nigah Queer Fest, Goethe-Institute, Max Mueller Bhawan, New Delhi October 2010 and November 2011.

The Blind Photographer – Angela Zualaga Valencia

Ángela Zuluaga Valencia (b. 1986) grew up in Colombia, South America. She earned her degree as an Audio-visual Communicator in 2010. Her main interest has been in documentary and street photography. Her current work revolves around self-portraiture both in video and photography.

Her video installation piece entitled “The Blind Photographer” deals with subjects like symbolic deaths, mental illness such as Bipolar Affective Disorder and identity.
The background of this project is that on the 30th of July 2013 she was admitted into a mental institution due to a severe episode of psychosis and was held for 30 days until finally discharged on the 3rd of September 2013.
During her time there she started video recording a diary at the same time she was taking self-portraits, activities that continued after she was discharged. These videos depict her mental state at the time, her current mood and concerns.

Deimos and Morpheus – Christina Neill-Griffin

Deimos is a moon of the planet Mars, named after Deimos & Phobos the twin sons of Ares & Aphrodite, whose Roman counterparts were Mars & Venus. Deimos was the little known Greek god of flight & terror. Morpheus was the Greek god of dreams; his name signifies his ability to transform the dreams as they appeared to the sleeper.
Deimos and Morpheus explore the physical and sensory experience of total memory loss – something that was personally experienced by Christina.
Deimos captures the ephemeral feeling of the fear and confusion, of not understanding the world around you, the distortion reality, and the whirlwind of time. Deimos is not visible through any other medium but photography, using layered images and slow exposures, maintaining a little of the beauty and excitement with which children see the world, before they grow up to be cynical adults.
Morpheus recreates the subversive reality of our experiences,  Morpheus questions our ability to understand the purpose of an object, without the memory of what it is. Memory is such an integral part of life that functioning in society is almost impossible without it.

NOW SHOWING: The Great War

Now exhibiting at The Strand Gallery, The Great War presented by Liss Fine Art.

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The works collectively highlight themes and aspects of the war, by a number of talented artists through mediums of painting, drawing, sculpture, photographs and poster.

Check out the Telegraph article for more information on this exciting exhibition!

Showing until Saturday 15th!

COMING UP: The Great War

The Strand Gallery is excited to present our new exhibition The Great War by Liss Fine Art and David Cohen Fine Art. Opening on 11th November, in commemoration of the First World War, this collection of paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, posters and photographs records The Great War in both fine and popular art.

The work exhibits remarkable paintings by artists such as Spencer Pryse, Colin Gill, William Strang and Stanhope Forbes, with works on paper by Christopher Nevinson, James McBey, Ellis Martin and Muirhead Bone. It explores themes that are inspired by both the fine and popular arts into 14 subsections under the general headings of Combat, The Home Front and The Aftermath. The content focuses on the Allies, with a particular bias towards British Art.

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The Great War will be exhibiting at The Strand Gallery from 12th-15th November 2014, 11am – 6pm

COMING UP: Hello London!

The Strand Gallery is thrilled to announce our upcoming exhibition Hello London! by Tokyo based artist Mitsushige Nishiwaki.

Mitsushige is a self-trained etcher. During his early travels, he became the sole charge of a European business for a Japanese industrial company. He then went on to complete postgraduate studies in graphic design in Arizona, and work as a graphic designer in New York City. These ventures influenced his humorous images of Europe and the USA, which are created back home in Tokyo.