Category Archives: Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: Stephanie Bryan-Kinns

Today’s spotlight focuses on talented BA (Hons) Digital Communication Design graduate Stephanie Bryan-Kinns, who The Strand Gallery had the pleasure of exhibiting back in the May 2014 UCA Degree Show.


BA (Hons) DCD is a cutting-edge degree known for pushing boundaries through the creation of innovative works. They practice in exploring the impact of digital culture on graphic design, and Stephanie’s work investigates issue of transphobia through social design.

An avid designer and writer who hopes to develop an art direction career in advertising, Stephanie creates work that is thought provoking and powerful. She exhibited at The Strand Gallery an advertising based installation that challenges gender stereotyping and prejudice in today’s society.


Through directly targeting individuals in intimate spaces, Stephanie uses facial recognition and interactive advertising with the aim of helping society understand that transphobic language, actions, questions and comments are just as inappropriate towards cis-gendered individuals, as they are to trans* individuals.

For this project, Stephanie not only aims to raise awareness of transphobia, but also of gender variation. The shocking statements used in this campaign reflect inappropriate language, commonly directed towards trans* individuals, and offer a unique and inspiring way of using advertising as a way to combat prejudice. The project epitomises the quote “treat others how you wish to be treated”.

Check out Stephanie’s website to find out more information and to see more of her work.



Today’s spotlight focuses on Taiwanese photographer Hao Li, and his captivating series Le Mécanisme Répétitif (The Repetitive Mechanism).

Hao Li 1

Hao Li is based in France, and his ghostly series came an impressive second place in the Professional Conceptual category of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, and it’s not hard to see why. Supported by the World Photography Organisation, the competition is recognised as the leading photographic awards programme in existence today.

His work reflects the sometimes repetitive routine of daily life, suggesting that we have lost ourselves within an immense system that emphasises both efficiency and productivity. Recognizing this system, Hao Li purposely placed himself amidst the repetitive rhythm, and returned every day at the exact same time to the various different locations, ranging from train stations to supermarkets.

Hao Li 2

With the same framing, Hao Li limited himself to one exposure per day on the same piece of film, and complied the shots together to create one single multi-exposure photograph. The result is astounding; offering a high-speed adaptation of the every day places we travel through and the people we pass as eerie, unidentifiable figures.

Hao Li 3

Check out the rest of the Sony World Photography Awards winners here to discover other amazing talent and to see some unforgettable photographs.

Winning and shortlisted images will be presented at Somerset House, London from 1-18 May as part of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition.

All images © Hao Li

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.


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.


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.


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.


Today we want to share the incredible installations of JeeYoung Lee with you all. Lee creates amazingly intricate, physical pieces within her tiny studio and photographs the results. And they are simply mindblowing.

JeeYoung Lee

JeeYoung Lee

For weeks, sometimes months, Lee creates the fabric of a universe born from her mind within the confines of her 3x6m studio. She does so with infinite and extraordinary patience, in order to exclude any post-processing. When her dreams are materialised, these worlds turn real and concrete: imagination reverts to the tangible and the visualisation of Lee’s fiction becomes its own reality.  In the midst of each of these sets stands the artist.

JeeYoung Lee

JeeYoung Lee

The pieces are unlike anything we’ve seen before, and the way Lee blurs the lines between fiction and reality are inspiring. We’ve had to create a virtual gallery exhibiting all of Lee’s work below because each image is even more incredible than the last. Have a look, and prepare to be amazed!

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All images © JeeYoung Lee.

Further examples of Lee’s work can be seen here.

SPOTLIGHT: Christoffer Relander

Today we came across these incredible works of art by experimental photographer Christoffer Relander and knew we had to share them with you all immediately! Creating in-camera double or triple exposures, Relander merges man with nature in a way that is beautiful, poignant, and thought provoking.

Christoffer Relander

Christoffer Relander

What drew us to these images on such a deep level was how explicitly Relander is forcing us to question our relationship with nature. About how our lives and the lives of everything around us are entirely intertwined.

Christoffer Relander

Christoffer Relander

Something about these images simply makes the viewer want to go out and rekindle their love of nature. And ironically enough, even though some pretty technological wizardry happens to create these photos, technology is the last thing on your mind while looking at them.

Christoffer Relander

Christoffer Relander

All images © Christoffer Relander.

Further examples of Relander’s work can be seen here.

SPOTLIGHT: Amanda Averillo

Continuing our exploration of Printmaking further afield outside of our gallery walls, today we are discussing the works of Amanda Averillo. Similar to our previous Printmaker, Stephen Robson, Averillo’s work looks into the realm of nature and landscapes.

Amanda Averillo

Amanda Averillo

Of her work, Averillo states: “I work mainly in Mono print, a printmaking technique that is painterly whereby the image is built up in layers of ink on acetate sheets, each one printed on top of the last until I feel that the image is completed. I aim to capture light, atmosphere and mood in my landscapes.”

Amanda Averillo

Amanda Averillo

Although less intense than Robson’s pieces at face value, Averillo’s works illustrate far more detailed scenes. By adding such detail she is removing the ambiguity of Robson’s prints and creating something that resembles more of a life-like daydream.

Amanda Averillo

Amanda Averillo

All images © Amanda Averillo.

Further examples of Averillo’s work can be seen at her website here.

SPOTLIGHT: Stephen Rosbon

Although our current Printmaking show has sadly come to an end, we haven’t lost the bug here at The Strand Gallery! As we reflect on Lei Cheng’s prints exhibited all the way from Macau we look to other printmakers to compare and contrast techniques and subject matter. Today we are exploring the prints of Stephen Robson, who delivers gorgeous, abstract landscapes.

Stephen Robson - Oystercatcher

Stephen Robson – Oystercatcher

Robson studied Fine Art at Goldsmith’s College, and interestingly enough became initially interested in photography. Professional photography has been his main occupation over the years, but recently he has made a return to drawing and painting, and studied printmaking.Robson now divides his time between these different ways of working, but whatever the chosen medium, all have a common foundation: observing and spending time drawing in a landscape, and from that creating an image on the spot or back in the studio.

Stephen Robson - Humber No.1

Stephen Robson – Humber No.1

The abstract aesthetic of Robson’s prints adds a mo0diness that pulls the viewer into the scene, trying to decipher every stroke and blotch. Gazing into these prints becomes something of an emotional experience, the ambiguity of the landscape generating some sort of nostalgia relevant to us all.

Stephen Robson - Marsh 2

Stephen Robson – Marsh 2

All images © Stephen Robson.

Further examples of Robson’s work can be seen on his website here.


To continue our exploration of interesting takes within the paint world, todays Spotlight falls on Jieun Park and her surreal cityscapes.

Jieun Park

Jieun Park

Inspired by her love of travel, Park explores cityscapes in a way that expressed all ranges of emotion from excitement to loneliness in a way that is as intriguing as it is beautiful. Her feelings of the particular city Park is visiting are portrayed through the abstract brush strokes which seem to act as a reveal of the bustling scene behind them.

Jieun Park

Jieun Park

Park’s collision of abstraction and realism creates something far more intricate and personal than a simple cityscape. She is quoted as saying

“The city is changing very fast while we are living our busy lives. The dull feeling of the buildings in my works portraits the people in hectic daily life where only meaningless everyday conversation exists.”

So although there is a complete lack of people within the paintings, their metaphoriacal presence is actually reflected through their absence and Park’s commentary on society.

Jieun Park

Jieun Park

Further examples of Park’s work can be seen on her website here.

SPOTLIGHT: Amelia Fais Harnas

As Horance Panter’s exhibition ‘The Writing is on the Wall’ is coming to an end, we are looking at more icon inspired art. Portland based artist Amelia Fais Harnas approaches themes of iconography in a very unique technique a fresh angle and impressive skill.

Amelia Fais Harnas Wine Stains 8

Self Portrait as Saint Pompette © Amelia Fais Harnas

She uses wine in order to create her stunning portraits of different people on fabric. The characters portrayed are perhaps equally difficult to reveal as is the wine stain to be controlled and shaped. Amelia Fais Harnas uses a wax resist in order to create the shades of wine patterns fabricating her portraits on the cloth. She also sometimes uses embroidery and machine sewing to add to the final result. Her works however have a more fragile nature to other artworks and require more care and attention for the material to last.

£££ Amelia Fais Harnas-1211708

The Three Graces © Amelia Fais Harnas

Harna’s work can be associated with iconography mostly for her main material: the wine. Her works often depict people drinking a glass of wine which perhaps can be seen as a reference to the New Testament story of the Last Supper or the Shroud of Turin. Besides the Christian suggestions the wine might also refer to Greek mythology and the ancient belief of the wine as ‘the nectar of the gods’. All of these references as well as the wine stained or embroidery designed hallows suggest that the characters depicted are saint-like or immortal. Arguably her works illustrate some kind of sanctification.

Visit Amelia Fais Harna’s website here for more information.

SPOTLIGHT: Annie Vought

As our current exhibition ‘The Writing is on the Wall’ by Horace Panter opens to the public today, we are looking at other artists that also explore writing in their work. Today’s spotlight feature falls on Annie Vought, who is mainly involved with typography and word cut-outs. Her work is concerned with the ups and downs of human communication, the everyday correspondence that sometimes conveys aspects of truth and other times conceals secrets or includes subtexts and hidden connotations but always portrays the state of human weaknesses and imperfections.


Annie Vought

Her main source of inspiration is also her means for her works as she works on the written texts of correspondence on large paper. When she finishes she goes through the text cutting out the negative space around and within the letters. The result is a fragile sculptural word cut out that can also be seen as a portrait of the person that has written it. Arguably text can define its author in the moment it was written, but can also work as a mirror for the reader at any certain time.


Annie Vought

Annie doesn’t portray the meaning of her works right away but prefers to let the viewer read and examine her work carefully in order to generate meaning. The writing is always confessional and personal, which makes her art engaging to a wider audience. While the viewer is free to translate the works in their own unique way, the text gains elements of plurality and universality.

Find out more about Annie Vought by visiting her website here.

All images © Annie Vought.