The Leyden Gallery is one exhibition space I keep going back to. I don’t haul myself across London because I need something to review, I endure the city’s transport system because this perfectly packaged gallery knows how to host an exhibition. Curators Lindsay Moran and Adriana Cerne’s creative nature and passion for art is demonstrated in their continually first-rate selection of emerging artists. The pair’s flamboyant personalities mean you never know what to expect.
From the 7th to the 17th of October 2015 Platform for Emerging Artists #8 provides an assortment of work from artists around the globe. This mixed-media show is hung with a dialogue between works rather than divided by participant. Each of the 8 exhibitors’ works are distinguishable from each other yet the viewer can still experience a cohesive collection.
PI025, PI022, PI031, 2015 by Hanna ten Doorkaat
Using pencil, acrylic and occasionally ink on board, Hanna ten Doornkaat repetitively builds fluid layers while incorporating contrasting bolder grids and lines. Her interest is in the process and meaning of drawing and mark making. Her work, although a range of colour, is muted giving gravity to her work. The pieces are structured and ordered yet also have a loose, automatic feel about them.
Pernille Fraser’s pieces look as if you are viewing them though a veil. Pale and delicate, her work is a portrayal of unseen forces and how these influence our neural connections. The triptych Sunday Afternoon depicts an interior scene with multiple sketched outlines of people, potentially representing a session with a therapist or even an inability to relax under pressure, referencing those unseen forces. Her art is part of her research and investigation into movement and forces.
Judy-Ann Moule has all of her pieces hung together – they work collectively as one. Her 4 hessian and wool tapestries Speak up girl are hung alongside Lump – a large ball made from human hair, gauze, bandages and wire. Her concept has a feminist voice as she references women’s work by using traditional materials and techniques. The 4 tapestries contain an ink splodge style image of a person with visual references to speaking – one has its mouth full with a ball of wool.
Hair has been used in a lot of art because it has both positive and negative attributes. The beauty of hair on our heads and how we use it to define beauty, style, age health and even race. Its darker side comes from how women are expected to shave their body hair to look ‘attractive’ as well as accumulating hair as waste. Remember the revulsion in the plughole after a hair wash or the carpet hair gathered up by the vacuum cleaner? Exactly.
Sculptor Rachael Cochrane presents Untitled (Red brick installation). Three, slightly different sized architectural style shapes ‘hang’ from a lip in the ceiling. Her sculpture creates tension by the way they tilt uncomfortably from the gallery ceiling. An oxidised appearance also links them to this theme. However, these objects are redundant as they have no structural purpose.
Their Creator 2014 Amelie Beaudroit
Bold, semi-abstract artist Amélie Beaudroit’s oils on canvas are Rothkoesque. Her work is referred to as landscapes and seascapes and can be deciphered as such by architectural elements such as a silhouetted pier.
Her works are in contrast to those produced by Maria Kokkonen whose neutral coloured, delicate and thoughtful pencil and ink on canvas pieces have a light touch and a naturalistic and surrealistic essence. Her work concentrates on the visual and according to the Leyden Gallery artist information sheet, ‘seeks to understand the function of memories’. She also manipulates the canvas to produce folds and bumps which provides depth, shape and a sense of movement.
Large abstract silks by Robert Aldous are influenced by Eastern brush paintings and often poetry. His works have a natural feel and are riddled with contrasting elements such as black and white, horizontal and vertical and even texturally with water fluidity and impasto thickness. Although his works convey movement with expressive brushwork they have a calm feel. Light Fall does as the title suggests: the lighter colours descend like a waterfall cascading into a deeper blackness. Aldous seems to be able to create a balance with opposites.
Rodney Dee’s black and white paper sculptures are all created out of rolls of paper combined together, either in tower form or laid out next to each other to produce images. His interests lie in psychodynamic theory and the encounter between client and therapist. The sculptural element to his work opens the discussion for art therapy. The concept of his work deals with the conscious and unconscious in many forms.
A thought provoking and exciting introduction to these emerging artists.
Leyden Gallery 9/9a Leyden Street London E1 7LE
by Helen Shewry