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12 Star Gallery at the Europe House
The 12 Star Gallery at Europe House shows work which celebrates the creativity and cultural diversity that is the hallmark of the European Union. Exhibitions are organised mostly by the embassies and cultural institutes of the EU countries.
Forthcoming exhibitions are listed below; an account of past shows and a brief history can be found here: The 12 Star Gallery | The First 10 Years.
The gallery is open from 10am-6pm, Monday to Friday and is located at 32 Smith Square, London SW1P 3EU.
Drawing Europe Together
The exhibition, Drawing Europe Together, is a vibrant collection of artworks by 45 of the best-known children’s book illustrators from across the UK and Europe. They have collaborated to make illustrated comments on the historical and possible future relationships between the countries of Europe, many of which are extremely touching and heartfelt. Illustrators include Axel Scheffler of the internationally recognised children’s book character, The Gruffalo; illustrator royalty with Quentin Blake and Judith Kerr, and the wit and intricate penmanship of illustrator and cartoonist Chris Riddell, to name a few.
The exhibition has been generously sponsored by Pan Macmillan.
Image: Eu-le © Axel Scheffler
In Two Parts - Elizabeth Magill
My work draws upon ideas around land and landscape. Perhaps it is my attempt to create a kind of space or setting to place thoughts and observations, an exterior view shaped from an interior one, or vice versa an inner landscape being shaped by an outer one. Within this construct, are notions relating to pictorial history and what it means to assemble and make a work of art today. I often refer to my own personal history to reflect upon the wider global situation.
Lately it has become unsettling clear that we are living in divided times, from the politics in America to Brexit and decisions around climate change and an ever pressing need to own up to ecological loss. There seems less and less of a centre or common ground to work things through. Even where I grew up, there is no parliament, Stormont, unable or unwilling to sit and discuss important issues together.
Our globalised world has furthermore highlighted differences, producing dialectic in the differences of nationality, culture, religion, ethnicity, gender, class, and language.
There are many splits, but a stark divide has emerged and it is with these thoughts in mind that I have approached my recent work. A two-part picture where the centre is now a gap, the same view, but cut in two.
It feels like the halves have expanded and…the centre cannot hold.
Image: In Two Parts © Elizabeth Magill.
Europe at War (1917-1944) - Manuel Chaves Nogales
Manuel Chaves Nogales (Seville, 1897 - London, 1944) was a Spanish journalist present at the great events that convulsed Europe in the first part of the 20th century. He witnessed the terror unleashed in the wake of the Soviet revolution whilst at the same time warning against the growth and advance of fascism.
Loyal to the Spanish Republic, as the editor of a Madrid based newspaper he understood very early on that whoever was going to be the winner of the Civil War, freedom was going to be lost in Spain’s future. Discouraged by this realization he went into exile, first in France and later in England, considered by then as the last beacon of liberty in Europe.
Chaves Nogales carried with him his resolution to create awareness of the continent’s struggle by opening a news agency in Fleet Street. He died in London just weeks before the allied landing in Normandy and to this day is still buried in an unmarked grave. This exhibition seeks to highlight his lucidity and commitment to the cause of liberty. It is also a testimony to his passion for the search of truth in challenging times.
Organised by Christian Ravina, the University of Seville, the Instituto Cervantes and the Embassy of Spain in the UK.
Beyond Borders – Great Women in Dance
A unique collection of photographs celebrating international female leaders breaking new ground and shaping the world of dance in the UK.
From some of the UK’s most renowned dance companies to freelance dance artists across all genres of the art form, the significant influence of international artists is an integral part of the UK’s cultural fabric. Amongst them, two of the UK’s leading dance companies which were founded by female immigrants – The Royal Ballet companies by Ireland’s Ninette de Valois and Rambert by Poland’s Marie Rambert.
This photographic exhibition, displayed in the 12 Star Gallery at Europe House, celebrates the creativity and cultural diversity that is the hallmark of the European Union, and marks the rich cultural exchange between the UK, Europe and the rest of the world during a significant time of change in the UK’s relationship with its neighbours and highlights the importance of international cultural exchange to the health of the sector.
A special collection of works not to be missed.
The exhibition is organised by One Dance UK with the kind support of Jane Pritchard, John Travis and the European Commission Representation in the UK.
St Brigid’s Day
Contemporary Exhibition | 90 Irish Women Artists
The iconic early Christian symbol St Brigid has been chosen to serve as a catalyst for 90 invited Irish women artists to create an original painting for this exhibition.
Folk custom, the four seasons, women’s lives and crafts, poetry, all intersect at the 1st of February feast-day of Saint Brigid in Ireland. What is celebrated is the rebirth of the living earth; it was usual in some places to turn a sod of earth with the spade, the work of cultivation beginning again. Many customs, especially around food and cattle, are connected with the day, but the best known was the making of St Brigid’s crosses out of straw or rushes.
Women’s political journey in the last century of Irish history makes it right to choose the day for special celebration of Irish women artists and the works of art are further held in focus by their relation to the poem “St Brigid’s Day 1989” by Leland Bardwell, which positions the poet as observer, half outside the culture that she watches.
The exhibition is a dynamic and vibrant contemporary response, to the import and changing cultural significance of powerful traditional female symbolism not just in Irish, but in all contemporary societies.
Image: Brigid in her strength of fruitfulness and learning © Cathy Carman
Organised by Hamilton Gallery, Sligo, Ireland with the support of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Irish Embassy to Great Britain.
Works - A Painting Exhibition by Mircea Teleagă
Born in 1989, Mircea Teleagă graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2016, where he attended the MFA Painting Course led by Lisa Milroy. To study at Slade he was awarded the Sarabande Scholarship, being selected for it by artist Dinos Chapman. After graduation, he was artist in residence at the Academy of Visual Arts in Hong Kong and at Sarabande in London, the latter between 2016 – 2018. During this time, he had two solo shows: ‘let it burn’ in 2017 and ‘Presence’ in 2018, curated by William Davie. To coincide with the last solo show, the first monograph documenting the show – ‘Presence’ – was published, containing three essays by artists Justin Mortimer, Caroline Walker and writer and critic Jane Neal. During the summer of 2018, Teleagă was part of the ‘Romanian Eyes’ show at Space K Gallery in Seoul, South Korea. His works can be found in The Kolon Collection (Seoul), The Simmons & Simmons Collection (London) and The Soho House Collection (Amsterdam). Currently, Mircea Teleagă is an Honorary Research Associate in MA/MFA Painting at the Slade School of Fine Art.
“My work revolves around painting. One of my main interests is to challenge the notions of ‘abstraction’ and ‘figuration’ as I see them more as labels that usually harm the reading and understanding of painting. I do see painting as a perfectly viable means of communication that does not need the aid of verbal communication. I aim to have a diverse painting vocabulary but do focus on the exploration of a few aspects in painting such as particular places, landscapes and border areas. I explore both image and material at the same time and the result is a presence that is intrinsically revealed both within the individual paintings and the works as a whole.” – Mircea Teleagă
The exhibition is part of the cultural programme that marks Romania’s EU Council Presidency and is organised with the support of the European Commission Representation in the UK and the Embassy of Romania in London
WHAT WOULD YOU TAKE?
What would you take if you had to leave home?
What can be spirited across borders, and what has to be left behind?
What can you carry in your imagination, your language, your culture, your memories?
And, after the scattering of things into the world, and the confusions of identity, how much is left of your life – of you – should you manage the crossing?
Curated by the writer Frances Stonor Saunders in collaboration with the Estonian photographer Kaupo Kikkas, this exhibition offers a view into the personal stories of individuals who are bearers for the memory of migration, as seen through the cherished objects they have chosen for the journey.
We are all, in some measure, from somewhere else. This is the story of leaving but also of arriving, of borders crossed and lives continued.
Featuring Carmen Callil, Thomas Heatherwick, Eva Rothschild, Marina Warner, Philippe Sands, Maurice Okechukwu Nwokeji, Hanan al-Shaykh, Nora Krug, Margaret Hodge, Mohammad and Naseera Naeem, Claudia Roden.
Image: Marina Warner. What would you take. 2018 © Kaupo Kikkas
The title encompasses the city and its people in many of its layers. The two contrasting words in the show title soft and bite are each other's opposites, an attempt at palliation for something that you know will hurt. Tasting the atmosphere. In urban language, the words take a different meaning - soft indicating love and bite to rip off, steal, take, copy or that it stings.
In Kindberg’s paintings a fragment of a frame of the city life is given centre stage. Playing on the notion of the tragicomic in a society that is both civilised and ridiculous. With this humorous approach acting as a portal in her paintings, enables us to explore other, more unsavoury emotions.
The Swedish artist Sally Kindberg studied at Goldsmiths, University of London and remained in London where she now lives and works.
SPANISH / FEMALE / PHOTOGRAPHER- A STORY HALF TOLD
Spain joined the ranks of the nations that embraced the new medium of photography very shortly after its invention in the XIX century. Over time it has contributed to the development of this important element of European cultural heritage with many names of note and continues to do so to this day. However, the work and achievements of its female photographers have, largely, been ignored or half told.
This exhibition aims – albeit very humbly - to redress the balance by opening a window to the work of nine contemporary Spanish female artists who use photography as a medium, and whose work is largely unknown to UK audiences. The works presented in the exhibition open up a dialogue around themes of representation and visibility at a time when traditional roles are in flux.
The exhibition includes works by:
Esther Ferrer, Eva Lootz, Carmen Calvo, Ouka Leele, Isabel Muñoz, Vicky Méndiz, Carla Andrade, Bego Antón and Lua Ribeira.
The exhibition is curated by Antonio Molina-Vázquez and will be accompanied by an essay written by art historian and curator Susana Blas.
This exhibition is part of Spain NOW! 2018-2019 the season of arts and culture from Spain
Part of 2018, European Year of Cultural Heritage
Photo credits: ‘Without Pleasure No Freedom’, Eva Lootz (1995) | ‘Ren Sui’, Vicky Méndiz (2016)
Stranger Things and Voices of Samogitia
(Jewellery, Figurines, Poetry)
This exhibition is like a restored fragment of the Samogitian universe. Samogitia (Žemaitija) has been an integral part of Lithuania for over the last six centuries, but from the Middle Ages lots of European geographers have always marked it as a separate entity. A place of the former (perhaps) harmonious existence, nature and holiness of everyday routines, it is no coincidence that the objects are exhibited in chapels, thereby emphasizing their sacredness. The emphasis is neither pompous nor reproaching. They are as sacred as is the timeworn handle of a baker’s peel polished by the hands of a few generations of bakers. They are sacred by their very existence, by their transformation into jewellery, not decorative, but one that speaks about memories and the return to a place that is important and true. Where time is slow, the language – Samogitian, the words – down to earth, moderate and unhurried, where one is surrounded by unrecognized and unrecited poetry, hard, sometimes stern, which would perhaps not like to be called poetry. But what if this place never existed and all those things were made out of longing and fictional memory? In any case, everything is very raw and true – to oneself, the people, and the objects. There is no distance, no retreat, no introspection or self-irony. All things speak in their own true voice.
Eglė Čėjauskaitė-Gintalė, a middle generation Lithuanian metal artist, has long formed a unique and recognizable style. She has had a well-deserved place on the Lithuanian metal art map for quite a while. For more than ten years, Eglė has worked with silver and mammoth bone, crocheting lacework from silver and moulding poppy heads. After finding her own technique, the author created jewellery and objects based on the combination of silver lace and precious and semi-precious stones for a long time. Silver lace became the trademark of the artist – flexible, adapting to the shape of the body, elegant and ephemeral; one of her first personal exhibitions was not called Hovering Structures for nothing.
Organised by the Embassy of Lithuania
The Measure of Humanity
45 Years of Documentary Photography in South Africa
“The Measure of Humanity" is a retrospective photo exhibition of a man with Estonian origin – the internationally recognized South African documentary photographer Juhan Kuus. The exhibition gives a compact yet lucid overview of Juhan Kuus’s photographic career, in which the period of 1986 – 1999 plays the central role. During this period Juhan Kuus worked as a correspondent in South Africa for a legendary French photo agency, Sipa Press. This period also shows his best work about the apartheid regime, the fight against the regime and the release of Nelson Mandela and his way to become the president of South Africa.
Organised by the Embassy of Estonia
Still Lives of Europe
Paintings by Dirk de Vries
This exhibition was conceived as a companion and follow-up to the IMOS Foundation 2014 exhibition A Portrait of Europe. The exhibition, falling as it does into the post referendum world, tethers us to our continent by revealing, through the ordinary objects depicted, a belonging that we cannot wholly escape and probably would not wish to. The small jewel like paintings by Dirk de Vries give us something treasured by one country or another, recognised as belonging to that land by others. There is neighbourly appreciation and a tolerant acceptance of difference and of the value of talents, gustatory pleasures, genius and craftsmanship beyond merely our own. Whilst A Portrait of Europe endeavoured to nurture a sense of European identity in British visitors and to demonstrate the importance of our common humanity, Still Lives of Europe displays the qualities that are treasured within the national boundaries of the member countries, reminding us of those links that underlie the pending political separation. For some it may be comforting to see that this political separation is a separation at far fewer levels and in far fewer ways than they might fear. Perhaps these charming, well executed vignettes are sufficient as a reassuring place within which to dwell for a short time. Do they in fact accidentally reveal part of the reason for the referendum outcome? That sense of ‘home’ which can be lost in the anonymity of political institutions and in any larger political union? An alternative interpretation might be that we are shown a way to the ideal through the perfectibility of everyday objects.
The Frontiers of the Roman Empire
To mark the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 this exhibition focuses on the historical zone that spans Europe and 1,900 years of history. Designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, it recognises the significance of how an era of profound civilisation shaped the Europe we know today. As a frontier aligning all in its path – places, people – it brought order and established a symbolic definition of the reach of civilisation, but as a contemporary zone crossing the continent and beyond, it now connects communities in a way unlike any other. Therefore, it uniquely embodies all that 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage represents in shaping a common European heritage, and about the common values expressed through contemporary European culture. It is cultural heritage at the leading edge: “what joins us is greater than what divides us”.
The exhibition illustrates the historical overlay of the Frontier onto contemporary Europe, like the imprint of memory on the visible world. It begins in the west, the edge of Empire and the edge of Europe, manifest by a fort overlooking the sea and a port – a supply chain for provisions and resources to an outpost established by a Spanish cohort and later garrisoned by soldiers from across the empire. The exhibition features quotes on what this means to local people and beyond, as well as a first glimpse of the vision of NECT’s future plans for the site. Moving along the exhibition are vignettes providing glimpses into the life of communities today along the edge of Empire as far as Bulgaria (which in 2018 is hosting the Presidency of the Council of the European Union), about the influence of the past on their present, and opportunities of how for each of them, “what joins us is greater than what divides us”.
The exhibition concludes with two panels that summarise the message of 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage: one panel will lift the veil of history to consider the legacy of the Roman Frontier on contemporary European society, also using the short blog format vignettes from professionals, students, schoolchildren and communities.
The final panel will illustrate the diversity of activities across the UK, continuing the vignettes format, that link people, place and insight. It will express the hope and challenge to extend the aims of 2018 in the UK into uniting the usually independent cultural and heritage sectors into one synchronised voice within our own society in a period of unprecedented transition, and in the chorus of Europe.
Organised by the North of England Civic Trust (NECT), UK Co-ordinator the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.
On the occasion of Austria’s EU Presidency, the 12 Star Gallery presents a special photo exhibition of works by twenty Austrian photographers who have, each in their own way, captured Austria in the year 2016. The works highlight the manifold aspects of contemporary life in Austria from its vibrant cultural capitals and the countryside, to political and sporting events as well as the less idyllic and spectacular aspects of everyday life. The exhibition, which features prints in addition to a digital presentation, was curated by Rainer Iglar and Michael Mauracher.
Organised by the Austrian Cultural Forum, London
The Power of Sympathy: The Photography of Dagmar Hochova
The first UK exhibition of the work of leading Czech photographer Dagmar Hochova (1926 – 2012) known for her humanist and documentary approach. Hochova’s powerful black and white images of ordinary people from 1960s to 1980s are complemented by unique images documenting the crucial events of recent Czech history including the 1968 Prague Spring and the 1989 Velvet Revolution building a complex picture of life in Czechoslovakia under communism while presenting everyday reality as something unusual and extraordinary. Full of energy and humour and with her engaged and critical attitude towards society, Hochova’s photographs surpass the work of her contemporaries and provide a strong testimony to the era and its people.
Dagmar Hochova (1926 – 2012) studied photography in Prague under avant-garde photographer Jaromir Funke and then worked as a freelance photographer for various Czech newspapers and magazines. During the communist regime, she was primarily known as a photographer of children. However, her work went far beyond this subject capturing people on the edge of society, the elderly, war veterans, rejected artists and intellectuals, all those who didn´t conform with the public image of a developed and trouble-free socialist society. The photo series such as St Matthew’s Fair, Children, Pairs, Holidays and Celebrations on which she worked from the 1950s onwards became famous when they were published after the 1989 Velvet Revolution. In 2000, she was awarded the Medal of Merit for outstanding contribution to the arts.
The exhibition is curated by Jiri Patek. Organised by the Czech Centre London in collaboration with Moravian Gallery in Brno.
Photographs by Sarah Hickson
In April 2016 and February 2017 arts and documentary photographer Sarah Hickson travelled to refugee camps in Northern Greece and Serbia with Clowns Without Borders UK to document the powerful impact of their work with children and families living in crisis.
Working as part of a small professional team of experienced, imaginative and sensitive theatre practitioners skilled in physical theatre, clowning and leading workshops, Sarah witnessed the power of theatre to forge a vital human connection. For families living in precarious situations, the chance for children to laugh and play restores their rights simply to be children. Sarah’s photographs capture joyous and moving exchanges and a sense of hope, within the context of fragile yet resilient communities living in the most challenging of circumstances.
Sarah Hickson is a London-based arts and documentary photographer whose practice focuses on artists & performance, & the role of the arts from a wider social or humanitarian perspective. Much of her recent work explores themes of migration, displacement, transition & cultural exchange; she is interested in the relationship between people, place & context, & capturing moments of engagement, emotion & connection. She has worked on photographic commissions, residencies & personal projects in West & North Africa (Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, the Sahara Desert & Morocco), India, Europe & around the UK – collaborating with theatre companies, choreographers, musicians, festivals & NGOs. In Summer 2017 she had a solo exhibition at St. Ann’s Warehouse in NYC of her photographs of a collaborative music project in the refugee camps of Northern France.
Clowns Without Borders UK (CWB UK) is an arts led charity whose mission is to use laughter to alleviate the suffering of children and communities in crisis, including refugee camps, conflict zones and areas of natural disaster. Their child-centered performances support the emotional well-being of kids and provide invaluable moments of respite, connection and play when they need it the most. By doing this, CWB recognises, despite the trauma or difficulties children face, they have the right to have fun and relax; CWB supports children to simply be, children.
Dreaming of Le Gibet | James Dean Diamond
Curated by Samia Ashraf
‘Dreaming of Le Gibet’ is a magical journey that unravels the mind at sleep. Featuring 26 black-and-white photographic pieces (each 110cm x 55cm), this hallucinatory work by the contemporary British artist James Dean Diamond draws on the music of the French composer Joseph-Maurice Ravel (1875–1937) – in particular, his 1908 piano piece ‘Gaspard de la Nuit’ (‘The Keeper of the Night’). The inspiration lies with the temporal and formal innovations of Ravel’s second movement ‘Le Gibet’, which reveal a ‘nonlinearity, continuity and discontinuity’1, paralleling the obscure nature of dreams.
Using urban environs to illustrate a state of mind, the artwork oscillates between figuration and abstraction. Diamond conceives the work in film, with formal rigour, over a period of five years. Shooting in London and Paris with multiple exposures – up to 200 within a frame – structures, constructions, surfaces, space and scale are overlaid to make a unified composition.
This twilight state – Diamond’s most cinematic – is imbued with an ambiguity within which ethereal figures and unidentifiable buildings merge into an abstracted pictorial language. Alluding to Dante’s Inferno and Francisco de Goya’s etchings, the densely black compositions lure the viewer to a stage engulfed by a metaphysical darkness – a revolutionary crowd stirs to assemble at a medieval public gallows. Other pieces are set amid the resemblance of a nuclear shock wave, where the disintegration of architecture exposes skeletal frames. Diamond’s thoughts are clouded by the plight of ‘the world’s 65 million forcibly displaced people (the most ever recorded)’2 and an unease towards the rise of nationalism.
Diamond’s own dreams have triggered his fascination with the field of oneirology, the scientific study of dreams. Brain-mapping research suggests dreams are contributed to the transference of the short-term memory, a day or a week into a long-term retention. From an unconscious state the brain awakens and permits the semiconscious to observe the collation, slicing and sequence of multiple scenes. Diamond’s visually complex vistas contemplate the uncertainty that pervades these fragmented images – and present a world where ‘time scintillates, and the dream is knowledge’3.
1 Jessie Fillerup, ‘Eternity in Each Moment: Temporal Strategies in Ravel’s “Le Gibet”, ‘A journal of the society for music theory’ (MTO), Vol 19, No 1, March 2013
2 Simon Kuper, ‘The power of a Syrian success story’, ‘The Financial Times Weekend Magazine’, 15/16 April 2017
3 Paul Valéry, ‘Le Cimetière marin’ (The Graveyard by the sea), 1922, An Anthology by James R Lawler, edited by Jackson Mathews, Princeton University Press, 1977
Nick in Europe
Curated by Jasia Reichardt
Nick Wadley (1935 – 2017) was an art historian of note, specialising in 19th century France. With ten books to his name, he is probably best known for the standard volume on the art of drawing of the Impressionists and Post Impressionists and his book on Gauguin's Noa Noa manuscript.
However, some thirty years ago, his early training as an artist reawakened, and Nick started to draw. He decided that with drawing he could say more than he could with words alone. If words proceed line by line from left to right or vice versa, drawing moves around corners with an inside and an outside and all the stages in between.
To make the meaning of the drawings richer he added words. To add possibilities to their meaning, he used puns, some French, as well a mixture to which he referred as Franglais. The drawings are small, sometimes funny but the subjects verge on the enormous as the artist, quietly sitting on a high stool at his white desk, confronted the world.
Broken Heads Broken Paint
Frances Aviva Blane
In this exhibition Broken Heads Broken Paint Blane shows both abstract paintings and large figurative works. This juxtaposition creates an unsettling exchange.
She says: "My work is concerned with the disintegration of paint and personality. I use different media, charcoal, oil, pastel, I like exploration, finding new marks and seeing an image evolve and disappear. I use paint in untraditional ways, always prolonging a state of flux. Figuration informs abstraction and vice versa. Things move fast and that's ok. Surprise is good. A Painting is liquid thought. My paintings are not there to be understood, but to be experienced."
Artist and Royal Academician Tess Jaray writes in her review of Blane's solo show at the German Embassy London: "This is painting straight from the heart to the canvas. It convinces us because nothing is arbitrary or false. Their power, and at times even fierceness, on occasion threatening and even verging on the point of violence, has a totally believable presence."
Frances Aviva Blane is a British painter living and working in London. She studied post graduate painting at the Slade School of Fine Art 1991-1994. Since leaving art school she has exhibited internationally in Europe, the USA, Japan and Australia. She won a scholarship to The Djerassi Artists' Colony in California and is a recipient of a Jerwood Drawing Award.
Recently she exhibited alongside Louise Bourgeois and Francis Bacon in a solo show called DECONSTRUCT in Belgium. She has shown in group shows with artists Frank Auerbach, Basil Beattie and John McLean. In 2016-2017 Frances had a solo show at the German embassy London and will have a solo show at de Queeste Art Gallery, Belgium in September 2018 She will also show in a group exhibition No Man is an Island in Bonn in 2018.
Her work is in many collections including Jesus College, Cambridge, the LSE, Moorfields Eye Hospital London, the Usher Gallery Lincoln, the Sternberg Centre London, 3 Faith Forum, London, The Tim Sayer Collection, London , The Doris Jean Lockhart Collection amongst others
She is represented by De Queeste Art in Belgium.
Marcelle Hanselaar, Drawings and Prints
Marcelle Hanselaar was born The Netherlands and lives and works in London.
Hanselaar’s work both as a painter and an etcher is quite dark but has also a biting sense of humour. “My images are like tableaux vivantes showing the hypocrisy of our social graces which gives us a veneer of civilization but does not protect us from random eruptions of our innate savagery. Recently her work has been inspired by contemporary conflicts.
She has won many international awards and has work in many national and international collections such as the British Museum Prints Collection; V&A Prints Collection; V&A National Art Library, Ashmolean Museum, Fitzwilliam Museum, Whitworth Museum & Art Gallery, New Hall College, Cambridge and Meermanno Museum in the Hague.
The Colourful Side of Darkness
Aleksij Kobal, Igor Bravničar
This exhibition will present a selection of recent works by two celebrated Slovenian painters, both born in the 1960s and currently living in Ljubljana.
Aleksij Kobal is a painter of landscapes that can be vividly imagined but not experienced physically. Of impossible buildings that are seen but cannot be entered. Of atmospheric clouds turning into mists. Of spaces floating in the abyss of the mind. Everything is in complete silence perhaps or in droning echoes of memories. He is a painter of visions that are propelled gently and intimately, yet are powerful mentally and spiritually. He graduated and completed his master's studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana. In 2016 he received the Prešeren Foundation award, the highest national honor for artistic expression in Slovenia.
Igor Bravničar has completed both the Academy of Music and the Academy of Fine Arts. According to critic Goran Milovanović, in many of his oil paintings and plastic surfaces (lightboxes) one can recognize spatially unlimited meditative landscapes that have been transformed into mental spaces of seas, clouds and horizons. The artist is primarily interested in the modulation of the inner tensions of individual painting particles in relation to the whole. His works can be linked to the tradition of the sublime painting, but they also have as much to do with the current issue of transparency, flares and mirror surfaces in art. These scenes, free of all everyday happenings, human dynamics and restlessness, can use their moods to magnetize and charm the viewer.
Organised by the Embassy of Slovenia in London
Works by Arthur Analts
In light of recent debates and interest in borders, both as an abstract metaphor and as physical barriers to define and protect nation states, Arnalts’ installation confronts the viewer with the duality of what can be seen and the multi-layered meanings underlying. Drawing on notions of borders within political discourse and popular culture, the installation aims to reflect on the ambivalence of Borders – both as boundaries of our social or personal relations and as those imposed at the edges of nation states.
The installation consists of a series of wall-mounted sculptures that initially resemble fences, but on closer inspection consist of intelligently interconnected shapes of people.
Text by: Nuno Miguel Caldas Coelho
Organised by the Embassy of Latvia
A Coming to Terms with Sociotechnical Discrepancies
Curated by Milda Batakytė
Our dependency on various technologies, which is being induced by the lifestyle in our capitalist societies, is an obvious fact. We provide a catalyst that supports the information economy, in which our produced data is being collected and reappropriated to influence political attitudes, circulate commerce and consumption. The paradox, however, is that even though we are aware of this dependency, we still allow it to happen. Moreover, technology is often the focal point of the current discourse and even an object of fetish, or a lens through which we imagine the future. Its effects on humans or our well-being becomes a secondary preoccupation, even though these apparatuses gain the reason only through flesh, corpus and actions led by mind.
Whilst we teach machines our thinking, we learn to think as machines. In this cycle, not only the sociotechnical, but also social and individual norms and values are shaped, which become more structured and mechanic. We create an image of humanity, put ourselves and others within distinct frames of behaviour, which eventually might lead to reinforcement of racism, misogyny, forms of fascism and social stratification. This approach poisons our collective thinking, impacts the decision making that determines the trajectory of our society, and also creates internal disillusionment, especially if we fail to succeed in the role that we are being ascribed and accept to play in this system of capitalism.
The artworks by Glitchr (Laimonas Zakas), Robert Powell, Sisters from Another Mister (Milda Lembertaitė and Amelia Prazak), Julijonas Urbonas and Benjamin Westoby are an investigation into the origins of our current thoughts and behaviour in relation to technology. The exhibition A Coming to Terms with Sociotechnical Discrepancies becomes an occasion to slow down the acceleration of capitalism, to allow the space for introspective and extrospective reflection on its affective impulses, until the next moment when we are inevitably drawn back into it.
Partner: Lithuanian Culture Institute
Organised by the Embassy of Lithuania
Irena Sendler 1910 – 2008
She was a Polish Social Worker in Warsaw during World War Two and is an iconic figure of righteousness and resistance who coordinated a network of rescuers that enabled many hundreds of Jewish children to escape the horrors of the Warsaw Ghetto. She was recognised by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations in 1965.
To mark the tenth anniversary of her death, 2018 has been officially designated in Poland 'The Year of Irena Sendler'.
Organised by Learning from the Righteous together with the Embassy of Poland
The Land of Roses
Bulgarian Art from the Collection of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
On the occasion of Bulgaria’s EU Presidency, the Embassy of Bulgaria in London and the 12 Star Gallery present an exhibition of 20th century Bulgarian art, predominantly from the collection of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The exhibition will showcase works by leading Bulgarian painters, figurative and abstract, stretching over a time period that covers the last 50 years. These will include: David Peretz (1906-1982); Genko Genkov (1923-2006); Georgi Baev (1924-2007); Elza Goeva (b. 1928); Encho Pironkov (b. 1932); Nikola Manev (b. 1940); Suli Seferov (b. 1943); Alexander Kaprichev (1945-2008), and Vasil Stoev (b. 1950).
This is, indeed, a miniature part of what our artists have produced throughout time, but it has been very carefully selected, with the ambition to make the viewers feel the spirit of “The Land of Roses” on canvas. This exhibition, while small in terms of the number of the presented works, is quite impressive with its discrete and, at the same time, clear message. It aims to convey the story of the work of the Bulgarian painters from the last five decades with their skills, emotion, talent, and heart.
Organised by the Embassy of Bulgaria
PHILIPPA STOCKLEY began painting at four and writing novels at eight. She went on to include costume- and clothes design, interior and fabric design, murals, shop-fronts, and graphic design — especially book jackets and steel-nib illustrations — as well as publishing novels and journalism. Always a figurative painter, she has exhibited large-scale still lives, big silk paintings, and portraits, solo and in group shows.
TAKING STOCK, painter and novelist Philippa Stockley’s first one-person show for more than a decade combines a retrospective with new figurative work on a less monumental scale than previous pieces, which have reached three metres in length. A series of still-life paintings of fruits, vegetables and flowers on a large yet practical scale (they fit in cab or bag) appear very much alive. Stockley dislikes the tendency to typecast; to put people in boxes, particularly at times of crisis or upheaval — and paradoxically those least likely to merit it, artists. “As a passionate Europhile, there’s little one can really be certain of, except that when the economy flounders, hemlines get longer and paintings get smaller. Painting quotidian things allows them to be seen in a different way; they take on a life of their own. Learning to look again at things we may take for granted is vital.”
Art, Conflict and Context
The Work of John Keane
Since Gulf War 1, digital reporting on television and online has reshaped how we see conflicts. Against the immediacy of media imagery, Art, Conflict and Context provides an alternative perspective on war and its effects, drawing widely on John Keane's work including the struggle with Daesh and the impact of Guantanamo Bay.
To open this new exhibition, John discusses the influence of the media on his work with the curator, Jane Quinn.
Objects made of straw are very traditional Christmas decorations in Finland, especially a hanging decoration called himmeli along with smaller pieces that can be hung on Christmas trees.
The nature of straw is delicate, light and warm but in its fragility you will also find strength. This exhibition will open your senses to new, unexplored dimensions of straw, brought to you by a straw artist Pirjo Väisänen one of Finland's finest straw artists.
Organised by the Embassy of Finland as part of the Finland 100 celebrations.
100 Wishes from Finland
Every picture tells a story. '100 Wishes from Finland' portrays the huge variety of Finnish stamps over the 100 years of Finnish Independence.
Organised by the Embassy of Finland as part of the Finland 100 celebrations.
Bon à Tirer
Contemporary prints and multiples from the RA Schools
Founded in 1769, the RA Schools remains independent to this day. This independence allows it to offer a free three-year postgraduate programme with bursary support to facilitate the production of new work. With a maximum of 17 students per year group it is are able to tailor its' programme to the specific needs of each student, offering time and space to reflect and make. Discussion and debate is fuelled by a variety of lectures, artist talks, group critiques and tutorials given by leading contemporary artists, Royal Academicians, critics, writers and theorists.
Kihnu - The Isle of Women
Photographs by Jérémie Jung
Kihnu, an Estonian island in the Gulf of Riga, situated an hour’s ferry ride away from the coast, has thanks to its women retained a culture that has cemented its position as part of UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage since 2003. This unique European and Baltic culture is thus now officially acknowledged and protected. Whereas Kihnu’s men – for the most part sailors and fishermen – brought innovation and novelty to the island, the women, that we could qualify as ‘cultural guardians’, where more conservative and tended to the affairs of the island.
And so, despite the influence of the dominant powers (Danish, Swedish, German, Russian), the islanders have managed to preserve their traditions to this day. Theirs is a culture that expresses itself every day through clothes, dialect and celebrations, through music, songs and religion, in a form of syncretism that brings together local traditions and beliefs.
Today, if this culture is under threat, it would certainly be due to the globalisation of standards and the ageing of its population.
Jérémie Jung is a French photographer who lives in Paris and works for the French and international press.
His personal work focuses on Estonia and in particular on the question of the resilience of traditional cultures. His photos about the island of Kihnu as well the Setos, an ethnic and linguistic minority of South-Eastern Estonia, have been exposed in France at Rencontres d'Arles - 2014, “Photo de Mer” Vannes - 2015, INALCO, Paris - 2015 and the Festival Les Boréales, Caen - 2016, but also at the Estonian National Museum (Tartu, 2015). This is the first time his works are shown in the UK.
Organized by the Embassy of Estonia to mark its Presidency of the Council of the EU 2017.
Gather (a re-collection)
Royal College of Art
This exhibition showcases the work of 18 graduates of 2016 from the Royal College of Art’s MA Print programme in the school of Fine Art who worked closely alongside each other for two years before dispersing around the world to continue their work as artists. The issue of the distribution of images at a time when images are increasingly shared on digital platforms is central to our course. Students were invited to post a paper based image or upload a digital file to be shown on screen copy which uses the idea of interconnection and gathering as a starting point.
We are grateful to the 12 Gallery for continuing a collaboration which began in 2012.
And giving our students the opportunity to show in an environment where the diversity of nations and peoples is celebrated.
spouses in context a photographic project with Christine Bory photographer
a list of countries
Being the spouse of a diplomat is a challenging status. Today women and men share the same ambitions, opportunities and dreams. What does it take to be the follower in a diplomat partner’s life?
Making portraits of diplomats' spouses in a context they have chosen for its meaningfulness, I asked them to give their definition of what it’s like to be involved in a lifestyle that has so many aspects, and share the list of countries to which they have been sent.
I invite the viewer to look beyond the stereotype, and open up to another vision of the diplomatic spouse.
Includes the participation of the ambassador's spouses posted in London from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Greece Ireland, Italy Poland Slovakia, Slovenia and others.
L'École Nationale Supérieure d'Arts de Paris-Cergy (ENSAPC)
On the occasion of its participation in the 12 Star Gallery, ENSAPC is pleased to present its painting studio. Seven young artists from the first year to recent graduates express the spirit of open-mindedness, cross-disciplinarity, and variety that animates the studio. Two ENSAPC artists from very different realms but with complementary ways of seeing, Carole Benzaken and Eric Dalbis, epitomize the studio’s principle of opening painting up to the full field of its possibilities.
This idea fits perfectly with the school’s teaching mission, which is simultaneously to train and to provide a space for abundant, mutually supportive creativity, activity, and exchange in which multiple approaches, from the most highly developed to the most experimental, are encouraged.
Eager to rise to the challenges of the contemporary world, Cergy’s school of art is committed to the formation of strong links with international partners for the benefit of all students. Through Hyphens-s, ENSAPC happily joins its name with those of other European schools.
Organised by the Institut Français Royaume-Uni
CIT Crawford College of Art & Design (Cork)
An exhibition representing emerging contemporary artists from Ireland, curated from CIT Crawford College of Art & Design (Cork) 2016 MA in Art & Process graduates. The concept of process is understood in a variety of ways: as material exploration and the engagement with medium and technique; as theoretical investigation and systems of enquiry without resolved or object-based endpoints; as innovative models of art distribution, including the possibilities of working outside traditional sites of art production and reception. Process also refers to the progression each student achieves over the course of the MA, which involves the observation, critique, deconstruction, documentation and rebuilding of individual practice.
Sophia Hatwagner and Antonia Wagner-Strauss
Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien
In her installations, Sophia Hatwagner explores conditions of perception, using elements arising from common personal, historical and media-related experiences. She deals with the exhibition space as raw material, and highlights inherent elements, to emphasize and make structures visible.
Her site specific practice deals with the overlapping from physical space with the imagined social space and with the viewer’s perception in the context of the art exhibition.
For her exhibition in the 12 Star Gallery her use of the space revolves around images that generate social identity. In this case images of the EU that should help construct and enforce an identity, like the iconic image of the 12 gold stars on blue background.
This well-known symbol, which acts as an object of common identity for all members of the European Union, is currently in crisis. The individual nations of the Union describe and regulate their internal cohesion to a great extent through myths. But the imagined community, Europe, lacks these strong myths, symbols and historic background at the supranational level. A European community whose identity is based solely on economic success, however, quickly reaches its limits as soon as a crisis arises in this field. Rituals and symbols on a visual level should unite the EU, creating a shared narrative, but the question of the medium arises. Sophia Hatwagner's interaction with the space intends to generate questions around these topics.
Antonia Wagner-Strauss’ artistic practice focuses on representations of the body in dialogue with photography.
In different work processes she uses her own body as a tool and projection space to reflect over oppressive society structures and to question unstable concepts as identity, body and gender. To expand the possibilities of representation the human shape is replaced by sculptural objects, associating the sculpturality of the body and photography.
In her photographic work Traces on the Ground – Manifestation of a Body in a Place, 2016, conceived for the exhibition at the 12 Star Gallery, three red marble cubes are placed in a field.
The dispersed cubes are symbolizing remains of the process of marking of a territory with stones that ultimately failed, associating pieces of a broken border. They are embodied traces that make us think of missing bodies, restless movements through landscapes and migration. The represented body is fragmented, divided and is spreading out to different places.
The artist often works with contradictory elements. Hard, raw or manufactured materials meet natural, delicate matters. This ambiguity creates an exposed but empowered state and image of materialized corporality.
Organised by the Austrian Cultural Forum, London
Here is the Future, Now
Glasgow School of Art
This exhibition showcases a range of the best work from the third year of the Fine Art degree programme at the Glasgow School of Art. The three specialist departments in the School of Fine Art responsible for the delivery of discipline specific studio education have selected current student work from open submission for this exhibition. The departments focus on the development of contemporary practices in Painting and Printmaking, Sculpture and Environmental Art and Fine Art Photography. European and international in outlook, in this exhibition the School of Fine Art presents students who will graduate in 18 months' time. They will contribute to the artistic communities of Scotland, and beyond, in increasingly uncertain times. What you see now is the future; it is up to these artists and their peers to shape it.
Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera
The title of this exhibition comes from a passage of William Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra (act 1, scene 5): “My salad days, when I was green in judgment, cold in blood….” The idiomatic expression refers to youth as a time of inexperience accompanied by enthusiasm and idealism, and in this exhibition it recalls by extension the archetype of Senex and Puer, as developed by the psychologist James Hillman.
Saturn and Mercury, personification of Senex and Puer, are archetypal figures of the inner life of the individual but they also work as metaphors of the dynamic life of social institutions. The Academy of Brera was founded in 1776 by the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, who collected in the building of Brera in Milan the Fine Arts Academy, the Brera Library, the Botanical Garden. The Institution further grew under Napoleon creating the Palace of Science, Arts and Letters according to the conception of knowledge of the Enlightenment, with the opening of Pinacoteca di Brera. From the Romantic period onwards, it strengthened its role as the “authoritative” model of artistic education and at the same time as historical exhibition place.
In the narrative of the exhibition, the Academy of Brera plays the role of Saturn/Senex archetype and embodies the principle of authority derived from his historical lineage. The fine arts students that every day inhabit the Brera Academy, represent the “Salad Days” of the Institution, in the past as well as in the present days.
This exhibition of selected artworks by young artists of Brera provides a showcase of their individual and mercurial creativity together and against the saturnine historical institution of Brera.
The show is curated by professors and students of the Department of “Visual Cultures and Curatorial Practices” of the Academy of Brera.
Organised by the Italian Cultural Institute, London
On The Verge
Slade School of Fine Art
This exhibition from the Slade incorporates students from across the undergraduate, graduate and PhD programmes. At a time of great change and uncertainty in Europe and across the world, where the order and structure of ways of life are significantly changing, what’s at stake during these great shifts? Through diverse means and media, through current affairs, narrative, poetry, politics and abstraction, the work in On the Verge considers these tensions; what is there to fear and what is there to be hopeful for?
Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main
This exhibition from the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Kuenste - Staedelschule - is the first in a series to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of what has become the EU. The season of shows will feature students from Europe's leading art schools. This one will feature works by Bradley Davis (1988, UK); Max Eulitz (1987, Germany); Zoë Field (1990, USA); Hannah Fitz (1990, Ireland), and Curtis McLean (1900, Canada).
Organised by the Goethe-Institut, United Kingdom
Susak Import 2017: In the Swim of Things
Petra Varl and Daniel Devlin
Slovenian artist, Petra Varl, and London based artist, Daniel Devlin met on the Croatian island of Susak, where together with their families they often spend their summer holidays. Daniel Devlin started the SUSAK EXPO Biennale in 2006 since when he has been organising it every other year. Petra Varl has been part of SUSAK EXPO since 2010. For this exhibition at the 12th Star Gallery, Petra and Daniel will be showing work they made for SUSAK EXPO 2016: Petra will exhibit Bathers, cut-outs from painted metal, that she has used for her installation on the main beach of Susak, while Daniel will be showing documentation of his work URED / OFFICE.
Petra Varl is an artist who works mostly in the media of drawing and installations. Since 2000 she has been working as Associate Professor of drawing and graphic arts at the Fine Arts Department of the teacher’s college at the University of Maribor. She lives with her future husband in Ljubljana. Lately she has been drawing trees and cooking dinners.
Daniel Devlin is a publisher, curator and con-artist based in London. As well as organising SUSAK EXPO every other year he is co-publisher of Spiralbound (a publisher of radical books that sit uncomfortably between the artist book and poetry publications) and the managing director of the gallery Sračok & Pöhlmann. As an artist, Devlin works mainly with wheel-barrows.
Organised on the occasion of Slovenian Cultural Day by the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia.
“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.” Oscar Wilde
This wonderfully simple quote from Oscar Wilde exemplifies what Josette Fenech, the artist is all about. A modest, upcoming Maltese artist, Josette' s favourite mediums are oils and acrylics and she draws her inspiration from myriad sources including art of all kinds and genres. Josette loves nothing more than exploring galleries and art exhibitions at home and abroad and takes every opportunity she can to learn from her experiences. Josette has her own definitive style though she really admires the paintings of Van Gogh and Monet.
As a local artist she has many inspirational scenes to draw upon and admits she loves painting sunsets, flowers and seascapes. Josette will sit in beautiful natural surroundings and sketch ideas before transforming them into the vibrant colourful pieces contained within this site. Her use of vivid and vibrant colours is, as Wilde suggests, a true reflection of the warm and welcoming, yet incredibly humble person that she is.
Josette says: “As an artist I have a special love for colours. I love to master the colours in abstract form in order to communicate in different ways.”
And within her artwork these wonderful colours await.
Organized by the High Commission of Malta to mark its Presidency of the Council of the EU.
InterRailing: A Cultural Engine
Many artists in the 1980s and 90s travelled by train from city to town across Europe, visiting art collections, architecture, landscapes and people; usually in a concentrated month that changed their lives. Paul Ryan's sketchbooks archive several of these journeys, and will be displayed alongside curated artworks, tickets, manuscripts, photographs, postcards, mementos and reminiscences from other UK based EU artists who also 'InterRailed'. Ryan has made sketchbooks the centre of his art practice, highlighting their unfinished and portable qualities. He has recently been in Austria working on a project about Robert Musil: http://www.paulryan.co.uk/. At a time when Europe's borders, and freedom of movement are re-examined, this exhibition highlights some past beneficiaries of a chance to roam; and considers the impact of such journeys on our shared cultural life, then and now.
The human face is the best document of time. As a native Estonian herself, photographer Birgit Püve explores Estonian faces with an aim to portray this Northern European nation as a whole. Estonia’s existence hasn’t always been that evident. After a period of independence Estonia was caught up in the tragic events of the 20th century and lost its independence. Now more than 25 years have passed since Estonia regained its independence and Estonians have searched for their new personal and national identity. Through the portraits of known and unknown Estonians Püve aims to treasure the psychological state of one country that has gone through dramatic changes in a relatively short period of time.
Birgit Püve (1978) is a photographer based in Tallinn, Estonia. She studied journalism in the University of Tartu and worked as an editor and photo editor before starting as a freelance photographer in 2013.
In November 2014 Birgit won the 3rd Prize at The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014 and was selected as an exhibitor at The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015. Her works have been exhibited in solo exhibitions in Germany, Poland, Russia and Estonia and in group exhibitions in Canada, France, USA, Austria, UK, Latvia etc.
Organised by the Embassy of Estonia in the UK
Revisiting Past Masters: Still Life and Portraits
In this exhibition, Still life and portraiture come to life through a refined use of light and colour to give the viewer a realistic yet impressive work of art.
The technical ability of these Irish artists reference in most cases, the continental influence of the 17th century Dutch school while the vibrant colours used by Anthony Murphy are inspired by the post-impressionist French painters of the late 19th and early 20th century.
Artists include Anthony Murphy, Comghall Casey, Ian McAllister, Ken Hamilton, Philip Lindey and Martin Mooney
Influences: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Caravaggio, Matisse and Cézanne
The Unknown Portrait of Brancusi
Solo exhibition by Raluca Popa, curated by Simona Nastac
Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957) was one of the pioneering figures of modern sculpture and one of the most original artists of the twentieth-century. His serenely simplified sculptures ‘Bird in Space’, ‘Mlle Pogany’ or ‘Sleeping Muse’ are unanimously recognised as icons of modernism and looking at his art now, it is almost impossible not to see him as a precursor to surrealism, and to more recent work as diverse as that of Hepworth and Moore, Anish Kapoor and Carl Andre, Donald Judd and Louise Bourgeois. He was a remarkably protean figure, also a close friend to leading avant-garde artists such as Amedeo Modigliani, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and Erik Satie among others, yet he remains one of the most elusive, with an aura of otherness still intriguing today.
Using a wide range of sources, including two of the most relevant monographs ever written on Brancusi – Sanda Miller’s ‘Brancusi’ (Reaktion Books, 2010) and Doina Lemny’s ‘Brancusi – an Artist without Frontiers’ (Noi Media Print, 2016), Romanian artist Raluca Popa will recreate, through drawing, a fresh and vivid portrait of the ground-breaking artist. By filtering, subverting, erasing and overlaying his memories and traces, equally long-familiar and less known, she will capture Brancusi's presence as it echoes through his correspondence, notes, photographs and footage of his studio. More about Raluca Popa: http://www.ralucapopa.ro/
Curated by Simona Nastac, the exhibition is organised by the Romanian Cultural Institute, as part of the national programme celebrating 140 years since the birth of Brancusi. To offer a more complex understanding of the life and work of the great sculptor, the exhibition will be complemented by a talk given by art historian Doina Lemny, coinciding with the launch of her recently published volume ‘Brancusi – an Artist without Frontiers’.
Photo: Duchamp, Brancusi, Tzara and Man Ray in Brancusi’s studio, 1921 © Adagp, Paris
The 1956 Hungarian Revolution in Pictures
by John Sadovy
Curator: Colin Ford CBE
To mark the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian revolution, the Hungarian Cultural Centre presents a unique exhibition of John Sadovy's photos, many of them previously unpublished, in collaboration with the photographer's daughters Yvonne and Jane Sadovy.
60 years ago Hungarians from all walks of life – students, intellectuals, workers, farmers, the cross-section of the entire nation – rose up against insurmountable odds to fight the brutal Soviet-installed Communist government. They were the heroes of 1956 who were prepared to fight and die for freedom, a multi-party democracy and independence from the Soviet Union.
Sadovy was the first of only a few photojournalists to infiltrate Hungary during the revolution. He slipped past border guards at night in an old Volkswagen. His astonishing, violent and graphic photographs of the uprising were the first to show the world what was happening. The resulting photographs were published internationally, earning him the second ever Robert Capa Gold Medal for his photographs and courage.
Sadovy became ill in his mid-50s and died in 2011 at the age of 85. He was never able to do as much with his photos as he had planned. Many years before his death, his daughter Yvonne started assembling some of his work and asked him for stories. Yvonne also approached Tim Foote (who later became editor at the Smithsonian Institution) to write more on their time in Budapest and to give her a more personal account of those days.
Tim Foote said of John Sadovy: "He was a rare spirit. A privilege to know. Though he was low-key, I think he knew that and was proud of it."
Organised by the Hungarian Cultural Centre
Sponsored by the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and Freedom Fight 60th Anniversary Memorial Board.
Silvia Lerín and Adrián Navarro
Spain NOW!, the annual season of contemporary art and culture from Spain, is pleased to present the work of Adrián Navarro and Silvia Lerín: two Spanish artists who take the abstract-geometric tradition as a starting point, but whose respective artistic practices respond to different conceptual and formal interests. This exhibition offers a small taste of Navarro’s and Lerín’s extensive body of work and acknowledges the increased interest by the contemporary art world in their professional trajectory.
With an all-inclusive ethos, Spain NOW! presents a comprehensive number of exhibitions, events and performances reflecting the rich artistic output of the Spanish art scene. For more information please visit www.spain-now.org.uk
Scotland, north of the Highland divide is a desolate area, one of the least populated in the European Union.
The Scottish government classifies it as ‘rural and remote’. It bases this assessment on how far is the nearest settlement of 10,000 people. The Ordnance Survey defines ‘remote’ as how close is the nearest road. The English dictionary defines ‘remote’ as ‘out of the way’.
Parts of this area could also be characterised as wilderness: an abandoned place where life finds it difficult to exist.
I wanted to visit this place, which I had never been to before and understand why anyone would want to live there. So I packed a tent, a stove and a film camera to see it for myself.
I chose a poignant time to go. It was the eve of the general election in 2015. Commentators said that the results showed that Scotland’s voice demanded to be heard. I was interested in how people who choose to live or had grown up in this remote place identified themselves. As crofters? As islanders? As Scottish? As British or as citizens of Europe?
You Belong to Me
Geiste Marija Kincinaityte
The idea of the project emerged in the process of observing the increasingly intensifying intervention into extra-terrestrial territories through technology and images. You Belong to Me focuses on how the visual data accumulated during interplanetary exploration missions forms an anthropocentric reality of Mars. Juxtaposing the Martian landscapes captured by the robotic eye with her own photographs, the author initiates a dialogue between digital and analogue imagery, between images from different realities, thereby contrasting their origin. The principal objective of the project is to analyse the mesmerism of the mentioned extra-terrestrial images which prompt the viewer to perceive the distant and unfamiliar as close and recognizable. This reveals the importance and the role of photography in claiming and occupying a territory, body, or planet. Inducing the urge to possess, the fantasies triggered by the scenes of an unvisited planet raise important questions about the future development of “interplanetary photography” and the associated political aspects.
Image credits: From the series You Belong to Me, 2014, Geiste Marija Kincinaityte
Supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Atlas: A Reverie
The artist will present up to 38 framed images and one freestanding work using the AA Road Atlas of Europe as a basis to explore the notion of migration and settlement.
Known for her drawing and attention to detail, the artist transforms the surface of the atlas leaving only the white and grey dots which denote the cities, towns and villages. These become evidence of locations of habitation and tracks across the landscape. Part geography, part history and part reverie they are reminiscent of star charts and constellations and become diagrams of journeys taken and to be taken.
Photographs by Ladislav Struhár
Magical Slovakia is the fine art photography showcase of Ladislav Struhár’s works in Slovakia. His deep understanding for nature and architecture, coupled with a love of impressionism, has given rise to an unmistakeable creative style. This exhibition, displaying variety of interesting landmarks, places and nature, is marking the opening of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Author of 15 image and photo publications, he has won major awards for some of his work, including the Slovak Gold and Najkrajšia kniha Slovenska (The Most Beautiful Book of Slovakia) awards. Struhár is one of the founding members of the Association of Professional Photographers of Slovakia. In 2009, the Federation of European Professional Photographers in Brussels awarded him the non-academic degree QEP (Qualified European Photographer) in two categories: landscape photography and illustrative photography.
The Forty Thieves
Questioning artists and critics on the issue of influence
Francisco Sousa Lobo
The Forty Thieves is a collection of comics which will form an exhibition. Portuguese artist Francisco Sousa Lobo will interview 40 artists and critics in the fields of comics, fine art, criticism and literature. The central topic of these interviews will be the question of influence. From each of these interviews a 4-page comic will be made, illustrating the conversation. The exhibition will also include objects chosen by the interviewees.
Each individual's ideas, references and style will affect the comic, its graphic course and structure. The subject and the course of the conversation will dictate the style of each comic (for example, Andrea Buttner’s will be made with woodcut prints, Robert Crumb’s with pen, and Pedro Moura with Indian ink and brush).
Organised by the Embassy of Portugal in the UK
Of Time and Space
Works by Frixos Papantoniou and Sumer Erek
As our life is influenced by what is happening around us, the Time and Space, where we happen to find ourselves in, has a strong impact on our emotions and behaviour. For the artist these feelings give the energy to bring out the fire inside and together, to create unique results. The exhibition is set to explore these feelings and through the works of two Cypriot artists, Frixos Papantoniou and Sumer Erek who with a variety of individual approaches and mediums create works influenced by the strength of their cultural upbringings.
Both artists, who now live and work in London, have had one man shows and have been selected in a number of group exhibitions internationally. They are the recipients of several awards and their work is included in collections worldwide.
Organised by the Cyprus High Commission
Moon and Sun
Works by Paul Sonabend
Paul Sonabend was born in Liverpool and now lives and works in Bath. He has had a solo exhibition at the city's Victoria Art Gallery and has recently shown in Chelsea, New York.
“Paul Sonabend's work observes the evolution of Modern Art from avant-garde to German Expressionism, and then takes it one step further. In an act of clever recursion, Sonabend returns the cycle to its aesthetic origin as a radical challenge to perception and comfort. His gritty, graphic approach to painting instils an art-punk sensibility to a largely representational body of work. This sense of design creeps into the composition, allowing the viewer a reprieve in balance and counterpoint to the often intense emotions and tension that inhabit Sonabend’s paintings.
“Enmeshing his lexicon of Biblical and popular mythologies in a mid-century palette and numerous artistic influences, Sonabend draws from Cubism and Abstract Expression in his own textures and compositions. This gives his work the feel of a frenetic collage, an apocalyptic homage to both art and music. Just as likely to enshrine deities of rock music as he is to ironically invert sacrosanct icons, Sonabend makes no compromises with his paintings.” Angela di Bello, Agora Gallery, New York 2015
“I do believe Paul is one of those rare visionaries. He has pursued his own solitary path without outside interference.” Denys Wilcox 2015
Dr Denys Wilcox is an art historian, author and dealer specialising in Modern British Art. He has published books on the painter-sculptor Rupert Lee, on the London Group of artists and is currently working on a book on Doris Hatt.
“In this true idiosyncratic's productive hands every picture does indeed tell a story.” Peter Davies, London 2014
Peter Davies's full article on Paul Sonabend may be found at: http://www.paulsonabend.com/. Peter Davies is an art critic and author; his latest book is A Northern School; Revisited.
Picture: Paul Sonabend. "Portrait of the Artist as a Bluesman" Acrylic on Canvas.
Photographer Ari Versluis and profiler Ellie Uyttenbroek have worked together since October 1994. Inspired by a shared interest in the striking dress codes of various social groups, they have systematically documented numerous identities over the last 20 years. Rotterdam’s heterogeneous, multicultural street scene remains a major source of inspiration for Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek, although since 1998 they have also worked in many cities abroad.
Exhibition organised by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to mark that country's Presidency of the Council of the EU
Picture: Gabbers - Rotterdam 1994
By Henry Elwell
The Dutch have made and continue to make an enormous contribution to our floral lives. This exhibition contains subjects directly connected with the Netherlands. Primarily, the images here are about the pleasure and visceral excitement flowers can arouse. Technology has made it possible to share the serendipitous moment of observation. Many of Elwell's pictures are London discoveries some noticed from the bicycle. Useful tools now exist making it possible to convey and record a personal view of beauty and to share it.
On St Michael’s Way
Works by Faye Dobinson, Naomi Frears, Marie Claire Hamon, James Hankey, Janet McEwan, Roger Thorp, Caro Woods, Zeirle & Carter
A group exhibition focusing on St Michael’s Way; a 12.5 mile walking route crossing the Cornish peninsula in the far west, from Lelant on the north coast to Marazion and St Michael’s Mount on the south coast. The exhibition features works produced by invited emerging and established Cornwall based artists with shared interest in our ever shifting, entwined and evolving knowing of landscape, ritual and faith.
The St Michael’s Way was established in 1994, when, based on shipping records from the middle ages, and other archaeological and historical evidence, it was also officially linked to the Camino de Santiago network of pilgrim paths in mainland Europe, which converge at the tomb of Saint James in north west Spain. It remains the only long distance footpath in the UK to be designated a European Cultural route by the Council of Europe.
St Michael’s Way is the muse of the artists in this show. Although a modest footpath in length (but not in sites), it is an enduring and tangible reminder of a long established and vibrant thoroughfare connecting Cornwall, and neighbouring Wales and Ireland to mainland Europe and a number of artworks in this show speak of journey, real and imaginary, not only along this path, but also to and from worlds beyond the horizon.
On St Michael’s Way is curated by Janet McEwan and produced in association with Friends of St Michael’s Way: a group whose broad aims include ensuring the footpath is researched and maintained, promoting the route regionally and beyond, and considering its cultural, spiritual, economic and geo-political importance past, present and future, through various lenses. Vice Chair, Prof Michelle Brown, FSA, will provide a short introduction in the exhibition graphics outlining the cultural significance of the route, and will give an accompanying talk at the opening event.
Following its London debut at the 12 Star Gallery, the exhibition will be re-presented in Cornwall, signalling the launch of a programme of public events and activity along the St Michael's Way footpath over the summer months of 2016.
For more information and updates: stmichaelsway.net
The exhibition is supported by CERES (Centre for European Research & Support within Cornwall) and the European Commission Representation in the UK.
Picture: Marie Claire Hamon “We took a path into the hills” 125 x 125 cms Oil on Canvas.
100 Images of Migration
The Migration Museum Project’s 100 Images of Migration is an excitingly varied collection of photographs, supplied by professionals and amateurs alike, each of which provides a snapshot on the lived experience of migration. Every photo is accompanied by an explanatory text supplied by the photographer, some starkly short, some a more elaborate account of the significance of the image to the photographer. Together, they project a powerful image of migration in the Britain of yester year and today – sometimes inspiring, sometimes unsettling, at times dramatically mundane, and always arresting.
Arte en Movimiento/Art on the Move
Works by Lorenzo Hernandez
This exhibition captures the pivotal moment the Spanish art scene in London is currently going through, as well-established artists are being joined by a great number of newcomers seeking to progress in their respective careers and contribute to the cultural melting pot that defines this city.
Thanks to an event organised by the Spanish Embassy in October 2014, Hernandez had the opportunity to meet a wide variety of professionals of great talent, share experiences and talk about their respective projects. It was then when he realised that the contribution that the Spanish talents are making to London’s multicultural mosaic had to be reflected in an exhibition and a book of black and white portraits, conceived as a time capsule for future generations.
During nine months Hernandez moved around London, portraying fifty Spanish artists in their work environment and, camera in hand, inviting them to talk about their particular vision of this city. All these conversations and images are gathered in the book Arte en Movimiento, which will be launched in February 2016.
As a complement to this exhibition, there will be a debate between the photographer and some of the artists that have participated in this project at the 12-Star Gallery on 23rd February 2015 at 6pm.
Lorenzo Hernandez started his career at the age of thirteen and has lived and worked in Barcelona, Madrid, New York, Paris and Milan, among other places. After having lived in London in the 1980s, he returned to this city in 2013. His most recent projects are the books LONDONvista and Manifashion, published by Aurora Boreal®. He is currently working on a book of portraits of Latin American writers.
More information about the artist at http://www.photolorenzohernandez.com/
Supported by the Embassy of Spain in the UK
Malice in Wanderlands
An Exhibition by Seven Students of the Academy of Visual Arts (AVA), Slovenia
An exhibition curated by Pepi Sekulich and showcasing work by Evelina Hagglund, Matija Jakin, Andrea Knezovic, Gregor Rozman, Sanja Vatic, Nika Vucko and Nana Wolke, which will be explore contemporary issues such as migration, pursuit of power and social (in)justice.
AVA - Academy of Visual Arts, Slovenia, is an art college with a mission to establish a strong and recognisable institutional identity with a discernible contribution to the communities that they serve. It is an identity based on promoting individual visions and creative excellence.
Organised by the Embassy of Slovenia in the UK
Works by G-Brecht
The fantastical yet disquieting paintings of Dutch artist G-BRECHT depict a strange meeting place between nature and human technology. Contemporary landscapes in which the artificial systems of the modern world interfere with a denatured landscape. His work is suggestive, hypothetical and theatrical as if it was staged from the perspective of a window.
G-BRECHT completed his MA degree at Goldsmiths College University of London (in 2001), following his study at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten (MA) and the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. His work is in numerous public and private collections. he has exhibited extensively in Europe, the US and London.
Exhibition organised by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to mark that country's Presidency of the Council of the EU
Picture: 'Strictly Confidential' 2014, OIL ON LINEN, 251 X 150CM
Works by Andrew Logan
An exhibition of joyful works by the sculptor and painter Andrew Logan marks the 10th anniversary of the 12 Star Gallery. Included are portraits of great Europeans including Maria Callas, Marlene Dietrich and Maggi Hambling plus works inspired by Mahler and water colours from Andrew’s travels in Europe.
Famous for his mirrored works of art, Andrew Logan, born in 1945, is an internationally renowned artist, sculptor, performance artist, set designer and founder of The Alternative Miss World.
Originally from Oxford, Andrew studied to be an architect but after spending a year in America before qualifying in the late ‘60s, he discovered his true calling: as an artist in mixed media and in particular mosaics of mirrored glass.
In his youth Andrew attracted, and influenced, people from a wide range of disciplines including film director Derek Jarman, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and rock icon Malcolm McLaren. His studio was the venue for the notorious Valentine’s Ball of 1976, the effective launch of the Sex Pistols.
Andrew has achieved international fame with his works which have been commissioned by governments, corporations, airports and museums and a major retrospective of his work was held at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford in 1991.
In 1972, Andrew Logan, inspired by Crufts, launched the first of his series of surreal and subversive pageants, The Alternative Miss World, which he states are “not about beauty but about transformation, making the ordinary extraordinary via costume and creative free rein”. His co-hosts and panel of judges are drawn from his contacts and have included Grayson Perry, Julian Clary, Richard O’Brien, Tim Curry, Amy Lamé, Ruby Wax and of course Zandra Rhodes.
An autobiographical film, The British Guide to Showing Off, was released in 2011; directed by Jes Benstock, it is dedicated to Andrew and his pageant The Alternative Miss World, which Logan describes as his greatest work of art - a living sculpture that embodies four decades of the most irrational trends and ideas in British art.
Picture: Maria Callas by Andrew Logan photographed by Dewi Tannant Lloyd.
Sophie Sarin was the first artist to exhibit at the European Commission's offices, in December 2005, with her show 'Chaos to Order'. There has followed a series of exhibitions by artists from all over Europe (and beyond) working in media such as film, sculpture, photography and paint.