The Contemporary London, in partnership with Griffin Gallery, is proud to present Archaeologies, an exhibition of new works including oil painting, drawing and digital collage by Vasilis Avramidis, Jess Littlewood, Reginald Aloysius and Suzanne Moxhay. Archaeologies is curated by Michelle Medjeral-Thomas, The Contemporary London.
Archaeologies presents alternative landscapes that invite us into uncanny private new worlds of imagination, fantasy and marked human absence. Both Avramidis and Aloysius create intensely detailed and skillfully delicate lush environments, where architecture is entangled with wild vegetation and the traditional and modern are meshed together. In contrast Littlewood and Moxhay’s post-Apocalyptic isolated spaces confront the viewer with a silent timelessness of cultivated order and the struggle for the ideal. With each of the works the viewer stumbles onto moments where they are forced to question the narratives of what has just happened and what events are yet to take place.
Archaeologies celebrates and interrogates images of opulence, fantasy, the remote, romantic and beautiful, architecture, sci-fi, failed empires, loss, history and transience. Where ‘place’ is usually established by the presence of humanity, these worlds are marked by a footprint of human absence and the reminance of material culture that strives to imbue its identity. These uncanny worlds transport and transcend, creating an imagined window of escapism from which to contemplate the human mark and its histories.
Notes to the Editors:
Vasilis Avramidis (Born 1981, Thessaloniki, Greece)
Influenced by 17th century European oil painting, Vasilis Avramidis’ atmospheric, surreal oil paintings depict uncanny private worlds, idealized images from the past and decadent earthly paradises. His paintings feature minimal and at times modernist architectural fragments in disrepair rooted in the infinity of an overgrowing diachronic landscape. Conceptually and literally the works are located between a vanitas concept, echoing the human effort to reason with the finitude and mortalisation of time. Avramidis’ work has been featured in publications including Sunday Telegraph, Idol magazine, Metro UK, Arrested Motion, Yatzer, Juxtapoz, Hi-Fructose and Rooms Magazine.
Jess Littlewood (Born 1988, Surrey, United Kingdom)
Sourcing digital images from the Internet to create one-off Giclee prints, Jess Littlewood’s meticulous digital collages create somber, ritualistic and sci-fi landscapes that explore ideas of human behavior, belief and utopia. Her newest and most ambitious piece, The Order of Things, presents a vast expanse of beach with an overwhelming linear catalogue of human objects. On closer inspection the compilation and ordering of the objects are arbitrary and whimsical, devoid of socio-cultural significance. Subject and process are at once mirrored, both embodying an obsessive necessity to stockpile and organise. Isolated within Littlewood’s primitive landscape, technology and our enslavement to it is simultaneously celebrated and its futility called into question. Jess Littlewood’s work was recently featured in Tatler Magazine UK, Protein, We Occupy, Amelia’s Magazine, Deerbrains and The Learned Pig.
Suzanne Moxhay (Born 1976, Essex, United Kingdom)
Suzanne Moxhay’s works moves fluently between real and illusionary space, between the idealized and the dystopian environments. Her latest work features broken down interiors, creating hybrid spaces that merge inside and out, juxtaposing the intimate and the undomesticated and take on the quality of an empty stage set. Sourced from photographs, prints in old magazines and painted elements, fragments are physically collaged and constructed, re-photographed and digitally manipulated, creating space between the original material and the staged or theatrical. In fact the light is not directional, the angles of the room awkward, shadows fall at the wrong places, the image is itself referential to its false construction. Moxhay’s world is at once familiar and uncanny, and as with film, requests the viewer embarks with a suspension of disbelief. Moxhay is a print fellow of the Royal Academy Schools, recipient of the Florence Trust residency 2008 and was shortlisted for Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2008. Moxhay’s work has been featured in Art World Magazine, The Guardian and The BBC Culture Show.
Reginal Aloysius (Born 1970, Sri Lanka/ United Kingdom)
Through the iconography of Sri Lankan and Southern Indian temples Reginald Aloysius explores ideas surrounding globalization, emigration and the destruction of tradition, both directly or indirectly through development and modernisation. The juxtaposition of soft pencil drawings of Hindu temples romantically and fantastically looming out from the undergrowth and free flowing paint create dense layered compositions that captivate and allure. These icons of tradition and worship are then scraped, with paint applied in the grooves as stark reminders of modernity. These linear etchings are in fact airline flight paths, alternatively migratory routes, mapped onto and scarring the images threatening the certainty of national identity in a shifting, increasingly nomadic transnational global culture. Aloysius recently participated in the Colombo Biennale 2014. Previously, Aloysius was shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2011 and has featured in Time Out, The Huffington Post and Dazed Digital.
The Contemporary London
The Contemporary London is a pop up gallery and online platform promoting a curated selection of emerging artists. Since launching in 2010 we have worked with exciting and critically acclaimed artists including Adam Dix, Ernesto Canovas, Vasilis Avramidis, Rory McCartney, Benjamin Buckley, Andrew Salgado, Shan Hur, Jess Littlewood, Sandra Erbacher, Edd Pearman, Ceal Warnants and Geoff Diego Litherland. The Contemporary London is in the process of settling up a permanent pop up and collaborative project space in Central West London set to launch at the end of 2014. We recently exhibited at London Art Fair, Arts Projects 2014 showing a solo selection of new works by Vasilis Avramidis entitled Resort Archaeology. Our current group exhibition was curated in collaboration with Resort Archaeology and builds upon the ideas and dialogue created at our London Art Fair solo presentation.
Griffin Gallery and Studios
Griffin Gallery and Studios, supported by world leading fine art brands Winsor & Newton, Liquitex and Conte a Paris, is a new artistic hub in West London supporting emerging talent, hosting discussions and celebrating the best in contemporary art in London and around the world through an annual award, the Griffin Art Prize.
The Studio Building houses not only the Griffin Gallery, but also two purpose-built artists’ studios and an Innovation and Development Laboratory. The worlds of science and art come together in the Lab through the creation of innovative art materials and colours, made using the world’s best raw materials and sold worldwide. This independent gallery is under the Directorship of respected curator Becca Pelly-Fry.
Images courtesy of Charlie Robinson