Author Archives: Caroline

Ilhwa Kim at The House of Fine Art

A new art gallery has recently opened in the West End of London, The House of Fine Art (or HOFA for short). I went along there recently and saw these works by Ilhwa Kim. Photo by Caroline Banks Each little piece of mulberry paper is hand dyed and rolled up into a “seed”. some contain messages (never to be read) giving each picture hidden stories. The process is highly labour intensive and could be viewed as obsessional – my take on it is that it is a meditative, almost ritualistic activity, creating worlds and landscapes to be viewed initially from above but then explored from any direction.Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline BanksYou can easily lose yourself in these pieces. Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks

The Florence Trust’s 2018 summer show

As it says on its website, The Florence Trust provides a dynamic mentoring programme and studio residency in London for twelve international artists each year. Each residency programme lasts for 12 months and is a real lifeline for artists to develop their practice in  London.

I went along to the summer exhibition private view in the atmospheric  decommissioned church tucked away in Aberdeen Park, which also houses the studios. Not all the artists  are represented here as it was too dark for some of my photos. Visit the website for information and click on the artist’s links to learn more about their work and concerns.

Francisca Prieto – work with paper and metal

The Chilean artist Francisca Prieto is someone whose work I have followed for several years now, having first spotted her along with her impressive storage cabinet at Cockpit Arts during an open studio visit.

Photo from Uppercase Magazine

She works with metal as well as paper, bending and folding her materials from 2 dimensions to 3. It isn’t just the aesthetics, strong as they are, that appeal to me: the ritualistic and repeated activity is meditative; her aim to record and reinterpret something redundant and unwanted into something desirable, to breathe new life into paper, moves me.

All photos (unless otherwise indicated) are from her website as I couldn’t find any decent ones from my own archives.

Events from Block Universe

I hadn’t come across Block Universe, London’s leading international performance art festival, before but, after hearing about it through word of mouth, attended a couple of events – see photos below and links for more info.

“You would almost expect to find it warm”, by Laura Wilson, took place at the British Museum in connection with the current Rodin and the art of Ancient Greece exhibition. Rodin modelled in clay before carving in marble hence the use of dough which shares many qualities with clay. Watching these performers moving slowly amongst the visitors over a period of time was quite  meditative.

Photo by Caroline BanksPhoto by Caroline BanksPhoto by Caroline BanksPhoto by Caroline Banks

“Allusion to a body no longer present” by Tyler Eash and Sara Rodrigues , one of the satellite events, was held at St Giles Cripplegate with a script derived from interviews with members of the Swiss Church congregation on the significance of self, search for meaning, and remembrance after death. Some statements were very poignant with the evocative imagery well suited to such a venue.

Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks

Shape of Light at Tate Modern

I often enjoy going to exhibitions unprepared as that can give me a cleaner sensory experience than having read reviews; such was the case for The Shape of Light at Tate Modern.

There is something about Minimalism that resonates deeply and here are some of the pieces that stood out for me: part of  Alison Rossiter’s  expired photography paper seriesPhoto by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline BanksBarbara Kasten’s cyanotypes Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks Edward Ruscha’s parking lot photos next to Carl Andre’s Steel Zinc PlainPhoto by Caroline Banks

Black by Inge Dick  (the people and shapes are all reflections)Photo by Caroline BanksOne of Jay Defeo’s Untitled pieces Photo by Caroline BanksJohn Hilliard’s Seven Representations of White (with more reflections)Photo by Caroline Banksand, seen at the end, Thomas Ruff’s massively scaled virtual photogramsPhoto by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks


Tacita Dean – Landscape at the Royal Academy

The inaugural exhibition in the new Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries at the Royal Academy is LANDSCAPE, one of the three concurrent London exhibitions by Tacita Dean. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but was really impressed by the scale and sensitivity of the work shown. Zooming in and out is an essential part of the experience (I use those terms deliberately).

Here’s a view through to The Montafon Letter, a huge chalk drawing on blackboard of a mountain (there’s a bit more to it than just that).  Photo by Caroline BanksMajesty, one of a series of works on paper from 2016Photo by Caroline Banks

Cloud drawings, also from 2016,  in front of her collection of round stones.Photo by Caroline BanksI really liked the contrast of jade reflected in the glass frame of this massive print Quarantania.Photo by Caroline BanksHer film Antigone is also on show – I wasn’t able to see all of it so will complete the experience on my next visit.

The expanded Royal Academy

This is huge in the history of the Royal Academy and it’s such a positive development. The reconfiguration of space and intervention by David Chipperfield Architects to connect both buildings of Burlington Gardens and Burlington House now takes you through a myriad of environments. Here are a few photos of some of these spaces – not all quite finished when I visited – which will, I hope, give you an idea of the journey now possible.

The steps down from Burlington House show The Vaults towards the Weston Studio with a glimpse of the stairs up to the Weston BridgePhoto by Caroline Banks

Looking back from The Vaults to the stairs.

Photo by Caroline BanksOne of the RA Schools corridors just before reaching the Weston Studio.Photo by Caroline BanksUp the stairs from the Weston StudioPhoto by Caroline BanksDetail of the staircasePhoto by Caroline BanksView of the Weston Bridge windowPhoto by Caroline BanksFinal touches to the Benjamin West Lecture Theatre Photo by Caroline Banks

Raw Materials at the Nunnery Gallery, Bow Arts.

East London has a rich and varied textile history for manufacturing and  innovation which this exhibition, at The Nunnery Gallery, Bow Arts,  examines.

Photo by Caroline BanksThe invention of the first synthetic dye, mauveine, by William Perkin took place at his family home in Shadwell  and brought the colour purple to the masses Photo by Caroline Banksand wood block printing by R.E. Littler for Liberty of London took place in the Lea Valley.Photo by Caroline BanksContemporary creativity still abounds in the East End with current work by artists and designers including London College of Fashion student Isabella Dunne’s “Raw Pressed” digital printPhoto by Caroline Banksand Sarah Desmarais’ fashion prints as well as Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks Freya Gabie’s Chatham rope and spun golden thread piece  90,000 miles across the sunPhoto by Caroline BanksPhoto by Caroline Banks

Back to the history, I just had to include the compact spinning wheel Mahatma Gandhi brought for his 3 month trip to England in 1931 during which time he was based in Bromley by Bow. 
Photo by Caroline Banks

Art wherever you look in King’s Place

I sometimes feel envious of the workers at King’s Place as they are surrounded by a constantly changing display of art by artists represented by Pangolin Gallery, housed in the same building. I came across this selection of work when I popped in the other evening between two private views.

William Tucker’s charcoal drawings from the human form and his bronze sculptures exude powerPhoto by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks

Looking Glass by Abigail Fallis is a beautifully crafted piece, something important to her in making work and encompasses such a multitude of associations I’d go over my time limit if I listed them.

Photo by Caroline Banks

Photo by Caroline Banks

The career of Zachary Eastwood-Bloom has taken off since I first met him at his RCA degree show in 2010. I have to confess though that I thought this was a Tony Cragg from a distance, an impression soon corrected once I got closer.

Photo by Caroline BanksPhoto by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks

Artists at the Affordable Art Fair in Hampstead

There’s always a lot to see at The Affordable Art Fair; as I’d missed the Battersea one earlier this year due to pressure of deadlines I made sure I got to the Hampstead show.

Four Walls Gallery from Brighton is always worth visiting; Sam Lock’s paintings always make my heart sing.Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline BanksIona House Gallery presented Claire Burke’s sophisticated and timeless pieces; I’ve featured her work here before but these more sculptural pieces were new to me. Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks