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Viewpoints, a group show curated by Anna McNay



Espacio Gallery

17th-22nd April

This sixth show of the Rooftop Collective (est. 2010) showcases work by The Rooftop Collective Members:  Chris King – Paul Clifford  – Toby Deveson -Tom Owens – Graham Matthews – Jeremy Johns  

Additionally, selected guest artists from an open call are paired with members:  

Judith Burrows – Consuelo Simpson – Annamarie Dzendrowskyj – Susan Clare – Michael Wallner – Lesley James.  

Presenting a variety of works, from installations of found objects discovered in a daily walk to analogue photographic prints, and incorporating a selection of short videos, the show invites the viewer to experience a breadth of art, paired in conversations between collective members and guest artists.

Anna McNay, Guest Curator, who has worked closely with each pairing, writes:  

“Take any one object of study and no two persons’ perceptions of it will ever be exactly the same. We each have our own, unique viewpoint on everything around us. A dialogue becomes fruitful, imparting knowledge from one party to the other, when each participant draws out further aspects of the subject, perhaps overlooked by their partner.  

This exhibition comprises six such nascent dialogues, between six members of the photographic Rooftop Collective and six responding artists of various media, who, despite their different approaches, find common ground in their work –thus providing the seed for a conversation, begun by the artists, but which we hope will be continued by visitors as well.”  

About the Rooftop Collective:  

Started on the rooftops of Soho in 2010, this group of photographers works together to support and challenge one another in mutual pursuit of ongoing creative and professional development. Powered by Be Smart About Art.  

About works on display and viewpoints in paired artists:  

A number of the pairs come together in their approach to the natural landscape. Jeremy Johns’ photographs and Susan Clare’s watercolour and acrylic paintings, share a reflective and muted palette, which brings depth to open skies and wide vistas, bathing viewers in a fragile light. Tom Owens’ photographs breathe a certain kind of familiarity, returning to the same location at different times of year, noticing nuances and transient – often manmade – objects, many of which could be the raw materials for Consuelo Simpson’s sculptures, combining found objects, yarn and wire, to reflect on the collision of rural, agrarian and urban society.  

Both drawn to the geometric shapes, patterns and lines in their everyday surroundings, Paul Clifford and Michael Wallner employ their photographic and digital media to celebrate beauty in the mundane and the abstract in everyday life. A concrete wall is seen as a canvas of colours, all decaying paint and rusty pipes; paving stones turn into confusing collages of colour and texture. 

Chris King’s photographs, capturing southern American landscapes, devoid of human figures, suggest deserted film sets and invite the viewer to imagine the unravelling narrative script. Judith Burrows, a photographer and filmmaker by trade, similarly uses locations from her work as the starting point for her mixed media canvases, incorporating fragments of music and maps, alongside isolated figures, creating a sense of dislocation and uneasiness. For this exhibition, she will create a new ‘narrative of location’, responding directly to one of King’s Arkansas liquor store images. 

The conversation between Toby Deveson’s black-and-white photographs and Annamarie Dzendrowskyj’s similarly monochromatic, small-scale oil paintings is one of mutual exploration and running headlong into the unknown; that ambiguous, grey area that hovers between presence and absence, between what is seen and what is not. While Deveson’s tools and history keep him firmly rooted in the world of the ‘real’, Dzendrowskyj completes that foray into the magical surreal. 

And finally, turning from the external landscape to the interior, photographer Graham Matthews and mixed-media artist and sculptor Lesley James examine psychological ideas of hidden truths – what lies beneath the surface or behind the face presented to the world. With ghostly prints, totems and rubbings of walls – physical markers of the boundaries that keep us apart – their collaboration seeks to merge approaches and methodologies to produce a new language of perception; a collaborative viewpoint. 


Key information:  

Exhibition dates: 17th – 22nd April 2018  

Private View: 17th April, 6.00-8.30pm RSVP

Meet the Artists: 21st April, 2-5pm

Hours: Tues-Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 11am – 5pm  

Address: Espacio Gallery, 159 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 7DG  

Tube / Train: Shoreditch High Street, Bethnal Green Road