On the 15th of November we were honoured to display a vibrant array of Teofil Barbu’s artwork at artFix Woolwich. Teo’s solo exhibition Soul and Colour brightened up this dull and drab November and filled our gallery walls with bold and captivating paintings to invigorate our worn out spirits. He visited the gallery early on launch day enthusiastic and ready to set up and curate his exhibition. His whole approach is very hands on – and this is the case even in the most practical stage of hanging the work. Despite his age he preferred to climb up the ladder and position the pieces himself.
His work is truly mesmerising and his construction of colours and shapes on the canvas is arresting, the strokes of colour leaping off the page. When you step into the gallery the size, composition and his arrangement of colour is vivid and striking – yet soft and familiar. His paintings have a dynamic quality, where the work feels as if the work is its own living, breathing entity. His marks on the canvas almost vibrate and radiate. The blending of these colours is seamless and integrates contrasting colours with ease, without a question or their contraction against one another. He explains that his work is all about interpretation and that he chooses abstract and simple imagery to provoke and stimulate conversation that is not limited to the page.
He explains that his approach is quite ‘simple’ and straightforward. Initially he considers a composition, drawing out often geometrical designs, thinking of possible colours – configuring the overall structure of his piece. He explains that he tends not to work with an easel and works on a table on top of his work, looking into it. He explains that he feels that this is not ‘professional’ like other artists but that he chooses to create his work how he feels he can communicate his intent. In response to this I explained that the matter is not one of professionalism but one of choice and preference. He is modest and has such a passion for his work, explaining that he has so many pieces at home – just that he didn’t want to suffocate our gallery walls.
Ashley Gray exhibited his debut exhibition ‘Why Suffer Alone?’ this summer at artFix. Ashley is a digital artist who adopts a conceptual approach to his artwork. He uses his artwork as a means of both understanding and communicating intangible feelings. Ashley uses his art as an instrument to further understand and navigate through his thoughts and feelings but also to explore why we suffer, and the nature of suffering in itself.
He explains that we often isolate ourselves through periods and moments of suffering and that although there are many different reasons for this, our sentiments and attitudes towards hardship are usually the same regardless of race, gender, and individual identity. The most prevalent reason we choose not to share our suffering is that we often feel alone and misunderstood in this suffering. We feel that suffering and struggle must be an individual pursuit – it is rarely something we feel eager or inclined to share. We are keen to conceal our feelings due to a lack of understanding. If we were entirely aware of our feelings, our fears and our suffering we would be able to steer through our minds and explore the uncharted waters that harbour these thoughts. We are hesitant to share our hardship because the sorrow and despair is hard to explain, hard to articulate. If we could express our feelings we would learn that we are not alone in our suffering. Ashley’s artwork directly considers this concept of sharing. He creates a shared experience of his own suffering, encouraging others to recognise that they are not alone in their hardship.
It is through his own inner conflict and hardship that Gray is able to empower himself. Throughout this exhibition he demonstrates that the very suffering that causes his struggle can also construct his happiness and triumph.
artFix teamed up with viewbug for a photography exhibition showcasing a range of talented artists. The artists showcased in this exhibition are the skilled winners of an international photography competition and we are honoured to present their works. The names of the photographers and the titles of their photographs are as follows:
(In no particular order)
– Motherhood, by Scottwickard
– In the Mist, by mounirrabhihallner
– Gravemakers and Gunslingers, by HathsinPhotography
– Red Reflex, by ilyablinov
– Arctic Sailing Sea Ice, by ramesrushforth
– Tempus Fugit, by sxsvexen
– Double beauty, by ralfeyertt
– Lethe’s Asylum, by levinlee
– Lonely logs in the orange autumn woods, by Hud1ai
Have you had a chance to see our photography exhibition Photosapiens? Don’t worry if not, there’s still lots on offer to purchase!
Price list: -Large thick board printed photo along with a complimentary smaller photograph printed on board for £80.00 -Postcards for £5.00 -Thin Canvas Print £50.00 -Photograph on Photo Paper £20.00 -Poster £15.00
Come in and choose from an assortment of designs and photographs promoting our current exhibition.
Interested in buying, email us on info@artFixlondon.com
Earlier this month, on the 6th of September, the Photosapiens team brought themselves, their photographs as well this delightful September sun we’ve been having all the way from Athens to London for their exhibition ‘Mind Your Business.’
Their photography exhibition showcases nineteen different professions, with the photos taken all in one site – Hotel Xenia. After practicing how to pronounce the name ‘Xenia’ with full support from the Photosapiens team, they explained the significance of the hotel for their artwork. The hotel they have taken these photographs in, once a landmark, is now in ruins. This hotel used to exist as just one of the many other hotel Xenia’s in Greece. The hotels have been designed to co-exist with local residents , giving access to the whole community to inhabit a shared space. The Xenia hotels have been designed and constructed by the infamous Greek architect Aris Konstantinidis and the hotels exist as an important showcase of cultural heritage. They are, by design, a contemporary tribute to classical Greek architecture. Konstantinidis is considered as one of the leading figures of modern Greek architecture due to his meditative approach which surpasses the characteristics of international modernism. These hotels not only promote Greece, benefitting Greece through business and tourism, but they also sustainably preserve Greece’s natural beauty. In this way this concept of space is integral to the Photosapiens aesthetics and artistry.
The location, as well as the vantage point or angle used to take the photograph, remains the same throughout the entire series. When considering this series closely one can notice the subtle details – the decaying of the walls, the peeling of the cement, the progression of marks and wearing of the floor tiles. These changes are indictive of the length of the time the project took and almost act as a time-lapse across the gallery walls. This sameness in terms of the backdrop in itself establishes a consistency throughout the images because they are all truly very different. Although each photo inhabits the same space it communicates an entirely different location and vocation. The hotel Xenia ruins occupy different sites and spaces within the same location. The re-appropriation of the same space to create and explore different scenes in fact considers how we conform and adjust ourselves as well as our lives in relation to our allocated scene. In this way this exhibition attempts to explore the self beyond our ‘business’ or occupation. Mind Your Business, the name of this wonderful exhibition is an interesting play on the core concepts the Photosapiens are dealing with. The photographs are a mirror to us as people and how many of us spend our lives acting out our professions. We spend our lives focusing and being consistently consumed with our careers. This series urges us to be mindful of how we mind our business and navigate ourselves in our daily lives.
Their team aim is to identify a different perspective of man in in relation to his environment.
Each of these participants, as they like to avoid using the word models, projects an entirely different reality onto their surroundings. In the same way the people in these photographs have created realities entirely different to their own, we also constantly perform our professional roles and construct different realities. In this way the Photosapiens are considering the ways in which our vocation or career is often performative. We wear costumes and pose against props and act out our roles. The different items and objects, as well as the body language depicted in each image, speaks for itself. It explores the way in which we constantly appropriate ourselves into different roles and professions. In this way each image is portraying a different relationship of man with his surrounding environment. The setting of the scene not only establishes a persona and identity but also a location and appropriate condition. There were over sixty participants during this project and the Photosapiens team explained that not only are none of the people photographed professional models, but that for many of them it was the first time getting in front of a camera for a photo shoot. The team explained that they used simple camera techniques and that no editing was done after the photographs were taken. The team refrained from using models to communicate a more natural body language but also to display real people, with real occupations outside of modelling. The lack of post-editing further adds a sense of realism to these images and makes the teams mid-air shots just that much more impressive. Some of the people seen in the shoot are friends and family of the team and some are onlookers or residents living close by who became engaged with the shoot seeing the progression of the project month after month. Those involved were astounded by how they looked in the photos. ‘They were impressed by the quality and how great the photos turned out but moreover they were grateful and excited to be a part of the project, Mara Giamali explains.
Spirros Androulakis, one of the teams most indispensable members, explains that some of the props and objects used are vintage in respect to their profession. He adds that this is in an attempt to evoke a sense of nostalgia for the audience. In this way the images, as well as the decaying hotel walls, exude a sense of the archaic. This further reinforces the idea that professions and their particular features may become obsolete, or that walls and venues may become extinct and in ruins but people and their passions live on and that their history and heritage should be told. This exhibition encourages that all our stories should still be told.
We were fortunate enough to feature Bozena Koj’s stunning work at the gallery in June 2019. The solo exhibition launch was a success, a large number of visitors had seen her work promoted across our social media platforms in the weeks leading up to the event and had been waiting patiently. Bozena’s work is stunning and picturesque. Her work exudes a sense of serenity and peace. The colours are bold and vibrant and yet blend together skillfully. The gallery had been transformed into a scene of landscapes and radiant forms. Bozena explains that she has been drawing ever since she can remember. In 2012 she signed up for a Drawing and Painting course at Morley College taught by Denzil Forrester where she developed and mastered new techniques and skills she incorporates in her art today. She studied under Denzil’s guidance for over three years and has been developing and constructing her artistic style since.
Her solo exhibition titled The Soul Melody entirely embodies and articulates her artistry. Each piece radiates from the center, creating depth and dimension – almost as if the paint on the canvas are the melodic echoes of the souls itself. She dedicated her first solo exhibition, The Soul Melody, to all the people present in her life. In her artistic statement she states ‘I believe everyone has a purpose in life and a melody of the soul which needs to be sung.’ Bozena’s purpose is painting and drawing, it’s her way of expressing herself and the abundant beauty and serenity she sees in the world. She adds that ‘more than anything I hope that my artwork communicates the plentiful joy and happiness of life and that it energizes the souls of those who see it, in the same way it replenished mine while I painted them.’
Her piece Free Your Sparkles is a colorful depiction of sunrise at sea with an open illuminating floating jar, overflowing with flickers of sparkles. The painting explores darker hues of brown, blue, red and green with lighter and brighter tones of orange, yellow and white emanating from the center. The glimmers and sparks form the jar have spread across the canvas, illuminating the whole scene. The strokes used to create these ‘sparkles’ sit on top of the serene backdrop of the painting. The clusters are created by little dots using cotton buds creating marks with varied densities and varied intensity. The sparkles glimmer and shimmer on top of the moving waves also creating a sense of motion on the canvas. The clusters and flickers of white light on the piece further enhance and heighten this sense movement. The sunrise itself suggests a rebirth, a sense of new beginnings – a dawn of something new on the horizon. The representation of a sunrise in itself further encourages a dynamic sensibility to the painting, it is as if the piece is transforming and shifting into a new day.
As well as producing skillful masterpieces using traditional acrylic or oil paints Bozena also uses a range of mediums on canvas to create different textures. She skillfully creates different finishes on her pieces using different brush strokes, materials and techniques to emulate different landscapes, visuals and abstractions. Her painting The Soul Path has a captivating quality and texture to it. The painting depicts a vibrant and colorful path into the forest. In this painting Bozena has created an impressive texture that appears embossed. This texture emulates branches and limbs of a tree extending into the center of the canvas. Bozena explains that she creates this texture using tissue paper. Not only has she used this affect for the branches and the trees but also for the jagged bushes of flowers. Often with mixed media art the mix of different mediums can be too visually defiant, with a lack of coherence – Bozena’s work seamlessly and tactically blends these mediums to masterfully depict her intended vision. She uses distinctly different and vibrant colours in the painting to create shadows and depth. The different colours are used to reinforce the composition of the piece. The shadows and darker tones used at the base of the trees add even more depth and perspective to the path stretching out into the painting. It is as if this piece in itself invites us into Bozena’s world, if we were only to step in and follow the bright coloured road.