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The Shock of the Now - Issue #36

Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator
Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator
Evening All,
I hope you’re all well and welcome to Issue 36 of The Shock of the Now.
This issue’s Featured Exhibition is Anna Perach’s debut UK solo exhibition ‘Spidora’ at Edel Assanti in Fitzrovia. Anna’s wearable tufted textiles have long been a favourite of mine, and for those who missed the performance that accompanied this exhibition’s opening, as I sadly did due to a period of Covid induced self-isolation, fortunately, video documentation is available via the gallery’s Vimeo
There are also seven weekly Recommended Exhibitions and two fresh Artist Opportunities.
I hope you enjoy Issue 36, and if so do forward it along! As always any questions, comments or feedback are welcome, so feel free to get in touch.
All the best, and speak soon, H x

Featured Exhibition: Anna Perach - Spidora - Edel Assanti
Book Six of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the epic poem and mainstay of Greek mythology, tells the tale of Arachne, a young shepherd’s daughter with a keen interest in weaving who, after being challenged to a contest by Athena, the goddess of wisdom and crafts, was deemed triumphant and thus transformed into a spider. The legend, attributed by some as the aetiology of spiders’ web-spinning skills, feels apt when discussing Anna Perach‘s debut London solo exhibition. The artist regularly returns to folkloric tales or mythological narratives that feature a female protagonist, both as a way of foregrounding the continued cultural resonance of such storytelling amongst communities - either as an educational tool or as a way of easily expressing personal, imitate experiences - and to challenge such stories problematic penchant for portraying women in a monstrous or demonic light.
The exhibition’s central character, Spidora, is in fact inspired by an infamous Victorian optical illusion, invented by American magician Henry Roltair, that featured a freakish spider-woman hybrid and became a fixture of circus sideshows and travelling carnivals. Perach’s spideress, an odd amalgamation of human and arthropod limbs all crafted using the artist’s signature tufted textiles, occupies Edel Assanti’s basement space, lights lowered and accompanied by an intermittent eerie scratching soundscape. Perach’s adoption of tufting, a traditional craft technique used to make carpet tiles, allows the artists to examine the aesthetics evident in the Slavic tapestries of her native Ukraine and to proffer contemporary critique on the gendered delineation of such decorative art practices as woman’s work.
Gender stereotypes are further questioned when Spidora was animated during an activation on the exhibition’s opening night, as a performer embodied Perach’s wearable weaving to traverse the gallery space turned spider’s web. With limited movement provided by the sculpture suit, and claustrophobia setting in from the sensory deprivation, an unsettling struggle ensued, reflective of the often restrictive expectations demarcated by gender.
Alongside the titular spidey-sculpture, now enjoying a period of stasis for the duration of the exhibition, a chainmail metal pouch hanging from the ceiling casts a sinister shadow. Seemingly Spidora’s amniotic sac, containing a cluster of carpeted incorporeal body parts, inside the next generation of anthropoid arachnids are gestating peacefully. Nearby a tufting frame attached to the gallery wall acts as both a performative exposing of the artworks’ means of production and as a conceptually considered deconstruction of the Spidora species’ anatomy, akin to the early anatomical drawings or diagrams of Leonardo da Vinci.
Recommended Exhibitions Opening This Week:
Hongxi Li - ‘Dream Rich’ Solo Exhibition - Harlesden High Street & Dateagle Art, Harlesden (14th April - 10th May, opening Wednesday 13th April, 6-9pm)
Harlesden High Street & Dateagle Art presents Hongxi Li debut solo exhibition ‘Dream Rich’, curated by Martin Mayorga & Vanessa Murrell. The site-specific installation evokes the naked deception of a casino stripped of all its tricks and masks in order to make the liminality of the game visible.
Alessandro Roma and Gabriel Esteban Molina - ‘Beyond a frame: presenting images and concepts’ Two-Person Exhibition - Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix, Whitechapel (13th April - 8th June, opening Wednesday 13th April, 6-9pm)
Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix presents Alessandro Roma and Gabriel Esteban Molina‘s two-person exhibition 'Beyond a frame: presenting images and concepts’, which sheds light on various ways the contemporary artists use a scope of media in presenting images.
Navot Miller - ‘Alex & Philippe & Willi & Zach.’ Solo Exhibition - Grove Collective, Battersea (13th April - 14th May, opening Wednesday 13th April, 6-8:30pm)
Grove Collective presents Berlin-based artist Navot Miller‘s solo exhibition 'Alex & Philippe & Willi & Zach.’, curated by Russell Tovey. Miller does not shy away from colour; the opulence of his palette is intentionally striking to the viewer. This, coupled with Miller’s channelling of bricolage aesthetic to interrogate pictorial depth, can initially be disorienting: large, bright canvases beam pinks, yellows, and blues into the room, often outshining their surrounds with ease. But Miller is much more than a flashy palette. His subtle compositions and intimacy with his subject matter create an effortless bond with the viewer, inviting consideration.
‘City Entwined Pt. 2’ Group Exhibition - Paradise Row, Mayfair (14th April - 7th May, opening Thursday 14th April, 6-9pm)
Paradise Row presents the second part of ‘City Enwtined’, a group exhibition showcasing the emerging and independent contemporary art ecosystem in Greater London, curated by Mazzy-Mae Green. It brings together a selection of independent and emerging artists, galleries and project spaces from across London in a two-part exhibition that offers not so much a survey of this creative scene, but rather a subjective snapshot intended to embody its spirit. Pairing each exhibiting artist with an affiliated gallery, it showcases the diverse, geographic, productive, economic, ideological and affective relationships between artists and the creative networks that surround them.
Peter Jeppson - ‘Everything Is Borrowed’ Solo Exhibition - Moosey, Angel (14th April - 8th May, opening Thursday 14th April, 6-8pm)
Moosey Art presents Peter Jeppson‘s solo exhibition 'Everything Is Borrowed’. Peter Jeppson is a self-taught artist who started his career with graffiti, which led into illustration/graphic design and further now into drawings, oil painting and most recently sculptures. Bubbling with texture and vivid emotions, Jeppson paints his characters with complicated expressions that are not so easily understood, making them anything but one-dimensional.
Clara Hastrup - ‘Prickly Tunes’ Solo Exhibition - UK Mexican Arts Society, Euston (16th April - 6th May, opening Friday 15th April, 6-9pm)
The UK Mexican Arts Society presents Clara Hastrup’s solo exhibition ‘Prickly Tunes’, featuring a site-specific immersive installation comprised of 400 cacti and a complex network of cables and computers that can only be experienced in time and space. 
‘20 (What Now?)’ Group Exhibition - PM/AM, Fitzrovia (20th April - 17th May, opening Tuesday 19th April, 6-9pm)
PM/AM presents ‘What Now?’, a large scale exhibition series that brings together a diverse group of visionaries leading artistic innovations into the future. The series aims to present the deepening of nuance and connection that binds today’s contemporary art, emphasising the central role painting plays in bridging other mediums.
Featured artists will include: Umar Rashid, Paul Anthony Smith, Karyn Lyons, James Ulmer, Chris Hood, Jon Pilkington, Sam Jablon, Rob Ober, Monsieur Zohore, Kathia St Hilaire, Ry David Bradley, Jenny Bronsinki, JJ Manford, Tanya ling, Mevlana Lipp, Shaan Tariq Hassan Syed, Pamela Evelyn, Francesca Mollet, Okiki Akinfe, Remi Ajani, Alexis Ralaivao, Michael & Chiyan Ho, Alfie Caine, Katherine Bickmore, Kate Pincus Whitney, Caroline Eleanor Absher (above), Danilee Roberts, Mario Moore, S Ming Ying, Xiao Wang, Alessandro Fogo, Oliver Sterling, Kiki Wang, Victor Ubah, Matthew Eguavoen, Shadi Al Atalah, Mia Middleton, Jamie Williams, Gal Schindler, Pamela Evelyn, Shadi Al-Atallah, Richard Burton and Jospeh Baraka. 
Artist Opportunities:
The North Devon Artist Residency was founded in 2018 and is open to artists in all media at all stages of their careers. Its aim is to create a body of work inspired by and engaging with north Devon and the village of Combe Martin. North Devon Artist Residency is offering a month-long residency during 2022 or 2023. The aim of the residency is to build a body of contemporary artworks which engage with north Devon and the village of Combe Martin, where the residency is based.
They are currently specifically seeking proposals that take the medieval church in Combe Martin as its subject. They envisage that the residency will be offered to a photographer (most likely) who will be able to take a creative and contemporary approach to documenting the interior and exterior of St Peter’s church in a fresh and exciting way. Whilst They think that a photography proposal is most likely to be selected, they are also very open to proposals in painting, drawing, sculpture, craft – as long as they are original, innovative and explicitly contemporary!
To mark their 1 year anniversary, Liliya Art Gallery are delighted to announce their first Open Call. It is completely free to enter, all you have to do is email pictures of your work (max three per artist) with information (medium, dimensions, price) and a short bio. Selected artists will have their works featured in their first Open Call exhibition opening 27th May 2022.
Applications are now open for The Drawing Year, Royal Drawing School’s one-year postgraduate-level course offering up to thirty students the opportunity to focus on drawing from observation. There are no tuition fees – all students are awarded a full scholarship and receive a free personal studio space (SPACE studios, Hackney) from which they can continue to work on the development of their practice alongside taught courses. The programme is taught by a distinguished faculty of over 75 practicing artists offering in-depth quality tuition. Royal Drawing School sees drawing both as an end in itself and in relation to other areas of practice.
The Waverton Art Prize is aimed at supporting artists all over the world by showcasing the very best in contemporary art with a first prize of £10,000 and shortlisted work forming an exhibition at Alice’s Oyster Bar and Gallery in London for 2 months. The Waverton Art Prize is open to artists at all stages, whether already enrolled on a course, about to embark on undergraduate or post-graduate studies, self-taught artists, recent graduates and those who have studied at any time. The selection will lean more towards unrepresented artists and those who have not shown at significant establishments, but artists who are exhibiting regularly and have shown at galleries will also be considered.
Kupfer Project Space x Hackney Impact & Ideas invite Hackney-based artists to apply for their newest residency programme. Between June and October 2022 Kupfer will host 4 underrepresented and socially underprivileged Hackney-based artists for a 3-month long residency where they will each develop both in practice and international recognition. Artists can either live in Hackney or have a studio in Hackney. During the 3 month residency, Kupfer will support the artists through: Access to an individual studio space and our in-house workshop facilities; monthly grants paid to the artist in salary style; a grant dedicated to funding art materials to be used during the residency; technical support and mentorship from the organisation’s staff and monthly one-to-one tutorials led by established artists, curators and researchers.
MASS Studio Programme was launched in October 2021 at MASS Studios at Thames-Side Studios, Woolwich, London, SE18 5NR. MASS is in the heart of the largest single-site community of artists and creatives in London. Working in collaboration with the London Sculpture Workshop they offer a number of on-site studio spaces and a flexible exhibition and talks space to enable us to build a sustainable community of peers and mentors. Participants join an open plan shared studio space at MASS Studios at Thames-Side Studios with 24/7 access, receive to 15 artists talks and access to visiting artist’s mentoring, 10 one-to-one regular mentoring sessions, 2 one-to-one guest mentoring sessions, 2 group mentoring sessions, 10 MASS Seminar Points & 2 group review sessions. The programme runs in three 12-weeks blocks across a 10 month period.
MASS Off-Site is an exciting new mentoring opportunity for London based sculptors who want to develop their practice through the same successful ethos employed by Turps Mentoring programmes and wish to remain working in their own studio. MASS Mentors visit sculptors in their own studios for one to one tutorials, and participants develop a supportive network of peers across London, through group studio visits to each other’s studios, crits based at Turps Gallery and attending MASS artist talks.
With further funding from The Fenton Arts Trust, the A.P.T & Fenton Arts Trust Mentoring Award, returns for a second year, to provide mentoring and free studio space for one year to two emerging artists or recent graduates, whose practice is focused on sculpture and installation. The awardees will receive studio space for a year, as well as advice and guidance on their fine art practice from a mentor. This mentoring will be provided by esteemed professional artists at APT: Victoria Rance and Sheila Vollmer. Starting in July 2022, this unique programme is designed to provide space and support during the period between education and professional life, with a collaborative one-to-one mentoring relationship.
Film London and Arts Council England present The FLAMIN Fellowship, a major scheme for early-career artist filmmakers living in England. Part of Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN), the Fellowship aims to support the most exciting, innovative and challenging moving image practices from filmmakers at the early stages of their careers, with development and funding for new work. The FLAMIN Fellowship offers a unique opportunity in developing professional artistic practice with a series of monthly workshops, which cover key areas including selling artwork, film festival strategy, writing funding applications, archiving your work, sound design, insurance, copyright and sustaining a practice.
Submissions are now open for the Village Books curated SCREW Gallery billboard. There is no theme. One image will be chosen, but applicants are welcome to submit up to 1-5 images of any medium of image-based artwork (photography, illustration, video stills, painting, collage etc) in portrait format to be displayed on the side of the gallery in Summer 2022. The selected artist will be paid an £80 fee for their participation, with all printing costs covered by Village/SCREW. The banner size is double A0 so a ratio of 1.414:1 however can be accommodated with a border or a tigger crop if the artist allows. Email all submissions as low-res jpegs with the heading ‘SCREW billboard submission’ to sam@villagebooks.co. This programme is supported with funding from Leeds Inspired, part of Leeds City Council 
Entry is now open for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2022. Open to all, it is the leading international competition and celebrates and promotes the very best in contemporary photography. The winner of the competition will receive £15,000. In addition, the judges, at their discretion, will award cash prizes to one or more of the shortlisted photographers. The prize winners and exhibition selection are judged on an equal and anonymous basis. In 2021 the exhibition was held at Cromwell Place and featured a total of 54 portraits from 25 artists.
Mass Correspondence Course is an innovative distance-learning programme of online mentoring facilitated through critical, supportive written reviews by a dedicated mentor. The course is aimed at sculptors based anywhere in the world and at any stage in their career who want to develop or reinvigorate their work, whether recently graduated from art school or those without any formal arts education. 
Turps Correspondence Course is an innovative programme of online mentoring facilitated through critical, supportive written reviews delivered by a dedicated mentor. The course is aimed at painters who want to develop or reinvigorate their work, whether recently graduated from art school, mid-career or those without any formal arts education. The course is designed and structured to be delivered entirely online so that painters, based anywhere in the world and at any stage in their career, can participate and receive informed, critical feedback from a mentor who is a practising painter selected by Turps. There are 5 review points throughout the year when you will be required to upload images of your work and a short statement or ‘letter’ to your mentor. Your mentor will then review what has been uploaded and write their response. It is a very different type of feedback from more conventional face-to-face tutorials but we believe this is what makes the correspondence course such an appealing and sought after professional development course.
V.O Residencies provide emerging and lesser represented artists with the time and space to research and develop new work. The 2022 V.O Residency Programme will host six artists across three sessions, inviting practitioners to experiment and create new work in an open and supportive environment. Residents are provided with free studio space, critical and practical support, the opportunity to present a solo exhibition, and access to useful resources and a broad network of individuals and organisations. V.O aims to bring together diverse voices and encourages applicants from all backgrounds. The V.O Residency Programme is focused on promoting artistic exchange, socially-focused discourse and knowledge production.
V.O Residencies are open to artists in their first five years of professional practice and with less than three solo exhibitions. Each resident is invited to present a solo exhibition or project at V.O Gallery, and will have the possibility of producing a publication or print project related to the work they have developed while in residence.
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Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator
Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator

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