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The Shock of the Now - Issue #52

Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator
Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator
Afternoon All,
I hope you’re all well and welcome to Issue 52 of The Shock of the Now.
As we hit the first year anniversary of the newsletter, I’ve decided to refrain from a Featured Exhibition text and instead mark this milestone by reflecting upon the past fifty-two issues and offering some overdue words of thanks. Fear not, however, as there are still six weekly Recommended Exhibitions and four fresh Artist Opportunities, should you wish to scroll past my ponderings.
I began this newsletter primarily as an avenue to self-publish short write-ups of exhibitions that I particularly enjoyed, unbeholden to editors or commissioners, and to highlight artists whose work I adore and is deserving of all attention. Since beginning The Shock of the Now in July 2021, I’ve published a total of fifty texts, covering forty-one solo exhibitions, four group exhibitions, four two-person shows and even one Milanese art fair. I’m pleased that these texts have been able to spotlight over sixty artists across thirty-eight gallery spaces spanning the length and breadth of London. The newsletter has also offered me the opportunity to present a weekly curated selection of recommended upcoming exhibitions, and compile a collection of active artist opportunities. 
Of course, none of the above has been done alone, and I want to thank you all for subscribing, reading, replying and sharing over this past year, your continued support and thoughtful engagement with this newsletter has always been greatly appreciated. My thanks also to Saskia for her initial encouragement of the project; to everyone at Collective Ending for their ongoing support and advice; and to all the artists, curators and gallerists who have warmly received my writing!
I’ll now be having a short break from the newsletter, but The Shock of the Now will return in a month or so, I imagine in the same, or similar, format and frequency. In the meantime, you can follow me on Instagram for daily coverage of current exhibitions, as well as weekly upcoming exhibition recommendations. Additionally, all previous issues of the newsletter are available via Revue or my own website, should you wish to re-read!
As always, I hope you enjoy Issue 52, and if so do forward it along! Any questions, comments or feedback are welcome, so feel free to get in touch.
All the best, and speak soon, H x

Recommended Exhibitions Opening This Week:
‘Introducing: Nuno Gil, Dene Leigh, Lydia Makin and Ioana Maria Sisea’ Group Exhibition - rosenfeld, Fitzrovia (3rd August - 8th October, opening Wednesday 3rd August, 6:30-8:30)
Gallery rosenfeld presents four emerging artists: Nuno Gil (above), Dene Leigh, Lydia Makin and Ioana Maria Sisea as their next exhibition. The gallery has selected these contemporary voices because of the originality of their language combined with the desire to open up the gallery space to a new group of artists.
‘Wave’ Group Exhibition - Cob Gallery, Camden (5th - 14th August, opening Thursday 4th August, 6-9pm)
Women + Health charity, Cob Gallery, and Women + Health ambassador and curator Elizabeth Neilson are excited to present a summer fundraising exhibition of women and non-binary artists in support of the Camden-based charity and its vital services. 
Women + Health has been supporting isolated and vulnerable women, including those who are survivors of domestic violence and rape, for over 30 years and provides essential services including counselling, holistic physical therapies, and wellbeing support. The charity has offered a lifeline to local women, helping them overcome multiple health challenges, but the impact of Covid-19 has brought extra financial pressures. Domestic violence soared during the pandemic, highlighting the necessity of and putting a strain on the safe spaces and services of Women + Health. 
Euphrosyne Andrews - ‘Digitalis Purpurea’ Solo Exhibition - Plumbing Wine, De Beauvoir (4th - 25th August, opening Thursday 4th August, 6-9pm)
Plumbing Wine presents Euphrosyne Andrews‘ latest solo exhibition 'Digitalis Purpurea’, opening this Thursday, August 4th, 6-9pm at GPS 51°32'15.1"N 0°04'57.3"W (The Park, 14 Balmes Rd, N1 5SW) before continuing at its original location at GPS 51°32'14.1"N 0°04'54.7"W (Whitmore Bridge, Kingsland Towpath, E14 7HS) until August 25th.
“Gardens are peculiar, hybrid spaces: part private, part public. In one sense they appear to exist as part of the public realm:…they are conceived and constructed as partially private extensions of the home dwelling. Gardens are located close to spaces within the home which have been conceived as private, domestic, ‘feminine’ zones - the kitchen and the dining area for example. On the other hand, the garden is an interface between the privacy of the house and the civic property of the street. It is a space onto which others can look, examine and judge” - Lisa Taylor, 2008. A Taste for Gardening: Class and Gendered Perspectives.
Daisy Harvey & Flora Hunt - ‘I Should Coco’ Collaborative Exhibition - Staffordshire St, Peckham (5th - 14th August, opening Thursday 4th August, 6-9pm)
Staffordshire St presents a collaborative exhibition by Daisy Harvey and Flora Hunt; I Should Coco is centred around a site-specific inlaid lino dancefloor, and a participatory country dance event. 
The exhibition explores collective play and choreographed movement through a physical environment, combining Daisy’s interest in social choreography and performance with Flora’s thinking around ritual, storytelling, and collectivism. Harvey and Hunt use directional shapes to guide visitors’ movements across the floor of the gallery space. Repeating motifs, surreal props and written slogans present fragments of a fantastical narrative.
‘Pure Class’ Group Exhibition - Royal College of Art Working-Class Collective at St. John on Bethnal Green Church, Bethnal Green (6th - 14th August, opening Friday 5th August, 6-9pm)
RCA Working-Class Collective, which supports and promotes working-class artists and designers at the Royal College of Art, presents their Summer Show 2022 ‘Pure Class’, a collaborative exhibition with Working Class Creatives Database,  at St. John on Bethnal Green Church.
A diverse spectrum of artists, who identify as working-class, will exhibit ambitious work ranging from paintings to 3D renderings. The exhibition celebrates the solidarity between artists whose backgrounds and social classes have created unseen struggles that are rarely acknowledged. ‘Pure Class’ challenges the perception of the working-class identity as uncultured, undesirable and pitiable, by reclaiming the identity and celebrating working-class artists.
Image - Eleanor McLean, ‘how many pennies do I need to collect before I get good luck?’, Mixed media installation, 2022
‘The material substance of their origin⁣’ - A project by Hannah Lees & May Hands⁣ - Collective Ending HQ, Deptford (5th - 7th August, opening Friday 5th August, 6-8pm)
Collective Ending presents ‘The material substance of their origin’, a project by Hannah Lees & May Hands hosted at Collective Ending HQ.
Lughnasad, or Lughnassadh is halfway between the Summer Solstice (Lithia) and the Autumn Equinox (Mabon). Lugh was the Celtic God of Craftsmanship and Skill, known as the “many-skilled God”. The festival celebrates the Harvest and the sacrifice of the Grain God; Death and Rebirth. There are also links to the Grain Mother (Ceres, Demeter, Corn Mother) and John Barleycorn – the living spirit of the corn or grain.
Artist Opportunities:
Sarabande Studios are more than just a studio space. They are a place of community and collaboration where the unique vision of each artist is supported. Being a part of Sarabande does not only guarantee a heavily subsidised studio space but also communication with leading journalists, curators, collectors, fashion designers, artists and photographers - all eager to know about your creative discipline, vision, and bring you to the forefront of the public eye. With bespoke business mentoring, pro-bono support from expert accountants and lawyers, networking opportunities and with added support in press, marketing, filming and documentation. The studios range from 50sq. ft to 350sq. ft and are priced at £1 per sq. ft per month. The cost includes all utilities, use of communal spaces & equipment, free professional services, bespoke mentoring and free access to all events at the foundation.
The National Portrait Gallery is inviting proposals from emerging artists and creatives to become their Digital Artist in Residence for Black History Month (1-31 October 2022). The Gallery would work with the selected artist to produce three pieces of digital content on our social media channels that shares stories of Black history and heritage, and spotlights the artist’s response to our Collection. This would form part of the Gallery’s wider digital content throughout the year, which amplifies the stories of Black history in the Collection, and this residency would mark the start of an ongoing relationship with the artist, who we’d look to collaborate with on future pieces of digital content. The artist would receive a fixed fee of £2000 (approximately 7 days of work), for their participation in the residency, with the work taking place throughout September 2022, to then be shared on the Gallery’s social channels in October 2022.
The South Bermondsey Art Trail is a 2-day event of open studios, exhibitions, screenings, performances, parties and events celebrating the creatives working in South Bermondsey. Organised by Sid Motion Gallery and Charlie Billingham, the trail aims to celebrate the local area and the brilliant creatives working within it. All local artists and creatives are invited to participate by opening their doors to visitors on Friday 26th and Saturday 27th August 2022 between 12-6pm. If you would like to be included please submit the following information to
Your full name. Your studio address (plus any additional access information). A sentence or short blurb about your work and an image that illustrates your creative practice. Please note, the organisers might use this image on the South Bermondsey Art Trail Instagram page to announce your participation. Once you have submitted your information, your inclusion will be listed on a printed map which visitors can follow when attending the Art Trail.
San Mei Gallery are looking for exhibition proposals from artists, creatives, designers, architects and makers (solo or groups) with research-based practices to stage an exhibition in their Brixton-based gallery in 2023. San Mei is an independent space for contemporary art in South London, committed to research-led, educational and collaborative exchanges. Operating with an artist-led approach, they support artists and curators to experiment with new ideas. The gallery promotes and facilitates emerging artistic practice, through exhibitions, residencies, studios and events. This Open Call is looking for three exhibitions to be held at San Mei Gallery in 2023, which will be selected by the San Mei Gallery curatorial team.
Delphian Gallery is hosting an international artist residency for two artists, including a two-week stay in a luxury gîte in rural France to create work, flights and transfers to France, accommodation and studio space, and a 500€ budget each for materials.
The competition is open to all artists, from anywhere in the world, working in any medium. To submit your work all you have to do is post it on Instagram or TikTok, Hashtag posts with #delphianresidency, Tag @delphiangallery in the description & Follow Delphian Gallery.
The East London Art Prize is an all-media art prize designed to showcase the talent of artists working and living in east London, with an accompanying event programme supporting artists’ careers and opportunities. Proudly sponsored by Minerva, the winner receives a career-changing cash prize of £15,000 and a solo exhibition at Bow Arts’ Nunnery Gallery. The runner-up second prize is a year’s studio space with Bow Arts. 
The prize is open to any artist living or working within an ‘E’ postcode, encompassing E1-E20, SE1-SE28 and EC1-EC4. Submitting artists should hold an arts degree, equivalent arts qualification or be able to show demonstrable commitment to their artistic practice. Artist collectives/joint submissions are accepted. All media types are accepted, including (but not limited to!) painting, print, drawing, sculpture, digital, film, audio, ceramics, textiles and performance.
Three unique organisations are collaborating to provide a significant platform and stepping stone for new artists. Now in its third iteration, The Robert Walters Group UK New Artist of the Year Award in collaboration with Saatchi Gallery will discover and champion exceptional artists who are representative of contemporary Britain. For 2022, the award is interested in works which address the theme, ‘The Unimagined Future’. It has been noted that 85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet, what else has yet to be thought about? What else has yet to be invented? Where will creative thought and ideas be in the next decade, what needs to change?
The 10 shortlisted artists’ work will be exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London for a VIP awards evening, as well as in a virtual gallery space, online for one month following the award. First Award: £10,000 cash prize & The winner’s work will be shown at the Robert Walters Group head office for a period of 12 months following the award. Second Award: £5,000 cash prize. People’s Choice Award: Decided by a public vote during the virtual exhibition 11th November - 10th January and announced on Thursday 12th January. The winner will have the opportunity to take part in one of UK New Artists’ international presentations.
Spike Island and Creative Youth Network are pleased to invite applications from UK-based artists for the second edition of the Engagement Fellowship for Artists. This is an exciting opportunity for an artist to mentor and work in collaboration with a group of 3-4 emerging artists to create a new commission for Spike Island’s Project Space or digital channels. The selected candidate will guide the emerging artists through the practical aspects of creating a new commission.
The successful applicant will receive: A £5,000 fee to mentor and develop a new Engagement commission in collaboration with 3-4 alumni from Creative Youth Network’s Creative Futures programme; A £8,000 production budget towards making the Engagement commission in collaboration with the emerging artists, including travel to and accommodation in Bristol; A free studio space at Spike Island for 12-months, from October 2022 to September 2023; Support and mentorship from Spike Island’s Programme team; Annual membership to our Spike Island Associates programme which offers free access to regular talks, one-to-ones with artists, critics and curators, and other opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and support.
The new commission will be presented to the public in autumn 2023, either in Spike Island’s Project Space, or on our website and online channels (depending on the format/medium).
M&C Saatchi, in collaboration with Saatchi Gallery, have launched a new international art initiative – the annual Art for Change Prize. As part of a shared mission in making art, culture, and creativity accessible to everyone, this free-to-enter prize is a celebration of emerging artistic talent. It will highlight and stimulate dialogue around visual arts as a medium for positive global and social change and give exposure to emerging artists worldwide.
Artists must be aged 18 or over and within the first five years of what they hope to be a successful artistic career. Accepted media includes painting, drawing, illustration, photography, collage, 2D mixed-media, video or film. Submitted works must creatively respond to the theme ‘Equality’ and have been executed since 1 January 2020.
A total prize fund of £20,000 will be split between six regional winners, five to receive £2,000 each and one overall winner to receive £10,000. All artists will exhibit their winning works in a dedicated exhibition at Saatchi Gallery in London, a recognised authority in contemporary art, where the overall winner will be announced on Wednesday 7 December 2022.
Lewisham Arthouse is a 25-year-old artist-run cooperative based in South East London. Continuing their commitment to supporting emerging artists, Lewisham Arthouse announced the 10th round of their Graduate Studio Award Scheme and invite all recent London-based (or those relocating) graduate visual artists to apply. The award offers recent graduates a fantastic, free opportunity to continue developing their practice in a 200ft studio based within their artist-led cooperative. The scheme encourages the selected artist to utilise Lewisham Arthouse’s facilities, and participate in or draw on their lively community to produce and present new work. Towards the end of the scheme, the awardee will be invited to share the outcomes of the residency in a form of their choosing.
The Michael O’Pray Prize is an award for new writing on innovation and experimentation in the moving image. The prize is open to all early-career writers based in the UK and is free to apply to. Applicants are invited to send a proposal or pitch for a new text, alongside an example of previous writing. Three of the applicants will be selected to realise the proposed text and awarded £500 first prize and £250 for two special mentions. All three texts will be published by Art Monthly and FVU.
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Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator
Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator

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