Monday, 1 November 2010

BATTLESPACE - unrealities of war

Battlespace: The environment, factors and conditions, which must be understood to successfully apply combat power, protect the force, or complete the mission. This includes the air, land, sea, space, and the included enemy and friendly forces, facilities, weather, terrain, the electromagnetic spectrum, and information environment within the operational areas and areas of interest.
—US Department of Defense.

Battlespace, an exhibition of photographs from Afghanistan and Iraq that brings together the work of twenty-five photojournalists around the world, comes to London this November.

The exhibition presents an unsanitised view of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan to a public that has been shielded from disturbing images of war. Battlespace questions the perceptions, agendas, and narratives of the military and the media, and attempts to offer an unfiltered account from a group of photographers who saw it firsthand.

These photographs were made in Afghanistan and Iraq, but they don’t claim to depict either country. They are glimpses of an alternate reality built upon those countries. The images do not provide a comprehensive account of these wars, or an understanding of these nations or their peoples. They are fragments, seen in off-moments behind the walls of concrete super-bases, or outside them, through night-vision goggles and ballistic eye shields.

Counter insurgency theory, once again fashionable, holds that the prize of modern warfare is not the territory but the minds of the population within. The battlespace is not solely defined by map lines or grid squares, but also in the areas of perception and illusion. In this shifting, human terrain, there are no facts or truths, only competing agendas. Messages are shaped and transmitted, from bunkered press officers to journalists who report from behind blast-walls and cubicle partitions. Unpleasant, complex, or off-message images are filtered by both sides, and war stories are recycled through the echo chamber. Battlespace aims to present unfiltered and uncensored images and thereby give the viewer a real opportunity to discover, for themselves, the realities of war.

BATTLESPACE – unrealities of war
Photographs from Afghanistan and Iraq by
Andrew Cutraro, Ashley Gilbertson, Balazs Gardi, Ben Lowy, Christoph Bangert, Eros Hoagland, Ghaith Abdul Ahad, Guy Calaf, Jason Howe, Jehad Nga, Lucian Read, Luke Wolagiewicz, Moises Saman, Petervan Agtmael, Rita Leistner, Stefan Zaklin, Stephanie Sinclair, Teru Kuwayama , Yuri Kozyrev

Battlespace runs from November 9th to 30th 2010 at Great Western Studios, 55, Alfred Road, London W2 5EU. Monday – Friday: 10am – 6pm, Saturday & Sunday: Noon – 5pm

Battlespace will be accompanied by a programme of talks, film, poetry and Q&A events related to the exhibition and its subjects. Details TBA – Watch this space for full details:

For further information, please contact / 07984 462 358 or / 07814 862 834 ,

Teru Kurayama, the show’s original curator and a participating photographer is available for interview until Nov 8th, when he’ll be traveling back to Afghanistan.

In association with the Photography Course and Media & Communication Department at Coventry University, Great Western Studios & The Frontline Club

Monday, 18 January 2010

EPOH BEECH: 'The Marriage of the Thames and the Rhine'

For Epoh Beech’s latest solo exhibition in London, the accomplished fine artist has created 45 ethereal charcoal drawings, and a hand drawn animation, inspired by Wagner’s The Ring, and Francis Beaumont’s 17th Century tome The Masque of the Inner Temple and Gray’s Inn, Gray’s Inn and The Inner Temple: This Jacobean ‘masque’ was performed at Whitehall Palace in 1613, forming an integral part of the nuptials of the daughter of King James I to Frederick V. The pairing was a metaphorical marriage of Germany with England, and a symbolic union of the Thames and the Rhine.

Beech’s drawings are an investigation into the historic relationship between the Rhine and the Thames. Central characters in Beech’s narrative are Hermes, in the form of a seal, and Pegasus the mythological horse, both bearing witness to the voyage of the imagination, unhindered by the straightjacket of history and time.

An expert draughtsman who trained as a fine artist at Studio Simi in Florence, Beech’s drawings posses an innate romanticism which betrays literary influences such as Goethe, and a passion for music which has encompassed 9 years of violin practice and a passion for Wagnerian compositions. William Kentridge, Anselm Keifer and Samuel Palmer have also been powerful influences on Beech’s practice. The use of charcoal to create such heady imagery is symbolic, and highlights the transformation of dark matter into the light, with a debt to the 15th artists of the Italian renaissance that Beech came across during her studies in Florence.

The fragile, spindly trees featured in Siegfried in the forest are reminiscent of Klimt’s nature paintings, whilst the moonlit mountains described in Pfalzgrafenstein Island evoke the German Romanticist Caspar David Friedrich. Beech has made a natural progression from the series of still narratives, to a 3-minute animation. The animation will be projected in the gallery, and forms a perfect visual compliment to the series of charcoals.

The animation has a dual meaning; it is both symbolic meditation on a journey into the unknown through the eyes of Pegasus and the seal, both on a quest to heal old wounds and create a sense of unity in their universe; and also an exploration of the geographical history of the Thames and Rhine, which at the end of the last ice age formed one single river. Pegasus not only represents justice and wisdom, but also acts as a muse to the Poets.

Beech is currently creating 8 murals in the crypt of St Luke’s Church in London’s Sydney Street. Beech’s training in Florence has infused her work with a Florentine tinge, whilst there is a strong use of narrative, combined with an investigation into the relationship between images, colour and the subconscious. Beech also studied in Cheltenham and London, trained as a specialist painter with Jim Smart, a pioneer of the specialist painting trade, and spent 4 years at Chelsea School of Art. Beech currently lives and works in London, out of the ACAVA studios in West London.

The meditative quality of Beech’s drawings is perhaps a result of the time she spent at a Tibetan Monastery, and her studies in Art Psychotherapy. Previous exhibitions include; Shakespeare and Globe theatre (1998 Shakespeare poem exhibited in Oxford at OUP); Walking 600 miles to Santiago de Compostella across Spain (2002 exhibition); Walking along the Rhine from source (on going) (2004 exhibition). Beech has spent time working in a hospice and prison as an art teacher, has an MA in Art Therapy, and runs art workshops.

2-7 March, 2010
50 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DP

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10am-6pm
Thursday 10am-8.30pm
Saturday 12-7pm
Sunday 12-5pm

Friday, 6 November 2009

Watch This Space Young & Emerging Artists Auction at The Special Yoga Centre on 8 December 2009


‘Watch This Space’ Young and Emerging Artists Charity auction
at The Special Yoga Centre

Tuesday 8 December 2009

Photographs courtesy of Michael Xuereb

Over the past 3 years, The Special Yoga centre has hosted charity art auctions of artworks by some of the country’s most celebrated contemporary Artists including; Damien Hirst, Sam Taylor-Wood, Peter Blake, Marc Quinn, Ollly & Suzi and Natasha Law. The last auction, introduced by Samantha Cameron, and hosted by Gabbi Roslin, raised a staggering £100,000, even more amazing since this event took place in the midst of an economic downturn. A Christie’s auctioneer auctioned off some exquisite pieces, including a spot painting and etchings by Hirst.

The success of these auctions was the catalyst for an auction that champions the next generation of YBA’s. On November 26, arts organisation ‘Watch This Space’, who curate exhibitions of talented emerging Artists, will organise the first Special Yoga Centre auction of young artists. This will not only give collectors a chance to discover some hot new artists, and support their practice by purchasing their work, it will also raise much needed funds for the Special Yoga Centre.

Yoga expert and co-author of ‘The Spiritual Teachings of Yoga’ Jo Manuel founded the Special Yoga Centre in 2004 as a charitable organization supporting children with a variety of conditions, which can be aided by the practice of yoga. Children with Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, ADD, ADHD and other physical and developmental difficulties all benefit from the expert teaching offered at the Special Yoga Centre, whose policy is to offer yoga to all without regard to financial or cultural constraints. Children from all walks of life, including the late son of shadow Prime Minister David Cameron, have benefited from the care and teaching of the Special Yoga Centre.

Artists featuring in the auction will include; Andrew Campbell, Ann-Marie James, Arran Gregory, Ben Jenkins, Best One, Cereinyn Ord, Daisy de Villeneuve, Elliott Young, Epoh Beech, Eugene Wood, Graham Hudson, Harry Malt, Ilaria Conte, Izzie Klingels, Jim Cooper, Julie Umerle, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Konrad Wyrebek, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry & Peter Harris, Lee Jones, Louise Richardson, Mat Pringle, Matilda Temperley, Max Parsons, Monkey Punch III, Niall O’Brien, Nick Cunard, Nick Jensen, Peter Edwards, Ricky Adam, Robin Clare, Sam Szulc, Sarah Cooney, Sarah Kate Wilson, Sara le Roy, Sky Sharrock, Sohrab and Suzie Wright.

An Auctioneer from one of the leading Auction Houses will take the auction, with a special celebrity host getting the crowd going. Therefore this event provides an excellent opportunity for collectors to discover exciting young Artists. It will also aid the career of these young Artists (who will receive a percentage of the proceeds), and allow the Special Yoga Centre to continue it’s invaluable practice with the aid of the auction proceeds

Committee members are; Damian Barr – The Times; Jonni Fitzgerald – Fashion Stylist; Lucy Meakin – All Visual Arts; Meritaten Mance – Mance & Rose PR; Tiger Savage – Creative Director, M&C Saatchi; Iram Qurashi – Cultural Consultant; Irshaard Ibrahim – Director of Sleep Clinic; Paddy Barstow – ART MOSH; Rachael Barratt – Kultureflash Art Editor; Sydney Levinson – Rhodes & Rhodes.

The last auction at the Special Yoga Centre was featured in the Evening Standard, London Paper, Daily Express and Daily Mail. Watch This Space will curate the auction and take care of the PR. Watch This Space have already been featured by BBC News, New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Evening Standard, Amelia’s Magazine, MySpace, Art Daily and The London Paper.

For further information go to or contact Lee Johnson on
or Bakul Patki on bakul@watch-this

Or Rebecca Ward, Events Co-ordinator of The Special Yoga Centre on

Exhibition venue: The Special Yoga Centre, The Tay Building, 2a Wrentham Avenue London NW10 3HA

Date: Tuesday 8 December, 2009

Saturday, 1 August 2009

DIY LONDON SEEN - An Exhibition inspired by the Artists featured in ‘BEAUTIFUL LOSERS’

An Exhibition inspired by the Artists featured in ‘BEAUTIFUL LOSERS’

'DIY London Seen' will be closed on August Bank Holiday Monday

DIY LONDON SEEN - An exhibition documenting the work of, and inspired by, the Artists featured in Aaron Rose's 'Beautiful Losers' will take place in the heart of London’s Covent Garden this summer; an area committed to supporting emerging new talent. The exhibition will coincide with the film's UK release at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) and its subsequent DVD release.

DIY LONDON SEEN will include work by Ivory Serra and Cheryl Dunn, who photographed the origins and rise of the Alleged Gallery and its Artists in the US, alongside a group of emerging Artists living and working in London, who are currently creating work with a similar freedom of spirit. Harmony Korine, Ed Templeton, Mark Gonzales, Barry McGee, Shepard Fairey, Jo Jackson, Thomas Campbell, Deanna Templeton, Stephen Powers, Chris Johanson, Mike Mills and the late Margaret Kilgallen were part of a seminal artistic movement in 1990’s American suburbia, creating their own artistic subculture and a unique form of ‘outsider’ art that laid a foundation for many young artists working all over the world today. Their doodles and artistic experiments began on the streets of their individual hometowns as a sideline to the skate and drug culture that was part of their teenage years, often in the form of graffiti, signs or tags on trains. Having been brought together by Aaron Rose in his now legendary ‘Alleged Gallery’ in New York, their powerful artworks were soon making their mark not only in the US but across the globe; becoming an inspiration for a new generation of Artists working all over the world today.

Curated by Bakul Patki and Lee Johnson of ‘Watch This Space’, the show ‘DIY London Seen’ brings together twenty young Artists, whose work encapsulates a similar naivety, freedom and energy to that of the original ‘Beautiful Losers’, and a shared willing to create art for art’s sake. Whether they be painters, photographers, illustrators, sculptors or filmmakers, the Artists have in common an inbuilt passion to produce work that is neither defined by the art market, nor any factor other than the desire to express their innate creativity; reflecting the society they inhabit and the emotions they experience, through their preferred artistic medium.

Artists contributing to DIY LONDON SEEN include; Arran Gregory, Aidan O’Neill, Best One, Chrissie Abbott, Clare Shilland, Charlie Woolley, Cheryl Dunn, Gustav Svanborg Edén, Graham Hudson, Harry Malt, Ivory Serra, Jethro Haynes, Marc Silver, Marcus Oakley, Niall O’Brien, Nick Jensen, Robin Clare, Sam Ashley and Toby Shuall.

Five Artists were also selected from a ‘Beautiful Losers’ MySpace competition to exhibit their artwork in ‘DIY London Seen’. The winning Artists are; Ricky Adams, Rita Bored, XXXXXX, Mat Pringle and Sam Szulc.

The exhibition forms part of Covent Garden’s Art Tank movement, which provides gallery space in the heart of the West End to diverse forms of art. Recent partners also include the London Miles collective who exhibited the innovative new-to-London LOWBROW movement in the Market Building, as well as RCA graduate Matthew Plummer-Fernandez who displayed his work ‘Ink on Paper’. From the birth of some of the UK’s most prolific design studios in Neal Street in the 1960’s, to hip hop and graffiti events outside the Royal Opera House in the ‘80s, there is a long history of support for emerging artistic talent in the area; in recent years Covent Garden London has supported emerging talent such as from Fashion Fringe and the Design Festival, as well as partnerships with institutions and collectives such as Designer’s Block and Somerset House.

DIY LONDON SEEN hopes to illustrate the growth of the movement inspired by the ‘Beautiful Losers’, which is now a global phenomenon, by showcasing the work of local artists whose work takes the ethos of the Alleged gallery Artists and runs with it.

DIY LONDON SEEN runs from 17th August - 5th September 2009 at 11, The Market Building, Covent Garden, London WC2 8RF. Opening Hours - Monday - Saturday 11am-7pm, SUnday 11am - 5pm. CLOSED BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY (AUGUST 31st).
The Exhibition space has been kindly provided by Covent Garden London

For further information and press enquires on DIY LONDON SEEN, please contact Bakul or Lee at /
07984 462 358 / 07814 862 834

BEAUTIFUL LOSERS is released by Revolver Entertainment on 7th August and runs exclusively at the ICA until 24th August, DVD is release on 24th August.
For press enquiries please contact

In association with Revolver Entertainment, ICA and Covent Garden London

With thanks to Anthony Stewart Guest LTD, 173 Whitecross Street
EC1Y 8JT and Bayeux, 78 Newman Street, W1T 3EP


New York Times


Evening Standard'slack+space'+to+creative+projects/


Art Daily

Organ Art

Urban Junkies

The Art Collectors


London Paper

Images by Aidan O'Neill, Arran Gregory, Charlie Woolley, Cheryl Dunn, Chrissie Abbott, Ivory Serra, Marcus Oakley, Nick Jensen, Robin Clare, Sam Ashley, Kieron Lee, Ricky Adam and Rita Gomes

Installation shots and pictures from the private view of 'DIY London Seen'.
Photographs copyright Joshua Millais