Young Art Star Emily Mulenga on Show at Firstsite, Colchester

Taking Up Space, the debut solo exhibition by the emerging British artist Emily Mulenga at Firstsite, Colchester, features a series of Mulenga’s video works as well animated GIFS and personalised emojis – or in the artist’s terms – MulengaMojis.

Emily Mulenga, 4 Survival 4 Pleasure (still image), 2, 2017. Courtesy of the artist
Emily Mulenga, 4 Survival 4 Pleasure (still image), 2, 2017. Courtesy of the artist.

Mulenga uses her own image within her work to assert ownership over the way it is viewed online. Through her works, Mulenga positions her filmed self or animated avatar in vivid virtual environments. The title of the exhibition, Taking Up Space, refers to the way in which the physical or digital body can be a productive and positive site of artistic investigation.

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Disco Ball Soul: ArtAttack Interviews Emma Elizabeth Tillman

Opening on 11 August 2017 is photographer Emma Elizabeth Tillman’s debut solo show entitled Disco Ball Soul. The exhibition, consisting of more than 90 collages created over a ten-year period, is an accumulation of photographs and texts taken from her new book of the same title. Tillman began this body of work in 2007, recording precious moments, including her meeting of her now husband Josh.

1. Louisville, Kentucky, 2012 © Emma Elizabeth Tillman, by courtesy of the artist.jpg
Louisville, Kentucky, 2012 © Emma Elizabeth Tillman, by courtesy of the artist

ArtAttack caught up with Emma to find out more about her thoughts on film, travel and making the private public.

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‘An elegant dance’ between poetry and art: Robert Perkins’s ‘The Written Image’

Thursday 24th May sees the opening of Robert Perkins: The Written Image at Benjamin Spademan Rare Books, the first of a two-part exhibition of the American artist’s 45-year collaboration with poets.

From Seamus Heaney to Allen Ginsberg, Perkins has worked with the best of the best when it comes to the world of poetry. In fact, his journey began back in the 1970’s when he was a student at Harvard University and took poet, Elizabeth Bishop’s creative writing seminar. Perkins explains that when he told Bishop that he’d always wanted to be an artist, she wrote out a copy of her poem The Fish and asked him to illustrate it.

This assignment launched The Written Image, which Perkins describes as ‘self-portraits of the poet in the moment.’ To begin a work, he takes the poet’s hand-written text and then melds it with his own imagery, thus constructing a visual representation around the words.

11. Robert Perkins, Jon Galassi, Knot, 2000 © Robert Perkins. Courtesy the Artist and Benjamin Spademan Rare Books. Photo by Louie Fasciolo.jpg
Robert Perkins, Jon Galassi, Knot, 2000 © Robert Perkins. Courtesy the Artist and Benjamin Spademan Rare Books. Photo by Louie Fasciolo

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Brexit themed art show opening in Fitzrovia this Friday – We interview the artist, Tarek Sebastian Al-shammaa

On Friday 19th May Gallery DIFFERENT will present 35-year-old contemporary painter, Tarek Sebastian Al-shammaa’s debut solo show Fall of Europe II (until 22nd May).

We at ArtAttack stumbled upon Tarek’s artwork last year and have been great admirers of his painting practice ever since. His painterly use of space is quite extraordinary, filling the canvas with symbols and figures that tell stories of our world within the greater context of mythology. Each tiny element he chooses to include says something powerful. No iconography is wasted.

Thanksgiving, 2017, Acrylic and oil on canvas, 200 x 200 cm.png
Thanksgiving, 2017, Acrylic and oil on canvas, 200 x 200 cm

The artist’s main practice is history painting as he explores historical and mythological subject matter juxtaposing it with the harsh realities contemporary Western society. Within each of the epic paintings he presents the viewer with poignant psychological insight into his  own  life  and  heritage;  Al-­shammaa  is  half  French  and  half  Iraqi, and  so  has  found  himself  straddling two oft-­opposing cultures throughout his life.

Recurring  themes  across  the  young  artist’s  paintings  include  consumerism,  war, love,  lust  and  political  oppression,  as  well  as  the  opposition  and  even  conflict  of Western  and  non-­Western  culture  and  ideals.  In  the  body  of  work on view,  Al­shammaa  depicts  everything  from  iconic  myths like that of the Tower of Babel to mythical iconography such as Mother Earth, all within a present-day context.

ArtAttack contributor, Franzi Gabbert, had the chance to interview Al-shammaa in regards to his upcoming exhibition as well as his general practice.

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Sisters Doing It For Themselves: Brains & Lip Takeover at CNB Gallery

Monday 24th April sees the private view of Brains & Lip Takeover at East London’s emerging art hotspot, CNB Gallery. The all-woman exhibition, which showcases the work of nine fantastic artists, is curated by Claire Orme and Alice Steffen, the creative duo behind Brains & Lip.

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Controversial, brash and witty, the artworks on view challenge and reclaim what it means to be a woman in contemporary society. The subversive painting, illustration and sculpture that feature in the exhibition explore discourses of identity, sexuality and female empowerment, resisting the restrictive expectations of the elitist, patriarchal art world.

Jess De Wahls, Consent, 2016, Fabric, 52 x 58 x 5cm.jpg
Jess de Wahls, Consent, 2016

We were thrilled to be able to speak with the two visionaries behind the ‘takeover’ in advance of next week’s exhibition.

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‘[Art is] my armour in this world, fighting against all the sput’: ArtAttack Interviews Lilias Buchanan

Inspired by the Richard Brautigan cult classic, Sombrero Fallout: A Japanese Novel, young artist Lilias Buchanan has created a series of exquisitely detailed paintings to be debuted at Shapero Modern from 29th March – 11th April, 2017.

After reading Brautigan’s 1976 novel, Lilias became almost obsessed by the narrative, stopping people in the street who resembled its characters and practically buying eBay out of sombrero postcards. The result is this upcoming exhibition of technical, charming and at times chilling artworks.

Familiar desert landscapes intertwine with striking elements of collage and pencil drawings depicting strange encounters. Not having read the book makes it a bit tricky to figure out what’s going on, but somehow at the same time seems to make the work all the more intriguing.

We were delighted to be able to speak with Lilias about her practice, this body of work and what’s to come for the London-based artist, whose work is already in the collection of HRH the Prince of Wales.

PhantomsandFantasies

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Investigating the ‘Other’: Ben Edge ‘FOLK RENAISSANCE’ at CNB Gallery

Camden-based artist Ben Edge talked to us last week about his debut solo exhibition, Folk Renaissance – an ode to the detail and craft often found in Folk and Naive Art as well as the traditions of religious Renaissance painting – which opens March 13th at CNB Gallery in Shoreditch.

Edge’s paintings channel Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s allusion that “Man can stand anything except a succession of ordinary days.” By doing so, Edge’s work investigates and celebrates the ‘other’, presenting the viewer with a critical and psychological insight into the human story.

14) The life of Peary
‘The Life of Peary’ | Courtesy of the Artist and CNB Gallery.

Impulsive, daring and intimate, his work champions the illicit; portraying people who live beyond accepted social and cultural norms, whether they are artists, arctic explorers, circus performers or musicians. By reversing the belief that out of folklore comes contemporary culture, Edge not only turns unsung heroes into icons, but also transforms the orthodox portrait into a poetic metaphor for the friability of life.

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Celebrating South Asian Art: Interview with Annoushka Hempel, founder of the Colombo Art Biennale

2nd December marks the opening of the much anticipated, 4th annual Colombo Art Biennale (CAB), the world’s largest and most significant celebration of contemporary South Asian art and culture.

Attracting over 2,500 visitors in its last edition, this year’s CAB, which is themed ‘Conceiving Space’ is curated by Alnoor Mitha and seeks to reimagine traditional concepts of the ‘spatial’ in relation to boundaries and engagement. It will focus on emerging talent, including over 60 international and local artists, among them Faiza Butt (UK/Pakistan), Cristina Rodrigues (Portuguese) and Chila Kumari Burman (British/Asian)

Dr. Priyantha Udagedara.jpg
Dr. Priyantha Udagedara
Abdul Halik Azeez.jpg
Abdul Halik Azeez

The event itself, was founded by gallerist and cultural ambassador Annoushka Hempel in 2009, its mission being to raise the profile of artists in this fast developing market. We are so happy to have had the opportunity so speak with Annoushka about the upcoming edition and to have her insight on what is certain to be among the top cultural experiences of the year!

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Pop Art Meets the Renaissance: Philipp Rudolf Humm at Riflemaker

In anticipation of Riflemaker‘s upcoming Being and Time, an exhibition of new works by  Philipp Rudolf Humm, we are thrilled to have been able to speak with the Belgian/German artist about his practise.

Humm’s paintings are infused with art history references, in particular of the Renaissance and Pop art. From these  inspirations and other sources, he creates playful mise-en-scènes that allow him to comment on the world around him.

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Indoctrinated, Oil on canvas; 2016. Courtesy of the Artist and Riflemaker.

Humm works in oil, using bold colours and familar scenes. His paintings are both dramatic and fun. We anticipate this exhibition to be a truly exciting and unique event on your art calendar this year

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