Saturday, 6 November 2010

"Beauty in Decay" Book Launch

On Thursday last week I attended the book launch of my friend Jeremy's (Romanywg) new book "Beauty in Decay", a photographic tribute to UrbEx and the exploration of abandoned buildings around the world.  Held in the Resistance Gallery in East London, the selection of photographs were beautifully printed on art paper and looked sensational on the walls amidst the eccentric bowers of ivy which decorated the place, along with various other objects like a stuffed owl and dressmakers dummy.  Met lots of other urban explorers that I have so far only "known" via the medium of Flickr: Ill Padrino, Shando, Useless Psychic, Batram, Olivier Burnside, D-Kay, Rusty, Gaz Mather, so great to finally put some faces to names!

Some of these photos are a bit dark - I was trying to avoid using the flash as I wanted to capture the atmosphere of the gallery, but can see with the benefit of hindsight that a bit more flash might have been a good idea!  Ho hum, live and learn.

See these links for more information on the book and the gallery.

The stage is set....

Friday, 15 October 2010

Lazarides Hell's Half Acre

Last night Mark and I attended the Lazarides Gallery collaboration with the Old Vic Tunnels staged within the recently discovered labyrinth beneath Waterloo station, "Hell's Half Acre". The maze of underground tunnels was converted into a large-scale evocation of Dante's "Inferno", and visitors were invited to explore the nine circles of Hell through the contributions of various artists. "The artists provided their own interpretation of Hell with freedom to reference both Purgatorio and Paradiso from the trilogy of the Divine Comedy. Through the curatorial direction, interaction with the exhibited works - paintings, sculptures, vidoe pieces and mixed media installation - is encouraged and part of this thrilling multi-sensory experience." Steve Lazarides, owner of the gallery, said of the show: "Hell's Half Acre is a subterranean journey into Hell as envisaged by a group of young, cutting edge artists. It's a vision of our hellish society under coalition rule, inspired by Dante's Inferno." The artists were Antony Macallef, Bast, Christian Lemmerz, Conor Harrington, Doug Foster, George Osodi, Ian Francis, Jonathan Yeo, Mark Jenkins, Paul Insect, Polly Morgan, Todd James, Vhils, Zak Ove, Boogie and David Choe.

Obviously in keeping with the theme it was very dark down there, so had to crank up ISO on camera to Silly Levels as working handheld, but photos didn't come out too bad in the end. The entire experience was quite unsettling - some of the sculptures and paintings were frankly disturbing, but I loved the imagination and expression that had gone into these works, and their setting in these dark and dank tunnels was a brilliant modern day interpretation of Hell.

Some snaps here, but best pictures in my Hell's Half Acre gallery on Flickr


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