NOW Gallery

Art Block

11am – 6pm 

A 4-floor takeover of D4 at the Design District.

NOW Gallery and Design District collaborate to present a series of pop up exhibitions spaces featuring the practices of three diverse visual artists over four floors. The takeover celebrates the launch of Greenwich Peninsula’s exciting cultural quarter, Design District, a new permanent home for the creative industries.

The exhibition will take place inside one of two buildings by Barrozzi Veiga. Both buildings have been designed with photographers, artists and sculptors in mind, with large windows, and high ceilings. Building D4 is clad in bBlack aluminium, with gridded windows reminiscent of large warehouse style spaces providing brilliant volumes for the artists inside. 

(LVL0,1)

HUMAN STORIES: THE AFRO SURREALIST
VINCE FRASER

As part of ‘Art Block’, NOW Gallery presents the 5th iteration of the annual Human Stories series, celebrating the work of British designer and ‘Artivist’ Vince Fraser. Human Stories: The Afro Surrealist will present 3 large scaled digital artworks exploring the intersection between African diasporic futurism, techno cultures and spatial constructs. In his first solo UK show, Fraser orchestrates a surrealist dream, transcending space and time, obscuring audiences behind three hypnotic Afrocentric masks. The works marry photographic collage techniques with motion graphics. The immersive experience is framed by the stark interiors of the Barrozi Veiga’s D4 building of the Design District.

Curated by Kaia Charles, NOW Gallery, Human Stories is a series of annual photographic displays that encourages a contemporary discourse on modern life and the human scale. By engaging with modern and progressive communities, artists, photographers, historians, filmmakers, writers and thinkers, Human Stories translates these messages into compelling visual displays.

“The Black experience is often examined through a non-Black lens. I feel it’s important to tell the story from my perspective as a Black creative producing doorways into concepts beyond the realm of the everyday. I hope my work will inspire and empower a whole generation of artists to express themselves through their own unique art form.” – Vince Fraser

About Vince Fraser
Having worked in the creative industry as a professional digital illustrator for over twenty years, the progression to visual arts was a natural one. Fraser’s work has continued to evolve and he sees himself as a new breed of artist in the digital age, combining a variety of skills including film and motion. With a keen eye for detail, he is always experimenting in a playful way whilst pushing the boundaries from a visual aspect.

Bridging the gap between fantasy and reality, Fraser’s mission is to inspire, educate, and empower positive images of the African diaspora. Previous client work includes Nike, MTV and Adobe, just to name a few, while Vince also gained the attention of various musicians like Erykah Badu, Outkast and Usher.

(LVL2)

IMAGES OF BROKEN LIGHT
CHARLES EMERSON : A Retrospective and New Works

Are you sure you know what you are looking at? What you see does it appear and disappear before your eyes? With Emerson’s work, there is a hallucinatory mystery about his subjects, they may be flowers, or mountains or protesters – they all have been layered and sublimated to produce an image which is almost a breath of a thing. Poised in the frame, a hint or cloud of an object, rephrasing it, so you have to think about it in a different way. They are not a fully formed images but reminiscences. A state of being that holds on to the essence of the subject whilst fusing it with smoke or water or other images which bleed and hold on to the form captured, but does not completely reveal.

Emerson aims to create a sense of eerie mysticism with the unresolved nature of his photography, leaving a space for interpretation. With a fine art background, his father was an abstract painter, it is no surprise that Emerson predominately looks to painters for the initial inspiration when creating his photography. Echoing the work of John Martin and Casper David Friedrich his work addresses the apocalyptic, the unknown and even the divine. There is a transcendent element which comes from the layering of image, as if another dimension exists within the frame.

This collection of new pieces created especially for this exhibition follow along similar lines, yet they sit in two distinct parts, ‘The Marsh’ and ‘Rush’. Both mini-series are centred around the connection between humans and the land.

The Marsh – Greenwich Peninsula has long been a marshland, the word Greenwich itself derives from Saxon meaning ‘Green Bay’. Over a century ago the Peninsula was swallowed up by industry connected to the City. Its use has again changed, as it now becomes homes and workspaces for people. Emerson wants to explore this relationship and to show it in its starkest contrast, by using multiple exposures to visually reconnect the City with the Marshland. Is the City triumphantly growing up and out of the swamp or is it being sucked back in? Is the sun setting on the City or is this the first light of a new dawn?

Rush – These works aim to comment on our destructive human power and our relentless charge towards environmental breakdown. At the time of creating these pieces Emerson’s thoughts venture towards our now rapidly accelerating race to find a new planet, and new materials to fuel our growth. As we see our planet changing in front of our eyes because of our own activities, can we really be trusted to not spread our destruction further? And should we not focus instead on relearning how to live more harmoniously on this perfect planet?

This show is part of a three-artist exhibition at D4, a Barozzi Veiga building in The Design District on Greenwich Peninsula. A starting point as part of the launch of a district designed for creatives by creatives which will be a cultural talking point in London.

As the official photographer of all our NOW Gallery installations, we are pleased to give Emerson the opportunity to show his own oeuvre. His work displayed as high-quality limited edition prints, available for sale, is a perfect analogy addition to the 2nd floor of this building. Tying into themes of urban daydreams, creative political musings and how the slight appears strong and the strong slight, this show is the perfect thoughtful description of a world awry.

About Charles Emerson
Charles Emerson studied BA Hons Fine Art Photography at Falmouth College of Arts. His artworks have been exhibited both in the UK and Internationally. His commercial work increasingly sits comfortably alongside his fine art, as clients are keen to draw on the techniques and styles that he has created within his personal practice.
Emerson’s work aims to transport the viewer into another realm. To nurture this otherworldly quality Emerson builds layers within his photographic practice. Whether using physical layers constructed in the studio, creating multiple exposures within camera or using objects and effects in front of the lens.

“I don’t aspire to create straight physical representations of my subjects or to render them perfectly as the eye might see. Instead, I aim to create work that is hopefully imbued with a greater depth and is in some-way intrinsically connected to myself and the subject. As well as aiming to create visually striking imagery, I also hope to intrigue the viewer and ask them to question the methods and reasons for the techniques within the work. Visually abstraction is key, whilst the theme of Nature, in particular its fragility, often sits at the core of my work. As well as celebrating the beautiful or sublime, I also seek to reference the darker, more macabre realities of our human relationship with the natural world. We humans act as though we are the masters of our planet, yet do we really have the power to sustain life on Earth?”

(LVL3)

MEMORIES OF GIGABITES
LISA WOLF for Kvadrat and Design District

Memories of Gigabytes is a site-specific work that transfers memories of digital spaces and personal experiences related to distinct places into physical space.

It is a materialized representation of memories, some of which are personal experiences, and some of which are data stored in an abstract network through computer technology. Despite the differences, they locate in virtual space and are made perceptible in the installation.

Lisa Wolf focuses on exploring textures, materials, weight, temperature and softness – things we need to experience in a physical environment. Touch, move, feel!

“The process in which the work is created is just as relevant to me as the actual experience of the installation in the space. I try to make this process visible and legible in the final objects. So every visitor finds his personal perspective on the work.” – Lisa Wolf

About Lisa Wolf
Lisa Wolf is a researcher, designer, and visual artist that works on interdisciplinary and collaborative projects. Lisa combines digital fabrication methods with traditional materials such as clay, wood, fabric, and metal. These physical installations and objects are linked to Lisa’s ongoing research and interest in performance and sound.

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