A new Exhibition at Red Gate Gallery – Nearly 2 years after leaving The Byam Shaw School of Art, Nelly Curtis, Benjamin Glean and Melanie Blackwell have decided to celebrate their progress in a group show of their latest work.
With Curtis’ newest paintings inspired by a trip to Africa and Blackwell’s investigations on Artist/model relationship you could describe them as traditionalist. Also we have photography by Glean looking at themes surrounding male identity.
Benjamin Glean: His latest work investigates themes of male identity. These include ideas of how men are represented by the media and themselves. Within his practise Glean has looked at various genres of photography including fashion and documentary. Using a mix of studio and location, staged and snapshot, he hopes to make his audience consider the way that men appear and how we may make judgements on appearance be it true or false. www.benjaminglean.com
Melanie Blackwell: She had striped her current practice back to the bare essentials. With this work, she is planning to re-learn and re-educate herself in not only the beginnings of her painting, but also with the development of the relationship between artist and sitter. This work is the commencement of a continued investigation to develop something personable and beautiful.
Nelly Curtis: Within a month Curtis stayed in ‘Dar Es Salaam, Kigamboni, Arusha, Moshi, and Zanzibar’. She lived and worked with a group of people from around the world during a time when they were creating an N.G.O called ‘Kigana Chapazi’ translating as ‘A Hard Working Youth’.
“Working on these paintings brought me back to an amazing time and place. The colours, vibrancy and humour (of Tanzania) had an energy that captivated me. The importance of the family and community as well as all the Art forms that are in bloom there were what I found to be at the core of what makes this country so beautiful and rich. This however provides a stark contrast to the struggles and harsh realities that the vast majority of Tanzanian people face. It identifies aspects of their day-to-day life that many of us in the western world will never really be able to truly understand” (Curtis 2010)
Previously Curtis had been inspired by her family, friends and local community (Kentish Town). The transition to paint such a different culture was a challenging yet wholly enriching and fulfilling one.