Category: First Thursdays — Published:

As we draw near to the end of National Storytelling Week, we thought it best to share the stories of others for this month’s edition of First Thursdays online. We partnered with PUBLIC Gallery, BEERS London, Kate MacGarry and Gallery 46, who have lined up a selection of virtual exhibitions and performances to tell tales of connection, isolation, personal success and post-human landscapes.

Philip Gerald, Untitled, 2020, Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 cm. Courtesy the artist and PUBLIC Gallery.

PUBLIC Gallery

Our first collaborator this month, PUBLIC Gallery, presents how to be a artist, the debut UK solo exhibition of Dublin-based artist Philip Gerald. Alongside a series of new paintings, Gerald provides an enthusiastic step by step ‘masterclass’ in the form of video and written lessons displayed throughout the online exhibition, sharing deep insights and a wealth of information for those looking to emulate his successful career.

The exhibition is due to run 8 February – 3 March 2021, more information about which can be accessed on the PUBLIC Gallery website.

BEERS London

Through kinetic sculpture, video and a healthy dose of wry humour, Shinuk Suh explores how pervading societal ideologies are silently instilled in him by the so-called ‘Ideological State Apparatus’. For Part II of BEERS London’s Summer Marathon exhibition, Post-Human Syndrome keenly analyses how society treats its inhabitants like a product; Suh views our present-day and age as one giant system or factory, wherein persons are akin to products on the production line of a factory.

Depicting humans and this ‘giant system’ through silicone and metal, Suh points out the contradictions and dilemmas of society, given the sheer overload of information and representation. The works on view incorporate processing, slapping, twitching and revving objects, the works themselves mechanising the rote manipulations of human (in)activity.  The work is stylish, yet perverse; Baudrillardian, but kitsch; socially relevant, but altogether a bit silly.

Peruse the artist’s work online here and find out more about the gallery’s upcoming projects on their website.

Installation view of Shinuk Suh solo exhibition, ROUND 2, January 2021. Photo: Damian Griffiths.

Installation view of Shinuk Suh solo exhibition, ROUND 2, January 2021. Photo: Damian Griffiths.

Kate MacGarry

On view through March, Kate MacGarry’s Blue Jeans & Brown Clay, features new work by London-based artists and designers who have longstanding connections to the JB Blunk House.

The home of artist JB Blunk is nestled in a densely wooded ridge above Inverness, California, a mall town fifty miles north of San Francisco. Built between 1959 and 1962 with salvaged materials from nearby beaches, forests and scrapyards, the entire house is a work of art in its own right, with Blunk and his wife, Nancy Waite Harlow, making everything from the doors to the furniture and the ceramic tableware. The house expressed Blunk’s vision of a humble and sympathetic integration between art and life, and a profound respect for landscape and our place within it.

At Kate MacGarry, artists and designers who took up residencies at the Blunk House share their stories through ceramics, painting, film, photography and more. Featuring Attua Aparicio, Sam Bakewell, Max Frommeld, Anne Hardy, Gemma Holt, Jochen Holz, Martino Gamper, Max Lamb, Peter McDonald, Angus Mill, Kajsa Ståhl, Francis Upritchard and Åbäke, the exhibition draws on the House’s creative spirit and pays tribute to Blunk’s oeuvre. Find out more here.

Installation view of Blue Jeans & Brown Clay: Artists and Designers at the JB Blunk House, Curated by Mariah Nielson, 03 December 2020 – 31 March 2021.

Installation view of Blue Jeans & Brown Clay: Artists and Designers at the JB Blunk House, Curated by Mariah Nielson, 03 December 2020 – 31 March 2021.

Gallery 46

This month Gallery46 and Band of Holy Joy present Notes From A Gallery, an online exhibition of short film, performance art, live radio and wall art created and transmitted live from the gallery space and broadcast to YouTube. Running nightly from 24-27 February 2021, the group will be showing two new moving image works per night alongside a performance that corresponds to that evening’s films.

The short films have been commissioned especially for the band’s forthcoming album Dreams Take Flight, a set of eight songs whose themes are concerned with walls and masks, constraints and freedoms, lost connections, isolation and clouded behaviour. The songs themselves are shot through with personal ghosts and private acts, nagging doubts, fleeting moments of hope, illuminating the tricky art of living with love in these precarious times, but nonetheless finding a way though with magic, music and light.

Find out more and tune in via the band’s website.

Band of Holy Joy, That Magic Thing (still). Courtesy the artists.

Band of Holy Joy, Dreams Take Flight (still), Broadcast live from Gallery 46 on 2 July 2020 as part of LIMINALITY [START DREAMING]: A series of live transmissions.

On the first Thursday of every month, over 150 galleries in east London come together and run free events, exhibitions, talks and private views during a special late opening. Find out more about First Thursdays here.