Category: First Thursdays — Published:

For this month’s edition of First Thursdays online, we’re delighted to partner with three East End galleries who are foregrounding the work of artists, designers and young creatives this autumn.

Nunnery Gallery shares the work of 24 artists selected by gal-dem Magazine founder, Leyla Reynolds for the 2021 Bow Open Show. Reynolds describes the exhibition as “a testament to the humour, craftsmanship, and tenacity of its makers, as well as their ability to capture an overwhelmingly determined spirit of collective joy and resilience.”

At Making Space Gallery, Manchester-based artist David Dunnico comments on the current state of media and reporting, while our friends at Stour Gallery introduce the work of painter Jamiu Agboke who reminds us of a canvas’s ability to inspire, intrigue and bring people together.

Join each of the galleries for new exhibition openings and events and share your experiences with us on social media using #FirstThursdays.


Marcus Orlandi, WE WANT PRE 2008 LEVELS OF CHAOS. © Marcus Orlandi.

Nunnery Gallery
Bow Open Show 2021 selected by gal-dem

Leyla Reynolds has selected 24 artists for Bow Arts’ annual Open Show, all responding to her title, Aboutface: regroup, reorganise, reimagine.

Following a year that has been particularly challenging for many in the cultural sector, gal-dem’s Bow Open demonstrates the power of artists and their imaginations to regroup following disaster, and reorganise with humour, frankness and inspiring visual potency. Works range from politically charged banners, a delicate spine of ceramic COVID masks and jewellery inspired by the Hindu Goddess Kali Ma, a beacon of hope and resistance to anti-colonial movements during the Bengal revolution.

Powerfully commenting on many of the overarching political themes of the past year – gender identity, the environment, the pandemic, decolonisation, digital overload – the exhibition offers realism, satire, beauty and optimism.

Exhibiting artists include: Nitin Amin; Annamaria Antonazzo; Reza Ben Gajra; Nell Brookfield; Victoria Burgher; Ellie Burkett; Isabel Castro Jung; Nathalie Coste; Franco Di Cesare; Tom Foulsham; Romulo Gonçalves; Rebecca Griffiths; Nicci James; Eve Lam; Rachel Mercer; Marcus Orlandi; Harry Owens; Ayesha Sureya Patel; Tabitha Powles; Luke Anthony Rooney; Kyungmin Sophia Son; Scallywag Fox; Tara Versey; and Toby Wilson.


Courtesy of Nunnery Gallery. © gal-dem.

Luke Anthony Rooney, Bizzie. © Luke Anthony Rooney.


Making Space Gallery

News from Nowhere

Friday 8th – Sunday 10th October 2021 11 to 4pm
Thursday 14th – Sunday 17th October 2021 11 to 4pm

Press and media reporting receive barbed social commentary in News from Nowhere, the first solo exhibition in London by Manchester based artist David Dunnico. All the works are presented as pages of newspapers, which despite declining sales still mould public opinion – this is why their proprietors think mounting losses are a small price to pay. Dunnico presents this work about the news and reporting methods in a bitingly playful and accessible manner.

The exhibition is organised in collaboration with Fitzrovia Noir.


Pravda. Courtesy of the artist and Making Space Gallery.

Painting in the Louvre. Courtesy of the artist and Making Space Gallery.

The Stour Gallery
BLAH BLAH BLUR

For the October edition of First Thursdays, Stour Gallery presents Jamiu Agboke’s BLAH BLAH BLUR. Agboke is a multi-disciplinary artist known for his ongoing inquiry into the body’s location in space through observational painting, performance, drawing, photography and installation. His colourful canvases illustrate curious scenarios and commonplace objects – snorkels, water guns, slingshots – interwoven with intimate self portraits in oil.

The artist notes: “There’s a refreshing silence and dialogue to be found in and between my paintings. My engagement with these sub/objects arise by chance. I think I’m often seeking that element of silence, to be free of the noise of expectation. So, I observe, subdue, reconfigure and displace these things in relation to the atmosphere of the time and place the work’s being conceived. It is an endeavour to ground myself in the cracks of this groundless catatonic free fall of the globalisation.”


Jamiu Agboke, Water Gun, Oil on canvas, 155cm x 155 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Stour Gallery.

Jamiu Agboke, Mr Squeak, Oil on linen 20cm x 25 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Stour Gallery.

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 or online celebration. Find out more about First Thursdays here.


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