Despite seeming like a gloomy day of autumn, today is the First Thursday of August, which means it’s time to enjoy our Walking Route with a new selection of exciting things to do in East London and a newly introduced recommendation for a tasty snack! As usual, the meeting is at Whitechapel Gallery, where you can collect the printed press release of First Thursdays. Bear in mind that tonight we are also hosting the exciting inaugural event of the East London Art Prize (free entry) which will take place at the gallery between 6 and 10 pm.
Today’s route will head to Fracture me Tenderly at 10 Greatorex St, E1 5NF. The group-exhibition explores the break down of societal and cultural dynamics which shape our consciousness. Through the works of Antonia Adomako, Athen Kardashian, Nina Mhach Durban, Harrison Lambert, Juliet Lena Hager, Luke Luke Luke, Nina Hayes, Viking Stendahl & Zeus Li, the show is an embodiment of the non-linear, creating a space to contemplate fractured pieces of ideology engrained within us.
After visiting the first exhibition, I recommend a pit stop for a delicious vegetarian samosa (or a samosa chaat if you are quite hungry) at Ambala to anyone who fancies a snack throughout the walk. If you don’t know this shop already, you will have the opportunity to try an iconic confectionery and savoury chain with branches all over London and other cities in England. Ambala was established in 1965 and named after the city in India where Mohammed Ali Khan, the founder, was born.
The second stop is at Market Square for the Global Town Mural by Shiraz Bayjoo. Born as a partnership between Tower Hamlets Council and Whitechapel Gallery, this new public art commission in Globe Town, Bethnal Green, is a large colourful photographic collage of archival materials that speaks to the rich history of Tower Hamlets and the contemporary character of the area and its residents. Bayjoo’s proposal for the site was selected by a public vote and the final design draws upon discussions between Bayjoo and the Globe Town community during the summer of 2021. Conversations between the artist and local residents focused on the memories and connections inspired by archival images reflecting social, cultural and religious histories of the area.
Our last stop today is at Annka Koultys Gallery with Goddesses of Spoiled Lands, the first solo exhibition in the UK by the Mexico City-based self-taught painter Horacio Quiroz. The exhibition presents a series of eight paintings and animated NFT doubles that fuse Quiroz’s interest in mythology with his signature lithic painting technique. Citing the crumbling and idiosyncratic qualities of the sidewalks in Mexico City as one source of inspiration, Quiroz doubles-up on rocks’ rich metaphorical strata – as a carrier bag of cosmic history, as signposts for innumerable entropic events, as hard evidence of the interconnectedness of all matter – to communicate the possibilities of such an expanded perspective.