on my island none of this would be true Curated by Chris Rawcliffe

  • Location:
    arebyte Gallery Unit 21 Java House, London City Island, E14 0LG (Canning Town)

Naama Arad | Guy Ben-Ner | Verity Birt in collaboration with Holly Graham and Richard-Forbes Hamilton | Edgar–Walker | Gery Georgieva | Joan Jonas | Terence McCormack | Hannah Regel | Mike Seaborne

Opening: Thursday 1 February, 6-9pm
Exhibition runs: Friday 2 February – Saturday 17 March
Press images: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1qEmb28Z63AfURiDYJwf3S9Cb9gBviCnJ
arebyte is pleased to present on my island none of this would be true. The exhibition brings together the work of 10 artists from London, Israel and the USA whose practices span sculpture, installation, photography, poetry, video and performance.
These artists are: Naama Arad, Guy Ben-Ner, Verity Birt in collaboration with Holly Graham and Richard-Forbes Hamilton, Edgar–Walker, Gery Georgieva with music by Patchfinder, Joan Jonas, Terence McCormack, Hannah Regel and Mike Seaborne.
on my island none of this would be true explores the various interpretations and contradictions that islands summon in our minds. Islands are the place of freedom and adventure sold to us on billboards at Heathrow Airport but also the morning-after of the UK’s Brexit wet dream. Islands are where identities and cultures meet to do commerce and forge empires, yet they are also the forgotten lands where reptiles are left in a permanent Paleolithic state.
The show takes its title from the last line of a poem called Security, written by Tom Chivers for his book Dark Islands (Test Centre, 2015). Throughout this collection of poems Chivers takes us on a voyage through a mythical urban landscape where he explores the image of the island both literally and metaphorically, as the poems address utopian and dystopian ideas, themes of isolation and escape, and a concern with the natural and urban environment.
For some like JG Ballard’s Robert Maitland, “I am the island” is the cry of a man who is struggling for control over his mind, body and environment. For others like John Donne, who famously wrote, “no man is an island” as he was facing his own demise, all humans are interconnected. on my island none of this would be true observes how artists interpret and reclaim these different narratives to reshape and make sense of the world.
The exhibition includes the following works:
• Naama Arad’s EL AL, rebuilt from the original in 2012. Suspended sheets of paper depict the Arch of Constantine. The 1,700-year-old monument to masculine victory is shredded and left to hang
• Guy Ben-Ner presents 1999 film Berkeley’s Island, featuring the artist living a solitary life on a small sand island, set inside his kitchen. The film investigates the tensions between the filmmaker’s artistic career and his reality has a family man
• Verity Birt presents Venus Anadyomene a three-channel video installation and collaborative performance with Holly Graham and Richard Forbes-Hamilton.
• Edgar–Walker, a collaborative duo of artists James Edgar and Sam Walker, present work Untitled (Barrier) is a part ready-made, part surrealist sculpture that emasculates the authoritative function of the conventional steel barriers seen across our cities
• Gery Georgieva will perform on the opening night of the exhibition. Blurring the line between different artforms, Georgieva creates enticing performances that merge pop music, made in collaboration with Patchfinder, with traditional folk heritage. Georgieva’s performances, often filmed and later digitally manipulated, examine the complexities of cultural identity
• Joan Jonas’ 1973 film Song Delay, made with several participants and friends consists of a number of sound-actions in which participants undertake playful gesture and actions within the urban landscape
• Terence McCormack is an installation artist that visited several sites around London to create a new series of 35mm photographic slides that will be projected on the walls on the gallery
• Hannah Regel has produced her sculptures What Transpires in the Field of a Body That is the Base of Her in situ, directly onto the gallery floor. The unfired terracotta works, lit-up from the inside, slowly crack and crumble as the ambient air-dries them out
• Mike Seaborne’s Pura Foods factory shortly after closure, Orchard Place, Leamouth, 2005 is a black and white photograph of the old edible oils and fats factory that sat on the site of what is now the arebyte Gallery. It is from a series documenting the Lower Lea Valley during redevelopment prior to the 2012 London Olympic Games

On the same evening as the opening, London City Island will be hosting a pop-up gallery next door that aims to celebrate the collaborative and creative nature of its residents and the surrounding community. The exhibition will also display the work of some of arebyte Studio’s artists alongside its neighbours, Trinity Art Studio, and will be open through to the end of March 2018. For more information please contact Ramon at rmchardy@ballymoregroup.com

Notes to editors
For individual artists’ biographies, please contact Rosie Beaumont-Thomas at rosie@arebyte.com.

Chris Rawcliffe is a French artist based in London. He is the founder of Pro Numb gallery. Chris takes a holistic approach to the production of contemporary art, merging his art practice with collaborations and curatorial activities. Recent Pro Numb projects include: John Lawrence solo exhibition Sickly Revelations, with a Zoe Williams lightbox commission 2016; Benedict Drew & Nicholas Brooks exhibition Sump, with a Verity Birt lightbox commission, 2016. Recent exhibitions include: Italian and British artists meet Milan, Beat Tricks, Milan, 2016; Open Source Festival, London, 2015; Unfold, FourFold projects, London, 2015. He studied in France (French Baccalaureate) then Norwich School of Art and Design.

arebyte Gallery is a London-based art organisation which supports the development of contemporary artists working across emerging artforms. Through our gallery space and affordable studio complex, we create thriving environments for artists to expand on their practices, explore collaborative working and meet new audiences.

In October 2017, after three years in Hackney Wick, arebyte relocated its gallery to a brand new development, London City Island in Canning Town. Since its inception in 2013, our exhibition space dedicated to new media and performance art has nurtured digital and participatory artforms through interdisciplinary dialogues. We commission cutting edge artists who bring new perspectives to digital culture by connecting emerging technology and art practices, and we curate participatory performance work by artists who push the boundaries of collaborative art-making. www.arebyte.com

London City Island will comprise 1,700 new homes set on an island of 12 acres, with independent artisan restaurants, shops, creative hubs and al fresco spaces. The development takes its inspiration from the area’s maritime heritage, with bold primary colours and making use of its waterside surroundings with river walkway.