Mixed Media

Rosy Lea by Kate Murdoch © Fernando Leon-Guiu

Rosy Lea by Kate Murdoch

18 – 20 July 2013

Deep in the heart of New Cross at the Bond House Gallery of ASC Studios the wine is flowing for the grand opening of Zeitgeist Arts Projects’ first Summer Exhibition. This is a three-day only event, rather in keeping with the most recent British Summers.

Artists, their guests and prospective collectors mingle, deep in conversation. I am greeted at the door by the co-founders of ZAP, Rosalind Davis and Annabel Tilley. These upbeat ladies are artists and curators in their own right; both busy with their respective practices as well as providing practical support for fellow artists through their organisation. Time spent in their company always presents some fascinating dialogue.

Going along with what seems to be a tradition at ZAP events, I am encouraged to fill in and wear a name badge. This turns out to be quite an icebreaker that cannily allows for immediate identification of the participating authors, many of whom are present this evening, willing to discuss their pieces at length.

There are over 100 works on display, all are small scale, no larger than A4 in size; comprising of photography, drawing, painting, collage, mixed media, ceramics, textiles, sound and sculpture. I have a few favourites because this cleverly curated exhibition has managed to bring together art from differing and sometimes conflicting genres to make an interesting thematic. There are as many pieces with strong narratives as there are conceptual; some examples separate social comment from social portraiture, others separate feminist art from feminism in art.

I cannot quite put my finger on it but something here just works, and works really well. Maybe it’s because of the well thought presentation? I love the juxtaposition of displaying futuristic, urban architecture with colourful studies of trees. Or maybe, it’s because these beautifully executed pieces are so accessible, requiring little more than an appreciation? Or is it the sense of intimacy created by the close relationship between the smaller artwork and the viewer?

If such a thing exists, this is a something-for-everyone exhibition and with a ceiling price of £150 it is a fantastic opportunity to collect, or begin collecting, original art. They say great things come in small packages and this has certainly been one of the most uplifting exhibitions I have attended this year.

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