A River Runs Through It: Exhibition of Art Inspired by London
By Maria Mellor
Five artists are preparing for their collection in the upcoming exhibition ‘A River Runs Through It’ at the Oxo Tower in September—a display based on the inspiration artists take from London. The event is taking place for the second year in a row and will allow the public to view the work of current local artists.
‘London is so vast, so complicated and so awesome. It is impossible not to be inspired,’ says Jonny from art duo LoveJordan—one of the artists on show. ‘Centuries of history, ancient buildings nestled next to huge glass goliaths, narrow roads and pathways and the entire city is spliced in two by a great river. It’s a really impressive place to be,’ added his counterpart, Sam.
Artists LoveJordan, Sarah Fosse, Tom Cox, Munleen Sibia and Michael Wallner present their art in a variety of materials and mediums including canvas, neon, aluminium, wood, photography, oils, paper and even reclaimed and recycled materials.
Michael Wallner worked for 20 years in the media industry before deciding to become a full-time artist. He works out of Wimbledon Art Studios with all kinds of mediums such as brushed aluminium, 1930s windows, L.E.Ds, brass, and an old red phone box.
He told Arts &Collections: ‘I’m really looking forward to exhibiting my latest pieces of aluminium prints and light installations for the first time. Gallery@oxo on the South Bank is one of my favourite places in London—it’s the perfect location to show why I love London and its vibrant personality, and how it inspires my art.’
Tom Cox was named in the Evening Standard’s list of ‘Exciting young British artists to look out for in 2017’ earlier this year. We asked him where he had his start as an artist: ‘When I was a kid my local doctors had a painting hanging up in their reception area, it was a brightly coloured realist painting of a street close to mine and it must have been painted in the early 1980s.
‘Whenever I saw it I was transfixed, I was entranced by how it portrayed a world that I knew, but from a different time, with different types of cars and people. That is my earliest memory of art moving me in a profound way, it was like looking into a parallel universe.’
Tom is especially excited to show his painting of the Barbican Centre.
He added: ‘When people see my paintings, I want them to be as transfixed as I was when I was a child. To enter into a journey of line and form. To read into the scene, as well as the materials and processes which created it.’
Munleen is exhibiting a selection of her photographs from around London. She said: ‘I travel quite a lot and love to take photos wherever I go but London will be always be my favourite place to photograph. I love the mix of the historic architecture with the modern buildings as well as the colourful and lively streets in areas such as Shoreditch and Notting Hill.’
She has been a full-time artist for four years and is looking forward to showing her work in the historic Oxo Tower.
Sarah Fosse creates what she calls ‘wobbly’ designs in her paintings. When we asked her what inspires her to come up with these ideas, she said: ‘Mainly the energy and vibrance, the aesthetics of the architecture, the beautiful curves of the Thames. I love the colours—the bright yellows of Big Ben and Tower Bridge…the red of the buses, telephone and letter boxes, the gorgeous pink of Albert Bridge….the list is endless!’
She promises the exhibition will be a ‘visual feast’.
The artists have been working together to put on this exhibition. We asked Michael Wallner what collaborating was like.
He said: ‘It encourages me to see London through different eyes, which will make me a better artist. And it’s great for those who visit the show too, there’s something for everyone. The artists really are a talented bunch this year. It’s fun to be around them and hear about their new ideas. Our show meetings tend to end up at the Oxo Tower Brasserie. And what goes on in the Brasserie stays in the Brasserie!’
Arts & Collections asked each of the artists to describe London in one word:
LoveJordan: Lobster (Describing London in just one word is so tragic. Saying Lobster at least provokes the same level of curiosity of which London deserves, no?).
The event will be held at the Oxo Tower from 6 September 2017 to 10 September 2017. You may get a chance to meet the artists as they will be at the exhibition, interacting with the public and talking about their art. To find out more visit ariverrunsthroughit.art.