Last Thursday saw the closing party of “Art in Flux” – a multifaceted exhibition tucked in the tiny and lovely spaces of the Curious Duke Gallery in Whitecross Street, a bustling area on the doorstep of Shoreditch and Hoxton. What the curators wanted to offer here was the opportunity “to see how one artist can change the theme of a room/space” – and with 22 artists of strikingly different styles on display, one was surely spoilt for choice. From the full and vibrant graffiti-like paintings by Andrea Tyrimos, to the intimate and frail trees by Sandra Jordan – from the smug and strong bulls by Kamion, to the detached and glacial world where the Lilliputians by Hanna Downing take their tiny steps – we were presented not only with a range of artworks, but with a flux of emotional takes on our individual worlds.
The harmonious coexistence of all of this in such a small yet well organized space matches well the general atmosphere in the gallery – an easy-going, fuss-free approach to art where what matters is, indeed, the art itself and the immediacy of its messages, without the pretentiousness that very often emerges in the scene. Eleni Duke, director of the gallery and of the online shop, opened the space less than one year ago with that precise intention in mind – and from what we could see the other evening, she has kept up with her goal so far. As Francoise Nichole, one of the exposing artists, repeatedly remarked, the Curious Duke is doing a very good job at presenting a wide, open-minded and yet high-quality selection of new talents and accessible art. Next Thursday sees the opening of the first-ever solo show by Nathan Bowen, recently featured on BBC’s apprentice series 8. Keep an eye on it – we will be there as well!
WORDS and IMAGES: GIULIA TOMBA