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‘Art born out of extreme and uncertain environments’

PUBLISHED: 10:07 30 September 2020

Xu Yang Snake for the lover part of the Wintergreen exhibition at No20 gallery

Xu Yang Snake for the lover part of the Wintergreen exhibition at No20 gallery

©Victoria Cantons

Wintergreen Boxwood, the latest show at Islington’s No 20 Arts is named after a plant which thrives in hostile conditions, as a tribute to the endurance of artists in the current climate.

Sholto Blissett Anthropocene II part of the Wintergreen exhibition at No20 gallerySholto Blissett Anthropocene II part of the Wintergreen exhibition at No20 gallery

The latest exhibition at No 20 Arts is named after a plant which thrives in hostile conditions - as a tribute to the resourcefulness of artists in the current climate.

Wintergreen Boxwood features an eclectic range of contemporary paintings by eight artists which were “born out of extreme and uncertain environments”.

Although they differ in technique, media and concept, they powerfully resonate when shown together at the gallery in Cross Street, Islington.

Sasha Ferré’s latest artworks respond to the global pandemic and a crisis which she feels has encouraged people to behave like plants, staying still while simultaneously developing and changing.

Sam Creasey Not In My Back Yard part of the Wintergreen exhibition at No20 gallerySam Creasey Not In My Back Yard part of the Wintergreen exhibition at No20 gallery

Sholto Blisset grew up surrounded by the ancient stone circles of Stonehenge and Avebury and has long been interested in the fictions societies create to understand their place in nature. His work is an exploratino of the idyllic, rural and pastoral, evoking the Western division of the human and non-human.

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Sam Creasey’s experiences as a delivery driver, observing the idiosyncrasies of metropolitan life, inform pieces which explore our relationship with the materials of the urban space - concrete, tarmac, steel and glass.

Gianna Dispenza favours industrial materials such as clay, grout and volcanic ash to experiment with form, tone and texture in works which use material from the detritus of travel; newspaper clippings and deserted objects.

Lingrui Zhang A Man A Woman part of the Wintergreen exhibition at No20 galleryLingrui Zhang A Man A Woman part of the Wintergreen exhibition at No20 gallery

The figures in Hengzhi Gong’s paintings are drawn from his personal experiences and dreams but are also an expression of identity and politics as he speaks out about powerlessness and self-censorship.

Large scale installations by Jukka Virkkunen experiment with folding and twisting the surfaces of unstretched canvases to see how each material behaves and exists within a painting.

Playful mixed media works by Xu Yang explore her childhood fantasies, fetishes and identities. Her artworks are constructions of various female identities and trade on the lavish, indulgent style of the Rococo.

And Lingrui Zhang’s striking diptych A Man, A Woman focuses on ontology, the branch

of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being. It explores how we perceive the essence of a human being and challenges how we infer an individual’s attributes based on the body.

Wintergreen Boxwood runs until November 15 at No 20 Arts no20arts.com


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