Debut exhibition at new Jewish art gallery explores British-Jewish identity

The Wedding Scene Bevis Marks Beverly Jane Stewart

The Wedding Scene Bevis Marks Beverly Jane Stewart - Credit: Archant

Three London Jewish artists exhibit at Chabad Islington’s gallery and community space in Upper Street on the site of the borough’s first synagogue since 1967

Miri by Liorah Tchiprout

Miri by Liorah Tchiprout - Credit: Archant

Islington’s new Jewish art gallery opens this week with a debut exhibition featuring London artists and their take on British-Jewish identity.

‘We Returned’ opens on December 4 in a space that is part of a new synagogue, Jewish community centre and gallery on Upper Street.

Beverley-Jane Stewart’s intricate synagogue interiors, Liorah Tchiprout’s puppet characters, and David Hochhauser’s sculpture and prints go on show at Chabad Islington on Upper Street until March 2021.

Head Curator, Nicole Zisman said: “As the presence of a synagogue inevitably nurtures a community, so too may the presence of Jewish art in this space foster connections between artist and audience within a wider community. Until now the Jewish community seemed to keep within small satellites and tread fairly quietly in London. We hope that the presence of Jewish art properly contextualises our community.”

Four Sons David Hochhauser

Four Sons David Hochhauser - Credit: Archant

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Fusing fact with emotion, Stewart tells the story of the Jews from past to present, looking in intricate detail at how Jewish heritage operates in contemporary society.

Concerned with belonging, girlhood and the theatrical, Liorah Tchiprout builds physical puppet characters which sit between the real and the imagined and are inspired by the Modicut Theatre of 1920s New York and its use of puppetry with Yiddish folktales and political satire.

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Meanwhile sculptor, painter, printer and cartoonist Hochhauser uses various mediums to explore themes of manufactured nostalgia, uncertainty and diaspora.

Jewish charity Chabad Islington opened the synagogue and community space in

Rifkele by Liorah Tchiprout

Rifkele by Liorah Tchiprout - Credit: Archant

September 2020. Until that moment there had been no synagogues in Islington since the Poets Road Synagogue closed its doors in 1967. The space hosts prayers, religious ceremonies, adult education courses, parent groups, Hebrew club, a cafe and shop.

Rabbi Mendy Korer said: “It has been our mission to create a community centre in Islington that is welcoming, inclusive and meaningful for the Jewish and wider community. We are delighted that we can now offer a hybrid space for people from all backgrounds to connect with each other and discover Jewish art - especially during the trying times of COVID isolation.”

The Gallery has a mission to show work by contemporary Jewish artists and celebrate Jewish culture, identity and history. The next exhibition, scheduled for January 2021, will commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

‘We returned’ runs at Chabad Islington, 36 Upper Street until March 2, 2021.

Entry by appointment

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