International artists choose happiness for new UEL exhibition
As Albert Camus once said, “there is nothing to be ashamed of in choosing happiness,” and a group of international artists have done just that as they prepare for a life-affirming exhibition to be held at the University of East London’s (UEL) Docklands Campus from 15-25 March.
The nine artists, working in a diverse variety of media and styles, have each contributed work which points out the positive side of life and provides an optimistic counterpoint to the depressing themes which often seem to dominate the contemporary art scene.
Konstantina Kapanidou, the show’s curator, said: “It’s true that we don’t live in an idyllic world, that ugliness, brutality, violence and injustice are all around us, and that artists should continue to be influenced by that. But there’s also plenty of beauty and happiness around us, and it’s equally important that art captures the more hopeful, positive side of life.
“The artists involved in this exhibition have all been asked to respond to the call of happiness and beauty, to share their own positive personal views, and to show that art can still be striking, surprising and to-the-point, without having to be brutal, ugly, or violent.”
Artists involved include Trevor Atwood, whose subtly humorous photographs explore interesting aspects of London’s often overlooked urban environment, and Ellie Griva, whose vibrantly colourful paintings are characterised by the optimistic innocence of fairytales.
Teresa Mills has created a sculptural installation of ballet shoes, while Jeffrey Barrera’s prints focus on the hidden beauty of small and seemingly insignificant aspects of nature. Arlene Wandera has created 'Black Lady Below', a piece directly inspired by the etiquette of travelling by tube, Rashanna Walker has made a text piece suggesting a journey to paradise, and Claudia Borgna an installation of usually discarded plastic bags. Matthew Roberts and Danielle Freakley are showing videos.
Their combined work will go on show at UEL’s School of Architecture and the Visual Arts from Wednesday 15th March until Saturday 25th March. The exhibition will be open to the public from 10:00am to 6:00pm, Monday to Friday, and 11:00am to 4:00pm on Saturdays.