<h2>RAFAEL TRELLES<br>AXIS MUNDI<br>17 June - 24 July 2021<h2><h2>RAFAEL TRELLES<br>AXIS MUNDI<br>17 June - 24 July 2021<h2><h2>RAFAEL TRELLES<br>AXIS MUNDI CATALOGUE</h2>Available From Our Store, £10 + P&P<h2>BENJI REID: LAUGH AT GRAVITY<br>3 September - 8 October 2021</h2><h2>DREAM NO SMALL DREAM: The Story of October Gallery<br>Available from our Book Store, £40 + P&P</h2>304 pages, full colour plates throughout. Edited by Gerard Houghton.


17 June - 24 July 2021
Rafael Trelles, Susúa (Susúa Forest - detail), 2019.
Oil on linen, 183 x 122 cm.
Rafael Trelles, Dambalah, 2018.
Oil on linen, 91.5 x 122 cm.
This first solo exhibition of new works by Rafael Trelles, explores the notion of the Axis Mundi, a mythic tree that represents a portal between this and other worlds.

In 2018, Rafael Trelles exhibited a set of exquisitely hand-drawn works, depicting mysterious, magico-mythical realms, as part of October Gallery’s Portal show. His latest solo exhibition, entitled Axis Mundi, presents a newly completed series of mixed media paintings that develop similar themes in novel and unexpected ways. The exhibition’s title refers to that central ‘world tree’ around which the universe supposedly revolves. This notion, common to many ancient cultures in Africa, the Americas and Europe, situates a giant tree at the centre of some ageless, sacred wood. One example, from the Norse sagas, tells of the great ash tree, Yggdrasil, which from its topmost branches to its deepest roots connects nine different realms, passing from the heavens to earth before plunging down into the underworld below. Trelles’ haunting paintings present themes linking the enchanted forests of his native Puerto Rico with these widespread beliefs that see forests as sites of refuge and transformation in a natural world increasingly challenged by crises of species extinction and climate change.



3 September - 8 October 2021
Benji Reid, Mercurial Child, 2019. Giclée Print, 80 x 80 cm. Ed. of 8 plus 2 AP.
Benji Reid, Lord of Manny, 2019. Giclée Print,
100 x 78.5 cm. Ed. of 8 plus 2 AP.

Laugh at Gravity is Benji Reid’s first solo exhibition at October Gallery. This highly anticipated exhibition follows the artist’s showcase at the 2019 edition of AKAA (Also Known As Africa), Paris and the 2020 edition of ICTAF (Investec Cape Town Art Fair) where the artist’s work enthralled audiences.

Benji Reid considers himself a Choreo-Photolist; a term he coined to encapsulate his unique practice where choreography, photography and theatricality meet in the image. Reid’s breathtaking photographs, composed primarily of self-portraits in incredible, anti-gravitational poses using a medley of props, draw the audience into a different dimension. In the hyper-realities he presents the subject is illuminated by acts of the artist’s imagination. Whether exploring life as an outsider, issues surrounding mental health or the complexities of fatherhood, Reid invites the audience into the discussion. Each perfectly poised portrait, set against vividly suggestive backdrops and adorned with fantastical objects, still suggests the recognisable world we all inhabit. Yet familiar objects like a paddle, a sparkler or a stool somehow transform to transport the viewer into an alternative reality, which while offering protection suggests undreamt of possibilities for real liberation.

The photographer Robert Golden describes in detail how Reid ‘’turns the trashcan into a rocket, he will use motors contrived to fly higher and faster than the crowd. His anti-gravitational mysteries, which fail to reflect the ‘real’ world as it seems to be, does what fine art can do in troubled times. He makes us smile – a victory in itself, but more, he provides a greater reality, one worthy of his talent.’’




Gallery Talk:
Saturday, 26th June, 2021
15:00 - 16:30
We're pleased to announce a Gallery Talk with Rafael Trelles will be held at October Gallery on 26th June 2021.

Trelles will discuss the work in the new exhibition 'Axis Mundi.' Many of the paintings were created during a difficult period of pandemic ‘lockdown’, in 2020, during which the artist, isolated in his urban studio, persevered with his work.
Photo: Rebecca Zilenziger, 2019.
As 'mountains of corpses' wash up on Tunisian shores, artist Rachid Koraïchi builds burial site for migrants

Article by James Imam for the Art Newspaper on Rachid Koraïchi's Jardin d'Afrique
Jardin d’Afrique — the Algerian artist Rachid Koraichi’s lavish memorial and burial site for drowned migrants—was unveiled on Wednesday in a ceremony attended by Audrey Azoulay, the director-general of Unesco.

The project is partly intended as a rebuke of global authorities that Koraichi believes are indifferent to migrant deaths. It was inaugurated at a time when more than 800 have died crossing Mediterranean so far this year—compared with 350 a year ago—according to IOM, a Geneva-based UN agency...
Le Jardin d’Afrique, Zarzis, Tunisia.
Photograph: Rachid Koraïchi.
October Gallery and our artists have an exciting programme of external exhibitions and art fairs over the coming months. Including a major retrospective of James Barnor at the Serpentine.

Rachid Koraïchi features in Contemporary Ceramic Art from the Middle East at the Victoria & Albert Museum and along side Golnaz Fathi in Reflections: contemporary art of the Middle East and North Africa at the British Museum. Works by Laila Shawa are part of the exhibition Inside/Out at CAP Kuwait and LR Vandy's sculpture from the series Superhero Cog Woman will feature at Kensington Chelsea Art Week in late June.
Rachid Koraïchi, From the series: Les Sept Stations Célestes (II), 2018. Soft paste porcelain, blue and white oxide, 50 x 47 x 47 cm.
Inauguration of Le Jardin d’Afrique
Zarzis, Tunisia
9th June 2021
Le Jardin d’Afrique (The Garden of Africa) is a significant new project by Rachid Koraïchi. The artist has created a memorial resting place in Southern Tunisia for the many migrants drowned while crossing the Mediterranean in search of a better life.

Koraïchi describes Le Jardin d’Afrique as 'a walled garden, where geometrically laid out tombs are shaded by trees and scented herbs. The walkways dividing the rows of tombs are ornamented with tiles covered with talismanic glyphs, hearts and other auspicious signs. The garden is also populated by the figures of ‘those who pray’, representing family and friends in far-off lands as well as patrons, supporters and visitors who come to pay their respects.'

Le Jardin d’Afrique will be inaugurated on 9th June 2021 with a visit by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.
Le Jardin d’Afrique, Zarzis, Tunisia.
Photograph: Rachid Koraïchi.
London and Accra over three decades – in pictures
(The Guardian, 11 March 2021)
James Barnor’s career as a studio portraitist, photojournalist and black lifestyle photographer spans six decades, recording major social and political changes in London, UK, and Accra, Ghana. His forthcoming Serpentine gallery exhibition, Accra/London: A Retrospective, focuses on the period 1950-1980, selected from more than 40,000 available images.
James Barnor: London/Accra – A Retrospective is at the Serpentine, London, from 19 May 2021
(subject to government guidelines)
James Barnor,
AGIP Calendar Model, 1974.
Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga named in Apollo Magazine 40 Under 40 Africa
The accolade celebrates artists, thinkers, business leaders and advocates who have pioneered arts from Africa and the Diaspora.

You can view Eddy's artist page here
Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, Mémoire Fragile 1, 2020.
Acrylic and oil on canvas, 200 x 200 cm
James Barnor receives Honorary Fellowship from The Royal Photographic Society
James Barnor is amongst the luminaries of the photography world being honoured for their innovation and outstanding contributions to the photographic medium. Now in its 142nd year, the RPS Awards consist of eighteen categories that cover art, science, education, film and publishing.
Photo: Jonathan Greet, 2016.
How El Anatsui Broke the Seal on Contemporary Art
(The New Yorker. 11 Jan 2021)
Read Julian Lucas' piece for the
New Yorker on El Anatsui

"His runaway success began with castaway junk: a bag of bottle caps along the road. Now the Ghanaian sculptor is redefining Africa’s place in the global art scene."

From the touring exhibition Triumphant Scale to Anatsui's studio in Nsukka, Lucas explores the artist's life, process and works in incredible depth
Photo: The New Yorker



Bloomsbury, London

October Gallery has been instrumental in bringing to worldwide attention many of the world’s leading international artists, including El Anatsui, Rachid Koraïchi, Romuald Hazoumè, Nnenna Okore, Laila Shawa and Kenji Yoshida. The Gallery promotes the Transvangarde, the very best in contemporary art from around the planet, as well as maintaining a cultural hub in central London for poets, writers, intellectuals and artists, and hosts talks, performances and seminars, see www.octobergallery.co.uk/events

The rich diversity of art presented is an inspiration to collectors and enthusiasts. Institutions such as the British Museum, London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Germany; Neue Galerie, Kassel, Germany; Setagagya Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan have all collected works from October Gallery.

Founded in 1979, October Gallery is a charitable trust which is supported by sales of art, rental of the Gallery's unique facilities, grants from various funding bodies and the active support of dedicated artists, musicians, writers and many friends from around the world. The Gallery’s Education Department is inclusive of all ages from under 5’s to PGCE student and delivers a wide range of provision, see www.octobergalleryeducation.com

October Gallery is open from 12:30 to 17:30 pm, Tuesday to Saturday.
The Gallery is closed during official holidays and the entire month of August.