<h2>BENJI REID: LAUGH AT GRAVITY<br>3 September - 9 October 2021</h2><h2>EDDY KAMUANGA ILUNGA<br>
GHOST OF THE PRESENT<br>13 October – 27 November 2021<h2><h2>BENJI REID<br>LAUGH AT GRAVITY CATALOGUE</h2>Available From Our Store, £10 + P&P<h2>BENJI REID: LAUGH AT GRAVITY<br>3 September - 9 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.
 

CURRENT EXHIBITION

3 September - 9 October 2021
Benji Reid, Inconsolable, 2020.
Giclée Print, 100 x 92 cm. Ed. of 8 plus 2 AP.
Benji Reid, Spirit Guide, 2020.
Giclée Print, 100 x 95 cm. Ed. of 8 plus 2 AP.

Laugh at Gravity is Benji Reid’s first solo exhibition at October Gallery. This highly anticipated show will take place simultaneously with Photo London 2021, where October Gallery’s presentation will include new works by Benji Reid.

Benji Reid considers himself a Choreo-Photolist; a term he coined to encapsulate his unique practice where theatricality, choreography and photography meet in the image. His breathtaking photographs, comprised primarily of self-portraits in incredible, anti-gravitational poses with a medley of props, draws the audience into a different dimension. In the hyper-realities he presents, the subject is liberated by acts of the artist’s imagination. Whether exploring life as an outsider, issues surrounding mental health, or complexities of fatherhood, Reid makes the audience part of the discussion. Each perfectly poised portrait, set against vivid backdrops and adorned with fantastical objects, addresses the world we live in. Everyday objects like a paddle, a sparkler, or a stool transform and transport the subject into an alternative reality which offers protection and 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.’’

 

FORTHCOMING EXHIBITION

Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga: GHOST OF THE PRESENT

13 October - 27 November 2021
Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, Untitled, 2021.
Acrylic and oil on canvas, 200.5 x 200.5 x 4.5 cm.
Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, Untitled, 2021.
Acrylic and oil on canvas, 179.5 x 195.5 x 4.5 cm.
Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga’s third solo exhibition will run simultaneously with 1-54 London 2021. This exhibition features a new body of work by Eddy Kamuanga.

In this new series, Eddy Kamuanga furthers his investigations of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s history by examining the effect of Catholic missions in the country from the end of the 19th century onwards. His large-scale figurative compositions offer insight into the colonial influence of such enterprise, and into the acts of resistance that it triggered.

Kamuanga continues to portray his subjects with bare skin replaced by intricate electronic circuitry. This references the components of our everyday modern devices, technology that could not exist without coltan, a substance mined at volume in the DRC, with great human and environmental cost.
 

 

RECENT EXHIBITIONS

17 June - 24 July 2021
returns
3 - 21 August 2021 (viewing by appointment)
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.
 

Apart Together: October Gallery Education Exhibition

28 - 31 July 2021
Works from the 10x10 project.
An individual work from the 10x10 project.
Apart Together, October Gallery Education's exhibition is a celebration of artworks created over the last two years by our OG Youth Collective, our Beacon School partners and the wider education community.

This exhibition features our major lockdown art project 10x10, a huge hanging sculpture, which was made by many hands over the past year and is inspired by the work of El Anatsui. Each square has been created by artists of all ages. On the reverse messages of hope and gratitude written during lockdown can be seen.

OG Youth Collective have also created and curated their own pieces responding to themes of identity, colonialism, repatriation, and the recent events causing the toppling of monuments in the UK and wider world.

Alongside these is a series of works made by local schools and our Beacon Schools who we have worked with online and on site. These are inspired by October Gallery artists and the students' own experiences of lockdown life.

You can find out more about the exhibition and October Education here