<h2>RAFAEL TRELLES<br>AXIS MUNDI<br>17 June - 24 July 2021<br>(returns
3 - 23 August 2021)<h2><h2>RAFAEL TRELLES<br>AXIS MUNDI<br>17 June - 24 July 2021<br>(returns
3 - 23 August 2021)<h2><h2>APART TOGETHER<br>
October Gallery Education Exhibition<br>28 – 31 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
3 - 23 August 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.


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


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.’’




13 April - 12 June 2021
Rachid Koraïchi, from the series Lachrymatoires Bleues - Blue Lachrymatory Vases, 2020.
Ceramic with cobalt oxide glaze, 51 x 32 x 32 cm each.
Rachid Koraïchi, from the series Handkerchiefs of Hope (of set of 7), 2020. Acrylic on canvas, 27 x 22 cm.

Tears that Taste of the Sea presents a select sampling of Koraïchi’s works in different media created during this past year of global crisis, and includes seven blue and white ceramic vases from the Lachrymatoires Bleues series, three sets of seven paintings from the Handkerchiefs of Hope series, three large steel sculptures representing vigilant guardian figures and one large etching, Le Jardin d’Afrique. In formal terms, the diverse works are linked together by the figures, glyphs and symbols of Koraïchi’s signature style of hand-drawn characters. Thematically speaking, they are related by their emphasis on the innumerable tears shed mourning the loss of loved ones, for reasons of displacement, migration and disaster, or the harrowing effects of the present pandemic. This exhibition marks the first time these four elements of The Garden of Africa, Koraïchi's significant new project to create a cemetery in Southern Tunisia for the many migrants drowned while crossing the Mediterranean in search of a better life, are displayed together.

15 February -  10 April 2021
Govinda Sah 'Azad', Essence, 2016.
Oil and smoke on canvas, 140 x 120 cm
Gerald Wilde, Piccadilly Circus, 1946.
Gouache on paper, 55 x 78 cm.
Opening in February 1979, October Gallery created the foundation for the idea of the Transvangarde, the transcultural avant-garde. To mark the Gallery’s inaugural exhibition, Gerald Wilde: The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, we present Painting Unbound: Artists of the Transvangarde, a virtual exhibition celebrating the creative freedom of painting. Wilde’s powerful 1949 statement “Life may be miserable, but I am not”, also strongly echoes our current times. At a moment in time when much movement is restricted, painting offers the opportunity for exploration and pushing boundaries. As artist Elisabeth Lalouschek boldly stated about her large-scale work in the 1980’s “The real adventure for me is painting!”.

Selected artists included are Tian Wei, Romuald Hazoumè, Golnaz Fathi and Govinda Sah ‘Azad’ amongst others.