Brick Lane is such old news in terms of the art scene in East London. Even the Sunday street market has encroached onto Cheshire Street so why not the art galleries as well? Easter shopping on Brick Lane then, so off we go. The Vivid yellow shopping bag may seduce you entering into the big warehouse vintage shop that we know as “Beyond Retro” but we have no time for that. So turn left at the shop, that’s “Paradise Row”.
Up the shabby council building stairs, wondering what brings you here, it is rather nice to see big sunny gallery space when you reach the top floor. The building used to be a church hall. The natural wooden floor full of ambient lights must have provided lots of fun local events. Tea dances maybe.
But wait a minute, The exact place you are standing right now is not quite where you should be. Because the enormous, open plan space is actually owned by two different galleries. The entrance part is called T1+2 gallery, and the other belongs to Paradise Raw, That’s the trick. “Isn’t it a bit complicated?” the manager of the former gallery smiles. However I am sure for these emerging artist, this boundary doesn’t matter.
T1+2 gallery has been presented as “The State of the Union” by Godfried Donkor. 3000 Financial Times, cut, folded and piled are made into shapes of the national flags. The opposite wall with big size flags of the United States and the Union Jack, then there are rather small ones of Iraq, Iran, Israel and so on. The colours for the national flag have such significant meanings. When these colours are gone what can remain? Also why FT but not any other paper? In front of the 3000 fading newspapers, let’s think of politics and world affairs.
On the other hand, Paradise Raw exhibits Barry Reigate’s first London solo show. His works utilise various medias like painting, sculpture, and photography. Even though he uses such adorable characters from Disney Films, Bambi, Pinocchio, his works are violent and extravagant. I’m not a Follower, I’m a Leader is a work depicting a black rabbit with a light saber-like fluorescent tube for genitalia. The comical look of the animals reveals its darkness even more. However as often with this type of works, strong disgust tends to be loved by London based collectors. So we will see.
Address: St Matthew’s Hall, 2 Wood Close, London, E2 6ET
Tel: 44(0) 20 7613 3311
Opening Hours: Wed-Sun 12:00-18:00
Text and Photos: Sayaka Hirakawa, Simon Borkin