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Alex Leadbeater’s wave paintings are on show in South Lodge from 15–22 April

Alex Leadbeater’s wave paintings are on show in South Lodge from 15–22 April

It all goes in waves…

This week, two new exhibitions in the #ATownExploresABook festival open. HOT’s Erica Smith talks to the artists involved.

Thursday 11 April is the opening of Confronting Crusoe at Stella Dore gallery in Norman Road. Film-maker Sophie Meyer is exhibiting a video installation involving close-up, “living portraits” of Trinidadians from the stick-fighting community. They gaze at the camera for extended periods of time – long enough to make the viewer feel uncomfortable and start to examine themselves.

Meyer is also a chocolatier and regularly visits Trinidad to buy her cacao straight from the growers. Her chocolate is available in the gallery – a reminder that it was the West’s demand for chocolate, coffee and sugar which drove colonialism and slavery.

100 excesses – part of the installation by Sarah Gomes Harris

100 excesses – part of the installation by Sarah Gomes Harris

Artist and animator Sarah Gomes Harris has also produced an interactive installation addressing supply and demand. 100 excesses looks at the ‘necessary luxuries’ that fill our lives and contribute to climate change… popping down to the shops in the car, reboiling the kettle, hair dye. Come in to the gallery and see how you can change your actions and stop the sea level from rising.

Work by two other artists provides additional global and local perspectives. Pablo Allison’s photographs document the caravan of South American migrants as they approach the US/Mexico border whilst Noki makes and photographs up-cycled fashion collections in Brighton. All the artists explore themes from Robinson Crusoe by looking at our actions in the 21st century and asking how future generations might be affected by our choices.

00JulieGurrBasket

Basket by Julie Gurr

Meanwhile, change is afoot this weekend in St Leonards Gardens. At 3pm on Sunday 14 April, The Power of 2 Perspectives exhibition will literally ‘process’ to its second  gallery home at Zoom Arts near Warrior Square Station.

This will make space for Island Life – an exhibition of work by painter Alex Leadbeater, basket weaver Julie Gurr and potter Steven Jenkins which opens on Monday 15 April. Leadbeater’s beautiful wave paintings make the perfect backdrop for Gurr’s basket-work and Jenkins’ ceramics. In the novel, Crusoe teaches himself to how to weave baskets and make ceramic vessels – both crafts were essential for storing water and harvests. In keeping with the theme, Gurr and Jenkins have taken their work ‘back to basics’.

The upstairs gallery at South Lodge is the perfect venue for this collaboration, whilst downstairs, the What I Need interactive piece by Black Winkle Young Artists continues. Pop in and use a typewriter to add your needs to the growing installation.

ATownExploresABook continues until 22 April at venues across St Leonards. Pick up a festival map from one of the 33 participatining venues and choose from the 53 exhibitions, workshops or performances. More information is available on the website and Facebook page.

Posted 15:07 Tuesday, Apr 9, 2019 In: Visual Arts

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