The Bridge & Black Walls
Robert Gumpert
Monday 18 - Saturday 23 May

Anyone familiar with London’s Westbourne Bridge knows there’s not much of beauty there. Sadly neglected and bearing the scars of time and weather it provides a useful link to and from Little Venice or Maida Vale, but is not a bridge that gives much pause for thought.

This was not the case, however, for California-based Robert Gumpert, who for many years has been acclaimed for his bold photojournalism, which has appeared internationally in newspapers and magazines including The Guardian and Granta.

“The Bridge” is a departure from photojournalism – an exhibition of beautifully abstracted colour photographs of the characteristic patchwork of paint and rust with its strange patterns and recurring shapes, which make up the eroded fabric of the bridge. Over a period of seven years, Robert visited Paddington on each trip to the capital, building up a bank of images to work with. He enlarges and manipulates these photographs in his studio, then pairs them. The images are intriguing and arresting, with a painterly quality that makes them difficult to categorise and a mysterious beauty which evokes an immediate response.

In our metropolis, where a new building seems to hit the skyline every fortnight, these extraordinary images encapsulate the beauty that is already here. The beauty that is present in the shabby and the familiar, if we just take the time to look.

The Bridge is showing alongside Black Walls (a smaller project shot in industrial areas of San Francisco) at the Menier from May 18 – 23


Twitter: @bridgephotos

Image: Westborough Bridge 2012
'the Person Within' Digital Self Portraits by Older People
Monday 18 - Saturday 23 May

The exhibition will show artwork from a project C&C's Creative Arts department did in collaboration with Salmagundi Films in 8 C&C care homes for older people. Residents and staff from the homes were encouraged to create digital self portraits of themselves using tablets. They were asked to answer some questions about themselves and their interests and to include elements of their answers in the portraits, making them more then just a physical representation of themselves. The exhibition will include over 30 of the wonderful self portraits as well as a short film about the project and photos from the sessions.

Wild Art
Lambeth Mencap
Wednesday 27 - Saturday 30 May

This art exhibition is the work of Lambeth Mencap Artists with Learning Disabilities and Autism.

Having spent holidays in the mountains in the South of France, when I returned to teaching, the students and I would recall our summers.

I envisaged the students sharing the wildness of this landscape and enjoying the same sense of freedom I experienced there. This kind of freedom is so far removed from many people’s lives that are reliant on 24 hour support services.

There are many issues that being reliant on support can incur. A seemingly small issue can be a tendency for services to focus primarily on the ‘Health & Safety’ aspect of a person’s disability when providing support. This intended support can then become somewhat restrictive by missing the individual and their ability and desire to have fun.

For years, Yvonne and I talked of a dream that people with Learning Disabilities/Autism could experience the wildness of the mountains in the South of France where they could have the freedom to immerse themselves in Art.

To make this art holiday a reality it took us 2 years of planning.

It was paramount that the Artist’s experience of freedom in nature be as powerful, true and undiluted as possible whilst accommodating factors such as significant health complications and mobilty issues that can limit options.

The impact of this environement allowed the Artists to be so deeply involved in their art thay they would work from morning till late in the evenings.

At the end of our week the French locals enjoyed a preview of their work.

‘The Dream’ came true thanks to the dedication and kindness of everyone concerned - Lambeth Mencap, all the volunteers and the locals in France.

We will all never forget the magical time we shared.

Wimbledon MA Fine Art and Chelsea College MA Curating & Collections
Monday 1 - Saturday 6 June

Menier Gallery’s summer 2015 exhibition, SHIFT, presents the first collaboration between Wimbledon MA Fine Art and Chelsea College MA Curating & Collections. Mirroring the views of philosopher Heraclitus on flux, the exhibition presents the viewer with the idea that the present is not static, but instead a moment of constant change. SHIFT invites the viewer to experience an exhibition as a transformative experience, which challenges the gallery as a fixed space and invites the viewer to participate in the present — a moment of constant transformation.

The exhibition will be reconfigured via the repositioning and repurposing of the works in various ways, creating a new experience and exhibition daily. SHIFT contains a wide range of work that reflects the connection and exchanges of society and culture, which is reflected in the mutating city of London — the city that has brought together the international group of displaying artists. It stands as an interplay between exhibitor and viewer, ultimately creating a space for individual interpretations of the environment and works which are constantly in SHIFT.

Blackpool & the Fylde - Photography BA graduates
Monday 15 - Saturday 20 June

+MODERN is a week long showcase of Blackpool & the Fylde - Photography BA graduates. Each practitioner will be exhibiting their own work resulting in ranging genres from documentary, fashion & portrait imagery - to collage and moving image pieces. Innovative concepts & finely executed creations result in what will be a varied & thought-provoking exhibition, which has been developed cohesively between some of the latest creatives to head out into the industry.

Monday 22 - Saturday 27 June

The annual Member’s Exhibition by the Free Painters and Sculptors (FPS) will be held for the second year at the stunning Menier Gallery in London Bridge. This exhibition will be an open theme and feature works by the talented FPS Members and a selection of special guests.

FPS is an artist lead not-for-profit organisation that supports and promotes artists to develop their work on their own terms. The group builds long-term relationships with artists and promotes the dialogue and exchange of ideas within the visual arts through annual exhibitions and events.

Established in 1952, FPS was originally associated with the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts). Founding members featured many high profile and influential artists, including Roy Rasmussen, Lyall Watson and Maurice Jadot.

FPS played a significant part in the establishment of abstract art in the 1950's and 60's and was the first of a number of post war movements that freed artists from the orthodoxy of rigid and purely technical judgements.