SAMA BANKSIDE ART EXHIBIT SPACE
SAMA Bankside is a unique bar, restaurant, events, private hire and art exhibit space set within a historical Victorian viaduct directly beneath the main railway line leading to Blackfriars station.
The robust rustic high ceilings have been connected and subdivided with a mezzanine floor which has been lined and polished revealing an impressive space located close to the Tate Modern, Blackfriars Bridge and the iconic Sea Containers building on the Southbank of the Thames.
SAMA Bankside is an unconventional space promoting a new model of exhibition-making, focusing upon an ambitious mission for curating credible exhibitions and creating a venue that will evolve and develop as an interesting platform for artists to promote their work.
We have invited collectors and established career artists to help support our space adding weight, breadth and depth to the walls by temporarily lending their work.
We hope to exhibit artists who are not only ambitious for themselves but also for each other, artists who still believe that art and design is the last mainstay for democratic expression.
This bar, restaurant, events, private hire and art exhibit space is one to watch as it gains a reputation in a modest and understated way.
Derek Walker, Director of Exhibitions
Kai Bastard and Bill Turpin
BASTARD TURPIN is a conceptual visual partnership between Kai Bastard and Bill Turpin. They work together to combine complimentary disciplines of image making and hand crafted sculpture, creating images that are both engaging and unsettling. The duo focus on creating controversial social messaging embodying a cross section of human observations surrounding sexual, political and emotional issues. These surreal, at times illusory images both shock and amuse, breaking through the everyday noise promoting discussion and encourage debate. When looking beneath the wholesome reality and repugnant veneer there is a sensation of David Lynch within their works. And like Lynch, the duo realise that we live in a world of opposites and the trick is to reconcile those opposing things in an attempt to appreciate one by knowing the other. ‘The more darkness you gather up, the more light you can see’. BASTARD TURPIN have taken the time to produce a piece of work for SAMA Bankside's space from their controversial Hate Heart project. Titled ‘PISS HEAD’ it is an economical use of word placement possibly in an attempt to remind customers to drink responsibly when at the bar. However I can’t help feeling that the minds of these artists really want to send a hidden-tirade of love letter expletives straight from the heart of Frank Booth.
Bruce McLean born 1944, came to prominence in 1972 when he held a solo retrospective at the Tate Gallery lasting simply one day. He is often referred to as the Godfather of pose using plinths as a humorous commentary based on the reclining sculptures of Henry Moore. Rebellious in nature McLean appears to subvert the pretentious nature of the art world through his posture and performance. In interviews he appears humorous and irrelevant, what you see is what you get, up front and verbally sculptural. We are delighted to show a small series of hand finished prints that appear as arranged and re-arranged forms coupled with simplicity and spatial sophistication. Bruce McLean believes that art has the power to change the world, come on Bruce, put yourself up for the next political election so we can finally see you once again on a pedestal!
Simon Lawson is an experienced printmaker based in London who established Huguenot Editions and now actively contributes towards teaching printmaking at the Royal Academy schools. Work on show depicting images of London in motion using traditional mono printing and etching techniques. His images are skilfully executed using gestural precision reflecting an urban landscape in constant flux. Scenes of construction and rejuvenation occur within the series of work on show. The prints explore the passage of time and the implied presence of the experiences that occupy the physical energy of the city. Lawson portrays the changing demographic of our capital city through a series of pictures that are seductive and measured.
On view in the upstairs level is a lenticular 3D print by Derek Walker described as a direct pastiche of the dust cover of the highly acclaimed book 'Shock Of The New' by the late Robert Hughes. The artist clearly uses the distinctive and now iconic print registration bounce to pose the question of how much is really explained and understood within art. The artist is honest and unapologetic when positioning this piece towards what he calls the 'risible visible' and 'the shock of nothing new'. Elsewhere in the vaulted spaces are a series of latex ‘I could’ prints. These series of images latch onto the brand extension of the artist’s name they appear to lampoon, turning envy upside down - turning it into self-improvement rather than perpetual negative consumption. Of course, we don’t feel that success of these artists, curators and collectors is undeserved. It helps if you compare yourself to the right person, someone within your league, at a level you can reach, just far enough away to give them another pinch, bite or punch.
Bob and Roberta Smith
Patrick Brill who is better known by his pseudonym Bob and Roberta Smith is a contemporary artist, writer, author, musician, art education advocate and full time hatter. He produces work that often draws upon the traditions of freehand signwriting and painting provocative DIY slogans across cheap and discarded off cuts of wood. His work is a marriage of both artist and critic.
‘I think Arts writers often get lost in the rhetoric of art criticism and art theory, but I do wonder how people outside the art world – and sometimes I feel like one myself – view the development of this specialist language. My interest in art is about broadening the parameters of what it can be and who can make it, and I think that art writing is often about enforcing these parameters.’
Heath Kane is a graphic artist who has led a successful company within the capital before devoting his energies between commercial design and digital art. Heath has recently turned his attention to producing graphic art that draws upon his skills acquired from years in the graphic design industry. His work examines current social narratives of entitlement, power and discrimination. The prints on show are slick, flawless and instantly gratifying with current iconic references to those who have and those who don’t. The viewer has a humorous and instant connection with his work but if you take the time to read beneath the seductive lurid figurative forms you will find a disconnection that is sweet and subversive. We are delighted to have commissioned our first internal billboard poster by Heath Kane entitled ‘Where have all the natives gone.’
Derek Boshier is one of the most famously overlooked artists of his generation, perhaps concerned more with artistic freedom than fame. Now resident in Los Angeles, he is celebrated as a Pop Artist alongside Kitaj, Hamilton, Blake and Hockney. Boshier appeared in the Ken Russell film Pop Goes the Easel and designed covers for the Clash and David Bowie. By 1962 Boshier felt that Pop Art was over, centering his devotion to exploring and expanding contemporary artistic vocabulary to other mediums that best suited him. Always political on many levels there is an underlining scepticism to his work with a leftish social commentary. This is clearly evident in his 2005 work ‘Pantomime War’ a response to the conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq. Derek Boshier’s spectacular body of work is subtle and witty, as he jibes and punches with a leftish hook!
The Flyingleaps project has become a respected platform for exhibiting art that speaks about social challenges, shared beliefs, ideas and ethical attitudes operating across our society. The project aims to introduce fresh voices into the visual conversations and support opportunities for aspiring artists, photographers and designer-makers to develop thinking and practice. Throughout the coming months we will be continually exhibiting work from Flyingleaps in our lower level space, pasting and layering works directly on top of each other in an open ended succession. Please lend your support to this exciting project by visiting www.flyingleaps.co.uk where you will find for sale limited edition blue backed posters (signed and numbered) at a democratic price.