London Calling is a new group exhibition that provides an expansive vision of what it means to be an artist living and working in the UK capital today.
Reflecting the pluralism of the city, the exhibition highlights the extensive variety of artistic voices that are redefining the London art scene and, in turn, broadening ideas of what it means to be British. Encompassing recent arrivals and long-term inhabitants, London Calling celebrates the many artistic contributions of those who have chosen to base themselves in this unique capital city.
Rooting itself in the legacy of London-based contemporary art movements, such as the Young British Artists, the exhibition charts a course from those who have long been working in the city and those who are only just calling it their home. Starting with artists who began their careers by challenging the conventions of London’s art world and who have now been unquestionably recognised by the Royal Academy of Art, London Calling features works by Grayson Perry, Tracey Emin and Gavin Turk. Artworks by these long-time residents are shown alongside newer contemporary voices who are carving out their own place in the London art scene.
Contemporary sculptor Alma Berrow’s artworks sum up what it means to be British in her eyes. After working in hospitality in London for years, Berrow became inspired by her experience living in a vast melting pot. Featuring fry ups and cigarettes, her sculptures recall the London institution of a greasy spoon café. Alfie Rouy’s artworks are equally influenced by his experience of living in the city. Increasingly inspired by a desire to connect to nature while living in a metropolis, Rouy’s works provide avenues from urban settings to the natural world. Similarly, Effie Wanyi Li, who is now entering into her sixth year of living in London, considers the unpredictability of the city. These continuous changes that occur within her urban environment contribute to the multisensory aspects of her artworks, which explore the relationship between mind and body.
London Calling presents many more artists who are navigating their own relationships to the capital city and translating these experiences into their artistic practice. Rejoicing in the diversity of London and its many inhabitants, the exhibition strives to celebrate well-known voices while illuminating new perspectives.
Helen Beard (b.1971) is a Brighton-based artist with a BA, Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design (1992). Her works lie between abstraction and representation, reducing figures to vibrant fields of colour. Through this joyous use of bright colouring, Beard seeks to reclaim depictions of the body and of the sexual from the predominant male perspective. Beard portrays the act of sex with a striking level of intimacy.
Alma Berrow (b. 1992) is a British artist who creates intricate ceramic sculptures. Berrow originally studied Art and Textiles at Falmouth University but over the first lockdown, due to covid-19, she decided to explore the field of ceramics. Her bold practice playfully redefines the still life genre, depicting overflowing ashtrays or elaborate plates of food that convey contemporary, familiar moments of everyday life.
Tracey Emin (b. 1963) is a British artist known for her autobiographical and confessional artwork. Born in London, Emin studied at the Maidstone College of Art and at the Royal College of Art in her home city. Alongside artist Sarah Lucas in 1993, Emin opened The Shop, where she and Lucas exhibited and sold their work. The next year, Emin held her first solo exhibition, brazenly titled My Major Retrospective, and exhibited her work over the next few years in a gallery called The Tracey Emin Museum. Emin produces work in a variety of media including drawing, painting, sculpture, film, photography, neon text and sewn appliqué.
Jake Wood-Evans (b.1980) is considered one of the leading figures of contemporary British painting. He holds a BA Hons in Fine Art from Falmouth University, and was subsequently awarded a scholarship from the Royal Academy for classical study at the Prado museum in Madrid. Drawing on the legacy of 18th century British masters, Wood-Evans’ work has been viewed as much-needed escapism from a world dominated by the digital.
Amy Hui Li (b. 1997) is a Cantonese artist based in London. She is currently receiving an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art after receiving a Graduate Diploma at the same college and a BA Fine Art degree from Goldsmiths, University of London (2020). Using home-made felt materials in the colour red to represent our blood vessels and the interior of the body, Li’s paintings explore our hidden damaged emotions as well as the process of self-healing and repairing. In a laborious manner, she repeatedly tears and reshapes her home-made felt materials, expressing fragility, brokenness, and an intention to care.
Nick Hornby (b 1980), is a British artist living and working in London, England. Hornby studied at Slade School of Art and Chelsea College of Art where he was awarded the UAL Sculpture Prize. His work addresses queer identity, historical critique, semiotics and digital technology. He is known for his monumental site-specific works that combine digital software with traditional materials such as bronze, steel, granite and marble.
Henry Hudson (b.1982) is a British artist living and working in London. He graduated from Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, London, UK in 2005. Hudson’s practice is expressed through the exploration of various techniques and materials, including ceramics, plasticine, scagliola, oil painting, 3D printing, wax, sand and textiles. His practice is inspired by a multitude of sources, new and old, in which British art plays a formative role, including work by Leon Kossoff, Frank Auerbach and William Hogarth.
David Hockney (b. 1937) is an English painter, drauftsman, printmaker, stage designer, and photographer. Hockney began his art education at the Bradford School of Art in 1953, studying there for four years under Frank Lisle. He furthered his education at the Royal College of Art from 1959 to 1962. As an important contributor to the pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. Hockney’s first solo exhibition was in 1963, just one year after his graduation from the Royal College of Art, at Kasmin Limited in London. The first major retrospective of Hockney’s early works opened in London’s Whitechapel Gallery in April of 1970, before traveling to three other European institutions. In 2020 a retrospective of Hockney's work from the 1950s to the present day was held by The Lightbox, Woking, and Drawing From Life was held at the National Portrait Gallery.
Betty Leung is a visual artist based in London. She holds an MA from Camberwell College, University of Art London (2020). Her multimedia practice is concerned with social, economic and political complexities in the context of human behaviour. She uses algorithms to explore the tension between chance and control by printing digitally rendered imagery onto fabric and transforming them into textile sculptures. Leung won the 2019 Graduate Art Prize with Interpreter IV. In 2022 she showed her work in a solo exhibition with Unit London’s online programme Platform. Recent group exhibitions include NFTism: No Fear in Trying, Unit London (2021) and Chance and Control: The Art of Letting Go, Slash Arts Gallery, London (2021).
Haeji Min (b.1995) is a London-based South Korean artist. Min received a BFA Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London (2020) and an MFA Painting at the Royal College of Art (2023). Min’s subject-matter and inspiration range from a glimpse of a geometric shadow to her internal conflicts, a value in life, and the consequences of socio-political and nature crises.
London-based artist Annie Morris (b.1978) studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris between 1997 and 2001 under Giuseppe Penone before completing her education at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Morris’ multi-disciplinary practice draws on both personal experience and the history of art. Morris' most recognizable body of work is her ‘Stack’ series, begun in 2014 and inspired by the artist’s grief following a stillbirth.
Effie Wanyi Li (b. 1995) is a Chinese artist based in London. She received a BA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in 2019 and is currently studying an MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art. Li's paintings reflect her strong passion for investigating the internal mechanisms of the body, both physical and psychological. Her practice often focuses on exploring the alternative structure of the inner human body and its reaction caused by mental states. Li’s work aims to make sense of how human beings actually function, using painting as a synchronous dialogue with her body and mind.
Grayson Perry (b. 1960) is an English contemporary artist, writer and broadcaster. He studied at Braintree College of Further Education (1979) and graduated from Portsmouth Polytechnic in 1982. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 2003. Perry's vases have classical forms and are decorated in bright colours, depicting subjects at odds with their attractive appearance. There is a strong autobiographical element in his work, in which images of Perry as "Claire", his female alter-ego, and "Alan Measles", his childhood teddy bear, often appear.
Alfie Rouy (b. 1998) was born in Sittingbourne, and is based in London, UK. He received his BA in Fine Art at University of the Arts London, Camberwell in 2021. Influenced by Hilma Af Klint’s spiritual work with De Fem in the early 1900s, Rouy creates intuitive, surrealist works that are formulated by an array of hazy colours. His practice is characterised by confined, yet free-flowing forms that explore the evolution of the soul and the oneness of all.
Gavin Turk (b. 1967) is a British artist from Guildford in Surrey, and is considered to be one of the Young British Artists. Turk's oeuvre deals with issues of authenticity and identity, engaged with modernist and avant-garde debates surrounding the 'myth' of the artist and the 'authorship' of a work of art.
Lian Zhang (b. 1984) is a London-based Chinese artist. She received her first MA in Painting from the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou in 2010 and a second MA from the Royal College of Art, London in 2013. Zhang’s recent painting practice focuses on the collection and combination of images with various spatiotemporal aspects. Through these pictorial compositions, spatial memory is fabricated, leading to multiple narrative threads.
29 cm diameter
Pierced by the Stigmata
119 x 79.5 cm
Torso (Lady James)
90 x 55 x 20 cm
Large Expensive Abstract Painting
200 x 300 cm
79 x 164 cm
All The Colours You Bring
120 x 120 cm
The Hay Wain, after Constable
180 x 170 cm
Effie Wanyi Li
100 x 94 cm
54 x 64 x 20 cm
Amy Hui Li
dare to be vulnerable
160 x 120 cm
15.4 x 20.6 x 3 cm
77 x 54 cm
180 x 150 cm
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