Leyden Gallery is delighted to present its inaugural show Fabricate
The major threads woven through Leyden Gallery’s inaugural Exhibition Fabricate are the fabric and fabricating of histories and of art, especially as they intersect with text and textiles. This curated group show itself materializes as a deftly constructed work, which converges in the newly constructed Leyden Gallery. Briefly able to claim itself as London’s newest art space, Leyden Gallery occupies a corner site on Leyden Street, and looks, Janus-like, in two directions simultaneously as it straddles the boundary space between the City of London and the vibrant art hinterlands of Shoreditch and beyond. Leyden Gallery is where the traditional and the contemporary meet head on enabling vital and new encounters to emerge.
Gallery directors Adriana Cerne and Lindsay Moran proudly present Fabricate as a curatorial adventure-in-the-making. It is an innovative group show, which gathers together four diverse, yet brilliant arts practitioners.
The esteemed feature and documentary film writer and director, Sue Clayton who, upon Leyden Gallery’s invitation, has re-visited her seminal film The Song of the Shirt (1979). For Fabricate she has produced a significant photographic installation to provide a new contemporary context for Song of the Shirt, a film which was based upon and set within the same geographic location of Spitalfields, where her new work finds innovative inspiration in its re-visitation of the iconic figure of the Victorian seamstress.
The artist Hilary Ellis, long inspired by the work of Agnes Martin, creates a series of canvases that present a restricted and predominantly muted- palette, which hints at the ennui of ritualistic and repetitive creation. The use of thread and beads in her work is deliberately reminiscent of the labour-intensive toil of the sweat shop, whose employees’ existence is reduced to a series of stitches. The theme of stiches are echoed elsewhere in the gallery, where in song form in Clayton’s film, they are beautifully arranged by Lindsay Cooper (from her rare LP Rags) and are sung by the renowned filmmaker Sally Potter, in an early film role in Song of the Shirt.
Appearing alongside these two established artists, two newly emerging talents take their place: Zhenhan Hao & Becky Allen are both recent graduates from the Royal College of Art. Hao’s conceptual work on imitation and cultural identity delights the viewer as it brings an astonishing array of work to Fabricate. The term Made in China is given new voice and meaning in Hao’s creative journey between China and Britain. His work already identified as collectible, as Christies recently showed one of his exquisite ceramic vases in their gallery in King Street London. Becky Allen’s eloquently beautiful drawings are characterised by intricate abstract detail and repetition. Her current work, inspired by the feminine myths of Greek Goddesses, Penelope and Daphne, allow the detailed line drawings, by pen, pencil or needle, to demonstrate the delicate beauty of her subjects. Whether it be natural elements such as tree bark or hand woven patterns, the forms she works with, engage with the notion of transformative elements, whilst developing upon the material nature of the stories she studies.