In the gallery series for RichMix

Kaia was guest blogger for RichMix as part of the TakeOver Festival

he Artist behind our recognisable imagery for TAKEOVER festival, Ellis Lewis-Dragstra, has curated an exhibition of artists whom have not necessarily exhibited before. Taking to Instagram to find undiscovered young artists, he has pulled together an honest, fresh and unpretentious exhibition that really focuses on the most important thing – the artists behind the work – in a no frills kind of way. The exhibition is free, and available to visit throughout the duration of TAKEOVER festival in the Lower Café Gallery.

In a Wolfgang Tillmans-esque style, artist Nazy Raouf, whom curator Ellis went to university with, presents a pink infused Sahara toned collection of photographs. Instantly my eye was drawn to this cohesive collection of photographs that emit her clear photographic style. With a photo journalistic essence, Raouf depicts the children of the Kurdish People exemplifying the sensitivity and joy that children can bring during social and economic distress. Her soft focus and subtle washed out tones convey a calm maternal feeling and allow the background to be foreshadowed by the children featured. Recognising the humanity in these children, they breath fresh air into a struggling society. In our current political climate it is important for us to remember to find the beauty in every situation and celebrate happiness in the hardest of times, and these children exemplify this feeling.

The highlight photograph of this collection, Minali Bashur (Children of the South), 2016, is of a small girl in a tulle party dress audaciously looking into the camera surrounded by disregarded pink shoes. This image could change background a thousand times and still be reminiscent of our childhoods, wanting to wear your favourite party dress every day and trying on all the shoes in sight. Escapism is always prevalent in times of distress, and this image instantly brings me joy on a dark rainy day in London. It reminds us that there are much worse situations happening around the world, but if this little girl can find happiness in her day then we can also find at least a fragment of joy on our darkest days.

The By Artist Gallery, Showing until 30th August @ Lower Café Gallery, Rich Mix London. 

Check out the other blogs in the IN THE GALLERY series – Illustrative Intent / Not.Banksy

Written by Kaia Goodenough, July 2017