"CiTiES: All Dimensions" by Hassan Vawda
As the Tokarska Gallery called out for submissions for its first open exhibition to fill the galleries wonderful bright and angled space - the response was from a plethora of artists from around the corner, further in London, dotted across the country and even from abroad. The call out seemed to have taken a life of its own, a life that pumped from the exhibitions thematic heart, Cities: All Dimensions. Selected by art director and curator, Nadiya Pavilv-Tokarska, it is a theme as contained as it is expansive, the dimensions of cities truly transcend everyday perception, from aesthetic edges and industrial horizons to social reflections and cultural constructs. Transcending human perception, however, is regardless what an artist ultimately strives for, which makes the cityscape one of the most fascinating types of artistic representation.
No-One To Bestow by Emma Scutt
Breaching the Doll’s House review by C. Linton
No-One To Bestow by Emma Scutt is a paternalistic gifting from grandfather to granddaughter of an exquisitely constructed space. A doll’s house has walls, and even furnished, is essentially empty, a blank canvas, a stage set awaiting happening. Any tenants, cast members physically present within, are likely to be psychologically absent, awaiting animation. This most potent of female childhood vessels is its own interior world. It has boundaries, is physically complete, existing independent of exterior space. The effect of the charming constraint of this vessel for the child, who is physically present and psychology engaged, is to enable unconstrained play and experimentation. It is a safe space for the child (here female), to inhabit. She can be her own protagonist(s), imprinting aspects of the self on her own cast of character vessels to animate them. So, stuck space elicits, releases endless fluid imaginings which blur the boundaries between imagined and real space, and flow and leak whither they may, as story.
Nadiya Pavliv Tokarska / Contemporary Cityscapes. After E HOPPER and D HEPHER
Review by Zoe-Lee Skelton
Unreal City, 60
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many. Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
T. S. Eliot, The Wasteland, 1922
London town; Do we acknowledge the architectural giants in between sips of our extra hot, extra skinny, mocha-decaf latte as we drudge routinely through the chartered streets? We take their lining of the street and London’s turreted skyline for granted. We can all identify with the names: Gherkin, the shard, the thrusting peaks of Canary Wharf – but have you ever really looked at them. Have you ever stood at the summit and exchanged a submission of proportion with these benevolent giants, or stopped in the middle of Oxford Street while the drones throng and swell to the beat of the consumer drum? .
"Nadiya Pavliv-Tokarska / Contemporary Cityscape. After E Hopper and D Hepher"
Critical review by Pen Dalton
Tokarska Gallery,Walthamstow, London. 24 July to 25 August 2012
It has become journalistically accepted to relate the ‘real’ meaning of a work of art to articulations of an artist’s intention offered in their personal statement or more commonly – their press release. Audiences expect artworks to transparently reveal a reflection of the artist’s personal life experiences or else expressions of their genuine emotional states. Of course these things are part of the way we may understand or read a work of art but it is less common in contemporary art criticism to explain the meanings art solely through an artist personal narrative and what they might say about it themselves.
Katherine Green: 1948 Olympians, Tokarska Gallery - review by Sue Steward
Heroes again - Green reflects on the otherwise overlooked by photographing medal winners from London 1948 at home with their memorabilia, medals and memories.
On hearing the Olympic call six years ago, Katherine Green set up this project involving medal winners from London 1948. Photographing them at home, with memorabilia and medals, she exploited her natural empathy, and also captured the black-and-white prints of each subject in action.
Works by Rei Matsushima, Margaret Moore, Zoe-Lee Skelton and Asako Taki are presented as a group show, Windmill. Show literature describes the windmill gaining power from the wind on its wings, using that power to make energy in relationship with the land. A question of environmental impact is introduced.
The windmill is a signifier for the artistic individual, operating as a collective in the landscape, affected by environment, with difference and distance between them. With four windmills in this landscape, I am asked to question whether each windmill has spirit and moves of their own accord, to harmonise as an artistic collective .
hology is epic, as is this visual outpouring in print by Anna Alcock. The artistic method of telling is predominantly two-dimensional; etching on paper, some screen printing and linocut, moving to charcoal drawing, using fabric remnants, exquisite chine collé papers and collage. The work pushes boundaries into three dimensions.
Myths unfold chronologically and are an oral tradition of telling and retelling, over time. The works hang throughout the gallery space as single and conjoined episodes, loosely arranged by date, technique, medium or thematic.
Seemingly bland, still, muted and melancholy and in a narrow range of colours and texture, Lio Via’s photographs reward nonetheless a closer contemplation. What at first seems … calm and detached builds up as we walk through the collection into associations with mythic and archaic symbolism; and on even closer, even forensic investigation on the part of the viewer - mirroring perhaps the processes of the artist herself - the work emerges as a courageous defense created with photographic art to cope with the effects of civilisations’ conformities, horrors and systematic powers.
Surface tension: a modernist show?
Surface Tension is the Tokarska Gallery’s best show yet. Nadiya Tokarska is hosting folie á deux’ group show of four emergent – although mature in aesthetic terms – London based artists: Giulia Ricci, Naomi Doran, Onya McCausland and Tom Hackney.
It is not inappropriate to begin with the observation that the work is precisely and suggestively hung. On entering the gallery there is a sense of a collective concept – in this case attention to materials; a sensitivity to context and space – yet at the same time, four different minds at work. There is in the hang, a subtle assertion that artworks exist in relationships - to each other, to the space and to the potential audience. Even in this relatively small gallery there is enough room and light to pay close attention to each work yet allow peripheral glimpses of its possible relation to the others, enhancing and enriching the viewing experience.