The annual Summer Salon at Islington Arts Factory will come to a close next Friday after three weeks of exhibition.
There are currently around a hundred artists showcasing their work in the converted former church on Parkhurst Road, and over 140 pieces of artwork, the majority of which are paintings or photography.
Islington Arts Factory’s Director of Visual Arts Eleanor Pearce recruited local artists for the showcase by contacting arts venues in the Islington area, including Crouch End Open Studio.
The artworks hang in the main room at the Arts Factory, and will be on display until the 29th of July.
Although it is primarily a showcase of the work of local artists, Eleanor has had submissions from artists from as far away as Edinburgh and last year even Boston in the US – although the American artist was unable to submit for this year’s Salon due to the cost of delivering his work.
Other artists have returned to the Salon year on year.
The Arts Factory offers a wide variety of other activities alongside the exhibition of artwork – on Sunday afternoon local people attended band rehearsals and pottery classes, allowing a variety of people to browse the artwork as they passed through the building. School children also regularly use the Factory for workshops.
The artwork commissioned by the Summer Salon has various themes, from those that suggest haunting (Danielle Leach’s ‘Preparatory work Illustrating Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis’ ) to those depicting more light-hearted subjects – for example the oil on canvas ‘Lanzorote Pool’ by student Tara Early.
Sound was used in the installation ‘Chairman Elvis’ by Janitzio Moreno, in a piece that embodied ‘political suggestion and reference to historical events.’
Mixed media was used extensively, one example being the offering from Weibke Dreyer, whose work ‘Cracks’ represented nature through painting.
Artist Amy Abbott sought to challenge gender and age stereotypes in her charcoal sketch ‘Home Comforts’, which depicted a old woman masturbating whilst watching television.
Another potentially shocking piece was the oil and emulsion on canvas by Hannah Habidi-Hopkin, which brought the often mysterious world of the Middle East into a western pop art discourse. It depicted a burka clad female below a speech bubble that read ‘Made you Look’. Habidi-Hopkin’s work has been called ‘immensely refreshing’ by Arabist Magazine.
Next week will see the Arts Factory being used as a base for the Platform Festival, a scheme that attempts to engage 13 to 19 year olds who might previously not have been interested in art. The aim is to raise money to open a community centre on Hornsey Road, and a cardboard gondola will be seen parading through the streets during the weekend of 23rd and 24th of July. The Platform Festival has been running since Friday 15th July and will finish on the 31st.
The Arts Factory has recently had its government funding cut, meaning less money has been available for marketing the events and showcases that are offered. Anyone interested in the arts is being encouraged to get involved in the running of the centre.