Monday, 14 January 2013

Thought-provoking art from Iris Berger and Josh King

The New Year opens at Gallery150 with two thought-provoking shows by Iris Berger and Josh King.

Auschwitz by Iris Berger
In ‘Empathy and Reflection. Anne Frank.’, Iris Berger takes us on a journey into the harrowing reality of the Nazi occupation and the horrors of the concentration camps. Inspired by her own personal response to the young girl’s diary and a visit to the house in Amsterdam, where the family hid from the Germans for two years, Berger explores Anne Frank’s inner life, thoughts, feelings and the circumstances surrounding the Holocaust.  With this series, the artist, who uses art as a vehicle for engendering empathy and compassion, investigates the duality of hope and despair, stating: 

This opposition is the dynamism which forces the collective memory's responsibility to the present and future. It can do this because there exists a past whose tragedy is internalized through remembrance. In this sense my paintings constitute a form of ‘narrative painting’. As such, the works expressionistically represent the temporal experiences of human consciousness, through memory, anticipation, despair, fear and hope.
The ‘Anne Frank Series’  of paintings invites us to imagine, and to empathize with, Anne Frank’s feelings - her sense of fear, her desperation, being trapped yet dreaming, hoping, longing for her own and her family’s freedom.”

Photographs of the paintings on show at Gallery150 are now part of the Anne Frank archive and the artist’s works will also be included in an educational package, directed by Dr. Batya Brutin of the Beit Berl College, School of Education, Holocaust Studies Programme, which will be used in schools in Israel.

Jim by Josh King 
Local photographer, Josh King, presents ‘On the Street’ a series of moving and intense works, which explore the very topical theme of homelessness. Since 2011, Josh has been taking pictures of homeless people in Leamington. But, his interest in working with the homeless began five years ago, when he got talking to a busker who was living rough in his hometown.

Josh King said: “I was struck by the similarities between his early life and my own and I realised there was nothing separating me from his situation except luck. I decided then that I wanted other people to see it too. Every person on the street is an individual with a history of their own. It’s important to me that I meet the person first and take photographs second, so that hopefully my images share a little something of their story.”

This series of thought-provoking portraits and street scenes, which aim to raise awareness of this often overlooked issue, depict people from a broad range of circumstances, who, for various reasons, including mental health, martial breakdown and financial difficulties, have found themselves without a home. Donations will also be welcomed on behalf of the Leamington Way Ahead ProjectSalvationArmy.

The private view will be held on the 22nd January and both shows will be run until 10th February 2013.

Situated at 9 Livery Street, in Leamington, Gallery150 is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11am - 6pm and Sunday from 11am to 4pm.


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