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Platform for Emerging Arts

Platform for Emerging Arts 22 – 15th May to 25th May
Private View 14th May 6.30pm – 9pm (please RSVP through

Leyden Gallery presents the 22nd Platform for Emerging Arts Exhibition, a mixed media exhibition showcasing the work of home-grown and international artists in critical early stages of their careers. The artists in the Platform for Emerging Arts Exhibitions are selected for their innovation and skill by the curatorial team at Leyden Gallery. With the development of each of Leyden Gallery’s Platform shows there is a fabulous opportunity for the public to both see and buy contemporary art. It promises to be a dynamic display from seven talented emerging artists in one of East London’s most vibrant art spaces.

We would like to warmly invite you to join us for the private view on the 14th May between 6.30pm – 9pm, please RSVP through The exhibition runs until the 25th May.

Please see below to read about the participating artists:
Mathilde Lebreton I Jo Kimmins I Evangeline Baldwin I Kendra McNichols I Stefania Pinsone I Yasmin Noorbakhsh I Claire Mont Smith

Mathilde Lebreton is a French artist and architect who uses personal moments and accumulated stories as the starting point for her work. The Sans Titre series is lacerated, scratched and written into in an abstract language, the artist having a sensual relationship with the canvas; needing to touch the marks and wounds in the paint. Intricate, deep colours slowly reveal themselves, as does the light that manages to make its way through the carved passages on the textured surfaces of the canvas.

Jo Kimmins searches for the hidden or unnoticed in nature. Kimmins creates photographic work that connects to something beyond everyday life and that cannot be deciphered or explained. In this latest series Cetacean, Kimmins documents a decomposing whale, finding beauty it its ever changing physicality. The artist is able to solicit underlying forms in the magnificent and transformative decomposition, resurrecting the whale into a language of visual poetry. This series is more about life than death, as sinews, skin and blubber find new forms in Kimmins photographs.

Evangeline Baldwin disrupts the purpose and function of the objects in her paintings; attempting to communicate the in-between stages of categorisation; between humans, the man-made and nature. In response to philosopher Maurice Blanchot’s statement that ‘language is murder’ Baldwin refuses to name her paintings and lets them speak for themselves. The artist believes objects to have their own identity, history and individuality, and in removing their ‘objecthood’ through abstraction and alterations in scale, context and colour, renders them unidentifiable and therefore free.

Kendra McNichols is a West Indian-American multidisciplinary artist, whose photographic practice explores the aesthetic of Blackness focussing on its various aspects through identity, spirituality and sexuality. McNichols practice is immensely experimental, fusing varied mediums. Hailing from a West Indian-American background, McNichols is inspired to produce artwork that captures the urban cultural aesthetics of Blackness authentically and unapologetically. McNichols utilises research of race and social politics on Black culture to bring awareness about discrimination and colourism.

Stefania Pinsone combines figurative imagery with new contemporary Impressionism of the digital age, exploring the distortion of images as seen through a video screen. Pinsone’s work is a critique of contemporary times and pursues new figurative art with a new language and new materials, including Plexiglass, LED lights and rhinestones. Pinsone uses a very fine brush and a digital image as the model, looking at the subject directly on a screen. In reference to the practice of the Impressionists, Pointillists and Divisionists, Pinsone keeps individual colours divided, so that they remain bright and evoke the feeling of looking at a glowing screen.

Yasmin Noorbakhsh is an Iranian artist, whose work responds to the politics and history of Iran. Noorbakhsh’s recent work protests against the duality and contradictions contemporary women face in Islamic society. SHAH RAFT, translated to ‘King is gone’, investigates the images that have flooded visual literacy by left or right propaganda devices from an abstract point of view. In response to the Iranian Revolution in 1979, SHAH RAFT is an interdisciplinary project that is not intended to provide an answer but rather to explore questions that three generations of Iranian people have faced since that day.

Claire Mont Smith responds to small but significant moments, uncertainties and memories within the Threads series, using painstakingly built up lines that are printed, drawn, collaged and painted. Mont Smith embraces errors and the accidental as an important element of making, drawing attention to growth and emergence rather than planning and design. Using a multitude of sophisticated printing techniques and multiple plates, final compositions can be open and unexpected. Mont Smith also incorporates Japanese handmade papers within her work to emphasize their material quality, as well as to reference textiles and weaving.

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Author: Leyden Gallery

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