Category Archives: Uncategorized

Chelsea Cafe Project #27

Mariana Loewy

But You Don’t Look Colombian

Monday 30 October –  15 December 2017

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 12.17.35

Mariana Loewy, part of But You Don’t Look Colombian series, digital illustrations, 2017. More images can be found on the Instagram page @butyoudontlookcolombian

Café Project #27 features the work of artist Mariana Loewy, recent graduate from MA Fine Arts at Chelsea College of Arts.

The following questions were posed to the artist:

Who are the portraits of and what has been your main influence?

The portraits are of my fellow Colombian women. I decided to start this series in response to a phrase that I have come against again and again: ‘But you don’t look Colombian’. A phrase that, after engaging in conversation with them, I found is not alien to my Colombian peers, often even used within my own country. For me it speaks to wider racial preconceptions, extending beyond looks to deeper typecasts and ingrained expectations harking back to colonial notions that have evolved into commercial representations of exaggerated character types.
This series is a celebration of the diversity within the Colombian peoples and a celebration of diversity within my female peers, and a project that will extend to male portraits in the future.

These images were originally conceived as digital drawings to be disseminated on Instagram, why did you chose this platform and medium?

I decided to use Instagram because I wanted a medium that allowed as wide an access as possible. Since starting the project I’ve already found a lot of support from other Latin American women. I want to create social consciousness around the subject of stereotypes and find social media to be a perfect tool for this. I decided to use digital illustration because it allowed malleability.

How does this series relate to your previous work?

This series speaks of identity and thus connects to my previous work through intimacy. It shows how I create an intimate bond with my country through identity in the midst of a third person’s questioning. It is funny that you feel strongest about where you come from the moment someone questions it by saying you don’t seem to be from that place. Your bond is steeled through their apparent ignorance.

About the Artist

Mariana Loewy is an illustrator, writer and photographer. She explores the subjects of eroticism, intimacy, nostalgia, death, and how all of them correlate. Loewy has always been interested in human sexuality, at first its functionality, how we worked as animals on a biological level.

Through my practice I slowly left this type of work on the shelf and instead continued my search for intimacy, one that had started from a young age and as my interest in sexuality grew. As my understanding of intimacy developed I began to comprehend that it existed on different channels. It had different meanings for every person. I began to comprehend that intimacy had no timeline and no face.
My research continues to change in form as I re-encounter intimacy through every human exchange. For it morphs. Mercilessly.
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About the project The Chelsea Cafe Project is a series of displays of work by students and staff from Chelsea College of Arts. These changing displays are a chance to see some of the talent here at Chelsea from across a diverse range of disciplines. The series is curated in collaboration with CHELSEA space (opposite) as part of the Public Programme.

For more information please contact Cherie Silver at or in person at CHELSEA space. 

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RE RE- RE: | MA Curating and Collections 2016/17 Final Show


Opening night: Friday 8 September 2017, 6 – 9 pm

Saturday 9 September – Thursday 14 September, 2017

Curated by MA Curating and Collections 2016/17

Cookhouse Gallery, Chelsea College of Arts, 16 John Islip Street London, SW1P 4JU


Roy Ascott | Sarah Bodman | Tim Etchells | Victoria Lomasko | Jorge Martín García & Yukari Sakata | Polit-Sheer-Form Office | Mark Titchner

RE RE- RE: presents the possibility of an open conversation and aims to establish itself as a platform to explore the infinite potential of collectivity. This exhibition has been, from its inception, informed by Hannah Arendt’s influential book The Human Condition, published in 1958. In this work, the German philosopher examined the differentiations between labour, work and action; power, violence and strength; property and wealth. In the ever-growing state of uncertainty and helplessness that governs the current political climate, it seems to have become, again and increasingly, a pertinent theory to look at.

Arendt offers us sanctuary by affirming that true power cannot be imposed from above – it instead lies in an individual ability to come together in what she calls the ‘spaces of appearance’, a transitory public realm where people can engage in dialogue, and actualise the potential power of the pluralised individual.

The exhibition itself serves as a potential space of appearance for diverse ideas and themes. Re stands for reference and the introduction of ideas into a dialogue. Re- is a prefix that can be applied to suggest the process of renewal and repetition. It references the structural mechanics of the English language. Re: stands for reply and the introduction also calls forth the notion of replying or response in an email thread – drawing Arendt’s concept into the modern sphere.

To accompany the exhibition, a publication was conceived as a parallel platform for artists and intellectuals to reflect on Arendt’s relevance in contemporary society, through the lens of their personal practice. With a foreword by Lynton Talbot, contributors include David Gothard, Weiping Hu, Narelle Jubelin, Memo Kosemen, Sophie Loss, Fereshte Moosavi, Kata Oltai, Fabian Peake, Francesco Pedraglio, Carlos Saavedra, Cally Spooner and Nahal Tajadod.

Accompanying publication and pamphlet, designed by Molly Burdett and Léna Rigoleur

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More information can be found on the show website.

Chelsea Cafe Project #26

Michael Iveson

Tuesday 11 March –  5 May 2017


Michael Iveson, Untitled, 2017, Mono Print


Café Project #26 features the work of artist Michael Iveson. In his work, Iveson challenges the parameters of the spaces he works within, whether that be a room, a canvas or sheet of paper, creating physical interruptions and visual restrictions. Manipulating and finding new ways to use materials that already exist, Iveson’s work encourages the viewer to a different way of seeing and experiencing.

In this display, the three larger mono prints are based around the idea of creating an image that has a visual restriction inserted into its making. The paper onto which they are printed has a triangular grid pattern from which the stencil shapes that form the architecture are also drawn. This shapes the structure of the architecture into exaggerated forms and visual paradoxes.

In the smaller print, ‘View of a room’, pigments are used that have been leached from newsprint in a process of collage where an image is erased and remade as something else. In this case, the pigment comes from the Swiss newspaper ‘Blick’ to create an image of a windowless room, a room without a view. (Blick translates from German to English as ‘view’).

In all of these works the image is covered in a barrier of dots that creates a visual restriction and begins a process of breaking the image back down again into a grid pattern.

All of the works are mono prints on paper: ‘View of a Room’, ‘Double Whammy’, ‘Untitled’, ‘Untitled’.

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About the Artist

Michael Iveson is a London based artist who has exhibited widely in London, the UK and in select international exhibitions. For his most recent solo exhibition at the Averard Hotel in 2016, Corridor, Iveson created five impressive bodies of work displayed throughout the derelict building.

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instagram | iveson_m

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PLEASE NOTE: Chelsea Cafe opening hours: Monday – Saturday 8.45am – 3.45pm


About the project The Chelsea Cafe Project is a series of displays of work by students and staff from Chelsea College of Arts. These changing displays are a chance to see some of the talent here at Chelsea from across a diverse range of disciplines. The series is curated in collaboration with CHELSEA space (opposite) as part of the Public Programme.

For more information or to purchase an artwork please contact Cherie Silver at or in person at CHELSEA space. 

cactrust-logo-2009-copy           UAL_Lockup_Chelsea_BLACK

Exhibition Studio Workshop

To be continued by the reader…
A workshop space on Ways of Seeing by John Berger

25.01.2017 – 03.03.2017

Private view on 24.01.2017

Curated by Cui Chen, Nadine Cordial Settele, Paul Davey, Yuen Yu Ho, Deborah Lim, Yue Li, Yuran Lin, Maria Kobzareva, Flavia Prestininzi, Chinmayi Swami, Zhou Xiaodeng.


This project comprises of two components: a main exhibition presented via an online Tumblr blog, and a workshop space within the Exhibition Studio Workshop. It is an exploration of key ideas introduced in Ways of Seeing (1972), a BBC TV series of four films, written and presented by John Berger. The book was published by Penguin Books and the BBC shortly after.

The blog is accessible via the iPads in the room and on any mobile device or computer. It presents a selection of primary material from the book including relevant quotes, paragraphs, images and video clips – essentially serving as a close reading of the text.

The workshop space is an accompaniment to the blog, in which participants are invited to revisit ideas in Ways of Seeing, and examine how they carry through to contemporary society and culture. It consists of four activities:

Activity One: A mechanical eye
Activity Two: Nudity is a form of dress
Activity Three: The world-as-it-is
Activity Four: The free world

Related reading material and other books by John Berger can be found in the three vitrines within the room.

Both the material on the blog and within the workshop space is meant to provoke deeper thought on the part of the viewer, instigating questions of how such ideas continue and can be interpreted in a modern-day context.

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John Berger (1926 – 2017) was a British art critic, novelist and political essayist. His novel G. won the Booker Prize in 1972 and Ways of Seeing became an iconic and highly influential work, often used as a university text.
He studied Fine Arts at the Central School of Fine Arts (today Central Saint Martins), as well as at Chelsea College of Arts. He began his career as a painter and also wrote poetry, screenplays and writings on photography. He addressed issues such as the exploitation of migrant workers, the Palestinian struggle for statehood, and his Marxist humanist views were demonstrated in his opinions on art.


Chelsea Cafe Project #25

Night Poems

Andrew Hart

Friday 27 January – Friday 10 March 2017


Andrew Hart, ‘Unit 9’, (2017)

Café Project #25 features the work of the Chelsea College of Arts 3rd Year Fine Art student Andrew Hart.

The following questions were posed to the artist:

What inspired you to do this series of work, where do you get your inspiration from?

This series of four paintings is a night time poem. Written whilst completing my dissertation- it is based on the pensive moments of deep exploration for thoughts and ideas. This could be seen as the rhythm created whilst searching in the recesses of the mind.

What emotions/feelings do certain colours and shapes evoke in your work for you?

I usually relate sound and rhythm to my paintings – colour can represent tones in the musical field. 

How has being at Chelsea College of Arts influenced your work and way of thinking?

Academically Chelsea has challenged and opened up a theoretical and contextual understanding of Art that I knew nothing of. New writers and new theories on Art. My 2nd year tutor, Ben Fitton, introduced me to a writer who really links to ideas in my work. 

Do you work with any other art forms / mediums? How does this compare to painting?

I am a multi-disciplinary artist based in painting. I work in many mediums including installation, video, sculpture, sound, performance and found objects. Working with other mediums can be a freeing experience and expands my interpretations of ideas – providing a different challenge. The way a work is translated can be different to painting, so from this I learn more about my own practice.

How do you see your work developing in the future?

I plan to push the sound element of my practice. I am currently working with recent graduate Janek Nixon on 2 projects, including a UAL digital collective project at the Tate Exchange in March.

What exhibitions would you recommend in London at the moment or what was the most memorable exhibition you saw in the last year?

I really enjoyed the ‘Infinite Mix’ at the Hayward, and current shows ‘Gavin Turk: Who What When Where How & Why’ at the Newport Gallery, ‘Radouan Zeghidour’ at Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix Gallery, and ‘Robert Rauschenberg’ at Tate Modern.


Instagram: hart.art9


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About the project

The Chelsea Cafe Project is a series of displays of work by students and staff from Chelsea College of Arts.  These changing displays are a chance to see some of the talent here at Chelsea from across a diverse range of disciplines.  The series is curated in collaboration with CHELSEA space (opposite) as part of the Public Programme.

For more information please contact Cherie Silver at or in person at CHELSEA space.

Chelsea Cafe Project #24

The Freeborn Exchange Celebrating Ireland 2016

Gavin Freeborn

November 14 2016 – January 14 2017


The Freeborn Exchange Celebrating Ireland 2016 is a series created at Cashel Arts Festival, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, September 2016. The artist Gavin Freeborn aims to provide current and future generations with a snapshot of the public feeling in relation to Ireland 2016, the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

Freeborn set up a pop up portrait studio in Cashel’s Heritage Centre where festival goers and members of the public were invited in to converse with him about what Ireland 2016 means to them. The artist also made audio recordings of the conversations for archival purposes.

This exhibition of four of the 100 portraits also coincides with a pop up exhibition featuring a selection of 10 larger poster portraits in the display window of Cashel’s Supervalu supermarket. Freeborn is currently creating a book including 100 portraits, quotes and further context for the project, to be launched by the end of 2016.

The series is also part of the ongoing Freeborn Exchange project, which has been made by the artist in 25 countries worldwide since November 2011. It focuses on Freeborn’s travels exchanging portraits, objects, stories, hospitality and more. The artist has created his own alternative currency and economy.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the project. The Cashel Arts Festival is supported by Tipperary County Council.


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About the artist

Gavin Freeborn, originally from Donegal, Ireland, is a Brixton based photographer, arts educator, marketing and communications professional. Freeborn specialises in portrait and documentary photography, and the art of networking online through social media and offline in the real world. Freeborn’s work explores the evolution of identity and economy. Alongside a showcase of the Freeborn Exchange and a pop up portrait studio, his April 2015 show at Chelsea College of Arts involved Freeborn selecting and curating work related to the idea of exchange. He engaged staff and students from curating & collections, fine art, graphic design communication, textile design, and interior & spatial design. In March 2016 the artist was invited to give a TEDx talk about The Freeborn Exchange, hoping to inspire others to explore their potential alternative currency in everyday life.

More details via Freeborn social media, so please feel free to connect/keep in touch or propose an exchange of your own with Freeborn for your portrait.

Instagram @freebornlive | Twitter @gavinfreeborn  | |

#FreebornExchange     #Ireland2016        #CashelArtsFest


About the project The Chelsea Cafe Project is a series of displays of work by students and staff from Chelsea College of Arts. These changing displays are a chance to see some of the talent here at Chelsea from across a diverse range of disciplines. The series is curated in collaboration with CHELSEA space (opposite) as part of the Public Programme.For more information please contact Cherie Silver at or in person at CHELSEA space.


cactrust-logo-2009-copy           UAL_Lockup_Chelsea_BLACK

Corridors of Power #1

A Brief History of Broken Cricket Bats

Curated by: Ryan Blakeley, Feini Chen, ZiZhen Cheng, Gaia Giacomelli, Shu Chang Liu, Ksenia Stepanova, Xinjiang Zhuang.

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The curators with Syd Shelton (credit: Donald Smith)

Corridors of Power #1, the first in a series of exhibitions by curators on the MA Curating and Collections course at Chelsea College of Arts, displays multiple works from the Chelsea Space collection. It highlights the gallery’s ongoing relationship with and focus on popular culture and punk rock. The works displayed are from many different generations of exhibitions that Chelsea Space has created throughout its 11 year history, including its most recent exhibition on the photography of Sheila Rock – Sheila Rock: From Punk To The English Sea. The exhibited exhibition posters by Hatch Show Print, Frank Sidebottom, Mark Titchner and Mick Jones (also photographed by Syd Shelton with The Clash band member Paul Simonon on the second floor) highlight the diversity of the 66 exhibitions that Chelsea Space has produced so far.

This show was conceived in reference to the exhibition space’s unique history that resonates with the anti-establishment values that punk rock perpetuated. Once the Commandant’s headquarters, these corridors and the offices within them were re- appropriated as the offices for Margaret Thatcher’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Geoffrey Howe. It was in the now Pro Vice Chancellor’s office that Howe wrote his famous resignation speech about ‘playing with broken bats’ that would eventually lead to the end of Margaret Thatcher’s eleven year term in office.

The exhibition revolves around Howe’s statement as a fitting metaphor for the inadequate social structures that gave birth to the rebellion that punk was. This is perhaps most poignantly exhibited in Syd Shelton’s two Jubilee photographs. The two works juxtapose the celebratory nature of the Queen’s Jubilee with the anxious social reality of Great Britain at that time. The pairing of the 1977 and 2012 works brings focus to the question of how much has changed in the interim. Time and change are themes that punctuate this exhibition, and they are characteristic of punk’s evaluating, questioning nature. In Sheila Rock’s recent photograph of the punk muse Jordan (commissioned for Chelsea Space’s 66th exhibition), where the model wears an image of her younger self printed on her t-shirt, Rock brings these reflective themes to the foreground.

When the buildings of Chelsea College of Arts were home to Millbank Penitentiary they were the staging point from which prisoners were sent to Australia. Syd Shelton’s Redfern, therefore, holds a special relevance to its surroundings and their role within the context of British colonialism. The work also reflects the feelings of despondent isolationism felt amongst the marginalised within British society. These play a key role in understanding punk aspirations. It is a theme that Barney Bubbles’ work Frogs, Sprouts, Clogs and Krauts playfully meditates on within the context of Britain’s intercontinental relationships. The multiple cross references between Gilbert & George’s Hope Fear Life and Peter Blake’s work referencing their quotation of Flannagan and Allen’s song Underneath The Arches, which is about homeless men who would sleep underneath railway arches during the great depression, also respond to aspirations of the isolated and outcast.

A Brief History of Broken Cricket Bats pays tribute to the enduring relevance of punk rock values in popular culture and maintains that these are still valuable agents for contemporary political debate.

The curatorial team would like to thank Donald Smith for providing art objects from his personal collection and Mike Iveson for his support during the installation.

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