arebyte Gallery 2018 Programme

For this year's artistic programme, we will focus on and explore the theme of Islands

Reflecting on recent local and global socio-political changes, the programme – launched with a group show, followed by five solo exhibitions, an International residency, a series of online commissions and a professional development programme for emerging artists from outside of London – will be looking at the idea of dislocation and association of space, from both physical and theoretical aspects.

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Presenting a series of exhibitions which approach the theme in various interrelating and converging ways, the programme will examine notions of autonomy, ecology, occupation and colonisation shaped and contained by the nature of islands and will include works by local and international artists.

With a look to the more physical interpretations of the word island, the works in the first group exhibition of the programme, titled on my island none of this would be true curated by Chris Rawcliffe, showed work relating directly to London City Island, and the UK as a whole, as way to expand on historical and contemporary references to feelings of isolation, separation and escapism.  

Continuing this relation to communities or inhabitants of islands, multimedia artist Lawrence Lek proposes an alternative future for housing with his installation Nøtel, which both criticises urban development schemes and the aesthetic advertorials they require, as well as questioning affordability and scarcity of space in the Capital with relation to rising rent prices and inflation.

Our young artist development programme hotel generation '18 expands on the notions of networking communities and scarcity of space by looking outside of the Capital for emerging artists, and giving precedence to those who are located in smaller cities and areas of the UK.

With his exhibition Fellowship of CitizensSaemundur Thor Helgason will develop on the notion of labour and how it is financially acknowledged.  The project criticises the lack of economic value and precedence given to creative industries and to those with precariously salaried jobs, and seeks to demonstrate the feasibility of a financing scheme which operates as an economic island. The exhibition elements – comprised in part of a new short film and installation-based works acting as effigies to the process – demand a rethinking of the ways in which we consume commercial and capitalist ways of living.


The Islands programme is as follows:


Chris Rawcliffe  on my island none of this would be true February

The opening show of Islands was a group show, on my island none of this would be true, guest curated by Chris Rawcliffe (UK), featuring works by 10 UK and International artists, whose practices span across sculpture, installation, photography, poetry, video and performance. The show took its title from the last line of a poem called Security, written by Tom Chivers for his book Dark Islands.


Saemundur Thor Helgason Fellowship of Citizens May

Fellowship of Citizens (or ‘Félag Borgara’) is London-based, artist Saemundur Thor Helgason’s (IS) first solo exhibition in London. The exhibition will formally launch the interest group Félag Borgara, founded by Thor Helgason in Reykjavik in October 2017, which seeks to seeks to demonstrate the feasibility of a financing scheme which operates as an economic island, a microcosmic financial system, lobbying for basic income in Iceland. The work operates on a national scale due to legal restrictions, but financially supports BIEN (Basic Income Earth Network), an international organisation that advocates for basic income worldwide.


Lawrence Lek Nøtel July

Nøtel is an immersive multimedia installation by London-based, artist Lawrence Lek (UK) presenting a fictional luxury hotel chain called Nøtel, comprising an architectural model, video and sound projections, and a virtual reality video game console. The project plays with the format of the marketing suites used by property developers to promote new buildings for sale.

Set in a future London, where society no longer requires permanent housing but rather stays in a range of temporary accommodation, Nøtel speculates on critical issues surrounding the newly-regenerated London City Island. The project continues Lek's exploration of architectural visualisation as a means to explore the critical and aesthetic issues surrounding urban development.


hotel generation ‘18 November

A UK young artist development programme exhibiting four artists from outside of London. From an open call we shortlisted four artists: Cassia Dodman (Orkney), Sulaïman Majali (Glasgow), Aaron McCarthy (Glasgow) and Karanjit Panesar (Bristol).

They will each receive a stipend to begin the research and development stage of their proposal. Working closely with the arebyte team, the shortlisted four will be provided with professional guidance, studio visits, critical feedback and general mentoring and assistance. One final artist will then be selected by a panel of judges and receive further funding to realise a solo exhibition at the gallery space.