Human Nature comes to Soho and combines environmental art with ethical design
The Human Nature road-show rolled back into London town and combined with ‘The Art of Progress’ to take over the unique exhibition space at 19 Greek Street, a Victorian townhouse whose many floors can be converted into art showrooms.
Curated by Charlotte Webster of the Good Shout Studio, Human Nature brings together a regular grouping of artists with an environmental message. We’ve featured a number of them already in Inspiring City. The likes of Jonesy, Louis Masai, ATM , Jane Laurie and Ben Wilson are all popular for their works on the street which can often be seen in and around the boroughs of London.
Launching in late 2014, the Human Nature road-show first launched in Shoreditch before going on the road to venues in Bristol and Leeds before returning to the capital. The show explores the way that humans interact with nature. According to the show literature, “It feels more important than ever to take a look at our complex relationship with the environment, and who better to do so than the artists?”
The building itself is unique. Covering five floors, the layout of the townhouse allows each one to be converted into a stand alone exhibition space, giving each area a unique feel. It’s windows, looking out into the busy streets of Soho beneath even contain solar strips so that they actually generate electricity. It’s possible to charge your phone during a trip if you needed a bit of a top up.
Alongside the art, furniture from the Tengri collective has been arranged to give ideas on how to adopt a more ethical lifestyle by exploring ways in which all sorts of things that we take for granted can be re-imagined through the use of recycled materials and innovative uses of natural resources.
But for us, it’s the art and there were some spectacular pieces on display. Having interviewed Jonesy prior to the show, his miniature bronzes in particular stood out with a variety on display whilst Louis Masai’s toy patchwork sharks drawn onto reclaiming wood sent a striking message that it will be only the toys which are left if these fine creatures are allowed to be hunted to extinction.
Of the new artists on display, the wooden sculptures from Lesley Hilling were particularly spectacular. Incredibly complex, they are made up from recycled materials and found objects and impressive in their construction. Justyna Bedzyn meanwhile is a ceramic artist from Poland with a passion for ornithology and as such often uses birds in her ceramic designs with one of her mosaic owls prominently displayed.
The possible highlight of the show though for many could well have been the virtual reality film ‘Natural Reality 2:1‘. Seen through a headset, the production from Dororthea Gibbs it transported the viewer to an immersive natural setting watching the ebb and flow of a tidal basin. Dis-orientating yet strangely calming, it had the effect of transporting you sub-consciously at least from the heart of Soho into an altogether more serene world.
The Human Nature show as part of the ‘Art of Progress’ exhibition took place between 17-27 September 2015 at 19 Greek Street in Soho, London. The show was visited on Sunday 27 September and sponsored by Abundance, the ethical investment platform.
Human Nature Exhibition Gallery