Enter the apocalypse in The Gallyry’s new online exhibition

A sneak peek at The Gallyry’s online exhibition, The Apocalypse Will Blossom, celebrating courage, patience, and hope


By Ally Faughnan


Inspired by one of Jenny Holzer’s Inflammatory Essays (1979-1982), which ends with the line “The apocalypse will blossom,” The Gallyry’s new online exhibition celebrates courage, patience, and hope during these “intolerable” times.


Curated by Ally Faughnan, Founder of The Gallyry, 15 artists share work that explores their experiences of living in lockdown, the importance of coming together, and the power of positivity.


Throughout the pandemic, The Gallyry continues to use its online magazine and community to unite and support women and non-binary people in the arts. This exhibition hopes to showcase the wonderful work of the artists involved and provide a space to reflect on everything happening around us while we wait for the “apocalypse” to end.


Opening from 1 – 30 June 2020 on thegallyry.com, take a sneak peek at the artists and artworks in the exhibition below.



Amelia Buchanan, Hope, 2020

Digital graphic


Amelia Buchanan is an all-round creative, using mixed media and symbolic imagery to bring meaning to her work. Combining her love of art, music, and design, she channels her passion for invoking positive feelings and centres her work around messages of wellbeing, calm, and inclusivity.


Hope is a reminder that there is always a way to deal with challenging times. During adversity, sunshine and birdsong are some of the most simple things that we can find gratitude in. This work aims to remind us of our natural coping mechanisms, finding peace in nature.



Andréa Acker, Transformation, 2018

Acrylic on wood


Andréa Acker is a visual artist from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and she studied art at Maharishi International University in the USA. For Andréa, making art is a spiritual practice and her work acts as political, historical, socioeconomic, and ecological commentaries, with the intention of calling the viewers attention to issues ignored by the status quo.


Transformation was created to represent Andréa's long journey in therapy, which required patience, courage, and hope. The hand is reaching out towards the Blood Moon – representing totality with oneself – a symbol which remains relevant to the times we are currently living through.



Danielle Andrews, Dragonflies, 2020

Digital video


Danielle Andrews is a South African/Swiss artist who just finished her final year studying photography at Falmouth University. Danielle's photographic work often explores the human condition and her spirituality.


Dragonflies explores Danielle's fascination with these creatures after learning about how many transformations they endure before being able to fly into the unknown. Danielle felt this was a beautiful metaphor for life and the spiritual journeys people experience.



Eline De Clercq, No Woman Is An Island, 2020

Oil on paper


Eline De Clercq is an Antwerp-based artist and graduate from the Royal Academy of Ghent. You can often find Eline painting either women or trees, and she finds imperfection and emptiness interesting in both of these subjects. Inspired by the lesbian gaze, Eline's work also explores representation and inclusion.


No Woman Is An Island was made for International Women’s day in Brussels. Inspired by a poem written in 1624 by John Donne, “man” was changed to “woman” as a celebration of strong, powerful womxn.



Holly de Looze, Rinse & Repeat, 2020

Photography


Holly de Looze is a London-based photographer, studying photography at London College of Communication. Her work documents her personal understanding of gender roles within domestic environments, as well as exploring subjects of intimacy, performance, and the body in relation to space and time.


Rinse & Repeat concentrates on the frustrations of ‘everydayness’, recording these emotions of dissatisfaction through the body in relation to its domestic environment. The recognition and performance of these cyclical rituals through intimate gestures depicts the never ending cycle of time and actions.



J C Cowans, Flowerchild, 2017

Watercolour and acrylic on paper


J C Cowans is a multidisciplinary artist whose work spans fine art, poetry, film, and curation. Cowans’ paintings, mainly portraiture, explore the female form and celebrate the intricacies of the holistic being.


Flowerchild explores the beauty and liberation of loving oneself. Sunflowers are a global symbolism for adoration, loyalty, and longevity – three characteristics the artist believes are important in the pursuit of self. The portrait of self-care advocate Sarah Connor, who was photographed by Darrin Baldrige, perfectly depicts this notion of loving oneself openly.



Javie Huxley, Seasons, 2020

Digital illustration


Javie Huxley is a London-based British-Chilean illustrator, with an MA in Children's Literature and Illustration. She is also a campaigner and trustee for Save Latin Village. Using her art as advocacy, Javie regularly explores themes of identity and social justice.


Seasons explores how Javie has adjusted to change in her life over the past couple of months. This personal work takes us through the chaos of a breakup, moving house, and living through lockdown, and shows how Javie has found comfort in the changing of the seasons.



Júlia Martinho, Daily Walk Findings, 2020

Digital photography


Júlia Martinho is a Portuguese artist with a BA in Contemporary Arts Practice from Bath Spa University. Júlia's practice explores various mediums and how they can be used to convey different meanings, working with ceramics, photography, video, sculpture, and design.


During these unprecedented times, Júlia has been taking her camera everywhere, even though she can only leave the house to go for short walks. Instead of reflecting the hectic nature of this pandemic, Daily Walk Findings focuses on the parts of life that we often take for granted: the extraordinary surroundings found on her wanderings.



Lethabo Huma, Beyond, 2020

Digital


Lethabo Huma is a visual artist from Pretoria, South Africa, with a focus on digital art. Lethabo's work acts as a mirror to her emotional responses to life experiences, where the work aims to tell different stories of emotions, influenced by the many phases of life.


Beyond is an encouragement to persevere through this difficult time during the coronavirus pandemic. It aims to look beyond and act as a reminder that, like all things, this will also come to an end.



Mohini Mehta, Harmony, 2020

Oil and acrylic on canvas


Mohini Mehta is a practicing artist from Kolkata, India, and an MA Fine Arts graduate from Central Saint Martins. She is currently studying for a graduate certificate in Art History from University of Melbourne. Mohini’s paintings explore perceptions of reality, influenced by her experiences and surrounding environment. To avoid using toxic paints, she also uses natural ingredients like seeds and spices.


Harmony displays the balance between nature and living things. The work was made with the hope that when we come out on the other side of the coronavirus crisis, we will realise the importance of nature and learn to live in harmony with the natural world.



Nicole Chui, Kind of positive, 2020

Embroidery thread x digital print on matte photo paper


Nicole Chui is a London-based embroidery artist, designer, and creative. Nicole’s use of hand embroidery is messy, brash, and disruptive, and through her work she aims to provide platforms for under-represented communities.


Nicole was commissioned by It's Nice That to create a piece inspired by the rainbow challenge happening across the UK, as it symbolises positivity. Kind of positive is a continuation of using the rainbow as a reminder to stay positive everyday throughout this tough time.



Rachel Rodrigues, Finsbury Park, 2020

Oil and acrylic on paper


Rachel Rodrigues is a London-born artist of Goan and Manglorean (South Indian) heritage. Alongside working as an artist, she is completing her doctoral research on the psychology of self-harm at Imperial College London. Her artistic practice draws on themes of emotion, cultural identity, and the family, and also includes elements of psychological theory.


Finsbury Park is part of Rachel’s Evening Walk series, documenting her walks around North London during lockdown. While the brush marks and colour contrast give off a frantic energy, reflecting the uneasiness and anxiety felt by many, the viewer is invited to look up to the sky – synonymous with our hope that the uncertainty of our current situation will soon pass.



Sola Olulode, Eternal Light, 2020

Ink, acrylic, and wax on canvas


Brixton-based British-Nigerian artist Sola Olulode’s dreamy queer visions explore embodiments of British Black Womxn and Non-Binary Folx. Working with various mediums of natural dyeing, batik, wax, ink, pastel, oil bar, and impasto she develops textural canvases that explore the fluidities of identities.


Eternal Light is a utopian scene celebrating relationships that transcend notions of queer sexuality and bring visibility to Black Queer lived experiences. The figures exemplify the warm embrace of queer love and represent the energy they hold in their bodies, relishing in a boundless temporality of self-validation, joy, and hope.



Xenia Obukhowski, Splendor Solis, 2020

Oil and acrylic on canvas


Xenia Obukhowski is a self-taught Moscow-based artist whose first solo show was cancelled due to the pandemic. Through painting, sculpture, and video, Xenia explores issues surrounding identity, gender, sexuality, and society with hyperreal images that bridge the gap between terrestrial and unearthly spaces..


Splendor Solis was inspired by a mythical story that Xenia read at the beginning of lockdown, about a black sun which caused everything to decay. It felt extremely relevant to Xenia’s fears and anxieties at the time and this work blends the story with Xenia’s perception of the current situation to show the chaotic state which we are currently living in.



Yukako Sakakura, They will put you at ease, 2019

Acrylic on canvas


Trained at the Glasgow School of Art, Japanese painter Yukako Sakakura currently lives and works in Japan. Through depicting a contrast of darkness behind lightness, complexity behind simplicity, Sakakura creates the impression of a ‘dual nature’ in her abstract imaginary worlds.


They will put you at ease was created as an emotional and nostalgic landscape, with the single coloured flower representing our sense of ‘self’. The relationship between this flower and the other colourless flowers symbolises our desire to maintain our own personalities, even under the weight of societal pressures and anxiety.


Check out The Apocalypse Will Blossom on The Gallyry from 1 – 30 June 2020.