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An Audience with… Sid Motion & Jo Dennis

If you haven’t heard of Sid Motion, where have you been? One of London’s youngest, and most sought-after curators of-the-moment opened the eponymous Sid Motion Gallery in 2016 and hasn’t looked back since. Nestled next to a kebab shop on York Way in Kings Cross, the independent gallery aims to showcase contemporary art and photography without pretension.

Everyone is welcome at the Sid Motion Gallery. She wanted to open a space where any art lover could walk in and not be intimidated by a private collection and for contemporary art to be accessible by all. This coupled with a programme of fresh, vibrant artists working on a variety of media was a match made in heaven.

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Up next on the bill at the gallery is Matter Out of Place, a solo show by Peckham-based artist Jo Dennis. Often inspired by people and places, this collection started five years ago when the Goldsmiths alumni started painting in response to Caroline Gardens Chapel – also known as the Asylum in Peckham. The chapel was bombed in WWII and was never fully restored with the walls baring the scars of fire, neglect and disuse. Jo describes the space as “beautiful and truly inspirational”, and the large installation at the gallery centres around the photographs she captured there.

Key pieces you need to check out in the collection are 139 Copeland Road No.2, a limited edition photograph and Jo’s favourite piece in the series. “It really captures the idea that the walls I photograph are in fact ‘found paintings’. It has real depth, richness of colour and painterly quality to it”. And not forgetting Caroline Gardens Chapel – Crop 1, 2016, Sid’s must-see piece in the collection. “It demonstrates so well the blurring of the boundaries between painting and photography, and is so key to the Caroline Gardens Chapel installation presented in the exhibition – yet it works so well as a stand alone piece!”.

So what brought the two together? When Sid first came across Jo’s work – “I find her mixing of mediums most interesting – the works shown in installations especially allow us to question further what it is exactly we are looking at”. And for Jo, it was Sid herself. “It’s really well proportioned for an early career artist to have a solo exhibition, but the main draw for me is Sid Motion herself as she is easy to work with and we have a great rapport”.

Living in Peckham, where she co-founded the AMP Gallery, Jo spends a lot of time in local artist lead spaces like Westminster Waste, SeenFifteen Gallery and Bosse & Baum Gallery. Her top recommendation for getting an art-fix in the city? The Tate Modern. “I know it’s super obvious but it’s got to be the Tate Modern, but don’t try and do too much, maybe just one or two exhibits and then a walk along the south bank for fresh air”. And her secret tip for art lovers that are new to London – “take a South London Art Map tour, they are always very interesting and will show you spaces you wouldn’t see otherwise”.

So why should you go and see it? Sid believes that “this exhibition is a chance to discover an exciting new artist working across different mediums in this brand new gallery space in Kings Cross”, and we totally agree. 

Matter Out Of Place will be exhibiting at the Sid Motion Gallery 19th January – 24th February 2017. Find out more here.

Get More Out Of This Event…

Jo Dennis will be in conversation with Rodrigo Orrantia, an art historian and curator and Sid Motion at the gallery on Wednesday 8th February. Find out how to reserve your place here. Don’t have the app? Download REVL here

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We took a sneak peek at the collection with Jo and Sid at the gallery. Watch the video below:




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