Published On: Tue, Jul 4th, 2017

Review: The Lumen Prize Exhibition at Espacio Gallery

With many of the contestants’ work set to be showcased at the Threads exhibition starting today, Atina Dimitrova casts our minds back to April with a retrospective on the Espacio Gallery’s showcase of The Lumen Prize’s 2017 entries…

Image Credit: The Artists Pool

Image Credit: The Artists Pool

The Lumen Prize photography exhibition, hosted at Espacio Gallery, brought together works from many enthusiasts of the medium, and today progresses onto another stage in Edinburgh, allowing a range of talented photographers to expose their work in Scotland’s beautiful capital as well at Dundas Street Gallery.

This reviewer travelled to the Espacio’s exhibition in April, a display which exposed plenty of photos of typical London landmarks and urban life. Having generous curators exposing so many photographers in a single show, the exhibition was well worth seeking out.

Two of the gallery’s halls presented photos taken with digital and analogue cameras. Unusually, though, there were also images captured on mobile phones. This was a stylish, inventive and modern way of celebrating art.

There was no clear connection between the individual photos, but the sheer variety of themes encompassed in just a single showcase cast a profound spell on visitors.

From wide-angle and close-up shots to images in black and white and in saturated colours, each and every piece fostered curiosity in a different way. All the photographers were precise observers of the surroundings and bravely sought different angles to shoot from.

One of the exhibition’s finest contributors by far, Teresa Jambur, illustrated the beauty of night landscapes in London thanks to using long exposure (see above). Teresa’s passion for sharply capturing the stationary elements and blurring the moving ones significantly complemented the Espacio showcase hugely, rendering the capital more spectacular than ever before.

Juliana Lauletta, on the other hand, presented us with an artistic explosion of both warm and harsher cold colours (see below). By crafting her images from scratch and making props from transparent materials then combining them with water and ink to achieve a painting effect, Juliana’s style stood out immensely.

Image Credit: The Artists Room

Image Credit: The Artists Room

Among the photographers who best excelled at composing images by just observing the surrounding elements of his environment was Adam Lucy.

In his The Carwash King, the use of radiant light almost introduces the viewer to a metaphorical stage whose main performer is a man gazing far away in the distance. With hands wedged into his pockets, the observer looks impatient to change his monotonous daily routine.

It’s also typical for Adam to look for posters and signposts with catchy phrases while composing the shots. Then he waits for strangers to pass by and complement the words with their facial expression or posture, for instance. Rejecting the heavy digital manipulation and relying on soft natural colours, he has a superb talent for discovering – and illustrating – real-world stories.

In what was a welcome celebration of diversity at Espacio Gallery, the artists succeeded in exposing a multi-cultural London through exploring so many different aspects of the city. Having featured subjects from carnivorous plants to London transport systems, this exhibition greatly enhanced this reviewer’s sunny Saturday walk on Bethnal Green Road.

Since it was also Free Art Week at Espacio Gallery in early April, many workshops and events were on offer, from photo walks to dark room experiences of moving around with torches and LED props to create coloured light trails.

Adam, for instance, conducted a street photography workshop, discussing both the fine art and commercial aspects of photography. Meanwhile over 10 enthusiasts went for a photo walk on Brick Lane, the hipster heaven just outside the City of London.

Having enjoyed some of those precious sunny moments, it was great to see so many budding photographers then trying to put the talents learnt from the experts to use on the nearby streets with their own shots.

Better yet, as a result of this exhibition and some other similar events, the Espacio Gallery will continue to play host to a number of artistic workshops in the coming months. Why not check out the venue’s upcoming events at its website here and spend one of this summer’s (hopefully) bright afternoons mastering the art of photography with accomplished professionals?

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