When stepping out of Old Street station and on the hunt for an art gallery, the instinctive direction to head is towards Shoreditch, but now several galleries are bucking the trend. Curious Duke is one of these and is based in the opposite direction over on Whitecross Street.
Eleni Duke set this gallery up in September last year as a platform for emerging artists and a physical location for the works available through Premiere Art. It already has 55 artists on its books, with 22 on display in this exhibition.
As we were given a tour of this quirky space, the first thing to strike us (thankfully, not literally) were the “mind your head” signs. A word of warning: anybody taller than 5’6” will need to navigate the basement gallery carefully. However, the low beams act as excellent dividers, ensuring viewers focus on only a few artworks at a time.
The selection of artists is a mixed bag of classical, abstract and street-art-influenced styles with something for everyone.
Two artists that stand out are Lee Wardell’s surreal and humorous sketches, particularly “Love Hurts”, and Hannah Adamszek’s Native-American-influenced portraits. Our favourite of the show is Andrea Tyrimos’ vibrant city scenes, especially the driver’s view from a taxi, which could easily be a screenshot from a video game.
This exhibition has both highs and lows but there are several talented emerging artists on display that warrant viewing.
Art in Flux is on at Curious Duke gallery, 207 Whitecross Street, EC1Y 8QP until 11 August. Entrance is free.