South-west London has many art aficionados but is lacking in art galleries, especially of the contemporary variety. One notable exception and relative newcomer nestled in Wandsworth is ArtEco.
Its latest, and only its third, exhibition features two contrasting artists both exploring the natural world and our interaction with it.
Radhika Agarwala has rediscovered gold leaf paintings: no longer will it remain only in Renaissance art and for decorating Catholic churches. She uses the gold as a canvas to create animal artworks that are reminiscent of the Lascaux cave paintings in style. These works are visually arresting and the merger of these two art eras blends seamlessly with the jarring that would be expected. Her watercolours are more familiar in that they strongly resemble paintings of Hindu mythology, yet some have a surreal edge to them.
Alison Stolwood’s works couldn’t be more different. She has photographed butterflies alighted on a plant in a greenhouse. The man-made backgrounds present in her photographs gives them a sense of the tension that often exists between nature and humanity. Stolwood has also used a scanner on a set of seeds and the results resemble a galaxy of stars, a comment on the cyclical nature of life whose true nature is only revealed on close inspection.
These are two new artists who are still developing their signature styles and are ones to watch for the future.
Encounter is on display at ArtEco Gallery, 533 Old York Road, SW18 1TG until 6 October. Entrance is free.