Contemporary photography gallery, Argentea, is paving the way for emerging homegrown talent in a brand new exhibition showcasing the works of six local artists. 

The exhibition entitled ‘Fertile Ground’ is set to become an annual event at the Jewellery Quarter based gallery and will highlight Birmingham as a place of abundant creative potential and production.

The exhibition, which opens to the public on Friday, 13th February, will feature work by Jo Metson Scott, Andy Pilsbury, Corinne Perry, Nicola Onions, Lily Wales and Juliana Kasumu. Through a diverse range of photographic practices, the exhibition presents the viewer with imagery both real and fictitious that spans the wistful, ideological and political. Founder of Argentea, Jennie Anderson, comments:

"Part of the spirit of Argentea Gallery is to give local emerging talent the opportunity to display their work and so this exhibition brings together six artists who have graduated from the Faculty of Art and Design at Birmingham City University.  It’s such an exciting time for the city’s photography scene, so we are delighted to be able to give such talented local artists a platform to show their work.”  

Jo Metson Scott’s constructed compositions from the series And Then delve into the world of childhood fantasy. Natural landscapes are transformed into surreal arrangements creating dreamlike images with a disquieting undercurrent.

Ink in Water is a multifaceted project between Andy Pilsbury and Ernest Otoo.  By combining high-speed photography, moving image and ethereal soundscapes the result is a series of boldly coloured, surreal waterscapes that is essentially a voyeuristic look at the hypnotic behavior and textural qualities of paint and water.

Lily Wales’ War is a Predator uses photomontage to explore the rapacious notion of war through mixing images of predator and prey.  The absurd juxtapositions call attention to the conflict between the predatory instinct of war with the need for survival.

Corinne Perry’s evocative self-portraiture is influenced by a struggle with the complexity of personal emotions. The images in Misery explore the intense negative emotions following the breakdown of a relationship and are visual representations of entries from her written diary.

In From Moussor to Tignon Juliana Kasumu looks at how Afro-Creole women in New Orleans have adapted and used the once notorious head-wrap to connect with women from Senegal in an attempt to re-appropriate a historical cultural custom of their African heritage.

Taking her cue from an excerpt from ‘The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore’ by Tennessee Williams, in Ephemeral Nicola Onions creates temporary installations of old photographs that document a life lived to visually portray ideas memory and loss.

Since opening its doors in October, Argentea has been working to promote and support the careers of emerging and established artists. The new exhibition at the gallery marks another step in the city’s thriving art scene, putting the spotlight on local talent. 

‘Fertile Ground’ will be open to the public to view from Friday 13 January until Saturday 11 February. For more information about Argentea Gallery and the exhibition please visit www.argenteagallery.com

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