Divided self by Timothy Hyman. Image: courtesy of Urban Contemporaries

Fifteen figurative painters have joined forces to chronicle their experiences of city living for a new exhibition in Bethnal Green.

Urban Contemporaries at Espacio Gallery features 80 paintings, hung salon-style, which provide a variety of interpretations of city existence.

Co-curator and contributor Ferha Farooqui says each artist is “attempting to capture the visual character and essential forces of the urban encounter through exploring scenes of everyday life”.

Royal Academician Timothy Hyman is supplying a number of works for the show.

The other 14 artists involved are Sharon Beavan, Frank Creber, Gethin Evans, Susanne du Toit, Ferha Farooqui, Annette Fernando, Sarah Lowe, Michael Johnson, Elizabeth McCarten, Michael Major, Alex Pemberton, Melissa Scott-Miller, Grant Watson and Charles Williams.

In these Graffiti Ruins by Gethin Evans. Image: courtesy of Urban Contemporaries

A statement on the exhibition’s website says the collective will offer “new insight into the forgotten, overlooked, dirty underbelly of the urban experience and also its uplifting, chaotic energy and movement”.

The artists have used combinations of careful observation, photographs, private archives, film and other media transposed into paint to record their personal encounters with city existence and offer new stories and narratives.

Farooqui said: “Some use drawings and paintings as visual accounts to convey the disappearance of social and cultural landmarks, others interact with symbolic elements to transmit feeling, atmosphere and humanity, exploring the sense of intimacy and detachment, specific to cities.”

Urban Contemporaries is on until Sunday 10 March at Espacio Gallery, 159 Bethnal Green Road, E2 7DG.

espaciogallery.com

Support us


The coronavirus outbreak has meant that the Hackney Citizen has been unable to print a monthly newspaper for the last three months.

The need for quality news and reliable reporting is crucial - however, this is an increasingly challenging time for local journalism.

Our main source of income, print advertising revenue, fell suddenly - and so we are asking you, the readers, for your help.A one-off donation from anyone who can afford it will help our small team get our newspaper back in print and keep the website and social media feeds running through this unprecedented crisis.

Find out how you can donate.

Thanks in advance for your support, and stay safe.