We’re a group of 13 emerging visual artists who are considering how new ideas and realities are shaping our connection to the world around us and within us.
Our exhibition, It All Comes Down, includes work from each of us and covers a range of mediums. Some of us work in video, others go wild for installation, still more of us obsess over paper and printed objects. We range from artists with formal art school training to those who are completely self-taught. Brought together by the Barbican Young Visual Arts Group, the months of lockdown solidified our relationships with each other, and allowed us to keep collaborating even when the world stood still.
It All Comes Down is a celebration of the past year of workshops and discussions facilitated by the Barbican and Guildhall School as well as a way for us to look forward as a group of artists intent on creating something new.
This exhibition has been conceived as part of Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning’s Young Visual Arts Group, an annual free programme which commissions a group of young creatives, aged 16-25, to work collectively towards a public online exhibition or event, and develops their skills in curating, marketing, design and project planning. Members of the programme receive support from Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning staff, as well as professional artists and facilitators in developing their creative practice and ideas.
About Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning
In 2009, the Barbican and Guildhall School joined forces to launch Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning, a creative alliance pioneering new models for creative and cultural learning across the art forms. The mission, Creative Skills for Life, underpins all aspects of their work and approach in the design and delivery of meaningful and impactful learning experiences across three strategic pillars: Education, Employability and Enrichment.
Every year, they deliver more than 40 programmes and events alongside 150 partners to over 29,000 participants. In order to achieve this, they build partnerships with teachers, artists, young people, schools and community organisations locally, nationally and internationally.
Annie Lee is interested in both personal experiences and universal feelings, and responds to these in various ways, from humorous interventions to thought-provoking paintings. Her process centres around expressing daily observations and emotions in a way that reflects the fragmentary nature of memories and life.
Annie (b. 1999) studies Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art (UCL), having completed her Art Foundation at Central Saint Martins. She was featured on TV as a semi-finalist in Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2019, and has been commissioned by the Barbican for Young Barbican Nights: Masculinities.
Selected exhibitions: Juice, Shenzhen, China (2020), Spaceship Dungeon Zoo, Hackney Studios, London (2019), Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year, Clarendon Fine Art Mayfair, London (2019), Waterlow Art Park, Waterlow Park, London (2019).
Arabella Turner is a filmmaker and writer. A primary theme in her work considers how our relationship with ourselves is formed and affected by technology, the environment and neuroanatomy. Her process begins in research, observation and free writing; soon a dialogue or narrative will form to connect the ideas. This narrative/dialogue then becomes the framework for a film.
Arabella Turner (b.1995) has exhibited at The National Poetry Library (Southbank Centre), Camden’s People Theatre and Guest Projects among others. She also works as a videographer and filmmaker, often collaborating with musicians.
Becca Lynes works with music and moving image. She aims to explore the contemporary digital/economic/social subject, big data, political communication and pink plastic.
Lynes’s creative process draws upon her academic experience, collecting cultural and personal sources and bringing them into dialogue as found footage films using creative softwares.
Alongside a video practice, she produces experimental electronic music under the name Becca Forever, but has been developing lyrical pop for accessible political messaging, to be introduced in subsequent chapters of BECCA BECOMES A REAL GIRL. On the use of a pink plastic aesthetic, Becca describes Forever as “alternating between a camp, imaginative relationship with Y2K girlhood and a deeply uncomfortable one, given where my twin love for tech and the princess shit got me.”
Becca Lynes (b. 1996) completed her Masters at Cambridge University in 2019, critiquing the use of VR in humanitarian campaigns. She now lives in London.
Instagram: 😇️ @beccalynes / 😈 @becca_f0rever
Defne Ozdenoren is a visual artist currently studying and living in London. Her work is currently exploring emotional healing, though she has often seen the process of making as a way to look inward.
Emily’s practice is an exploration into the materiality of the photographic object. Through strata of materials, the work moves between image and object, using shape, light and colour to frame a fractured and ephemeral experience. By deconstructing photographs into abstract forms, her work questions whether the outcomes are imagined or an interpretation of reality. The compositions that emerge are built from contrasting forces which together, create a sense of place and balance.
Selected exhibitions: Duende Print - Safehouse 1, London (2018). LCC (UAL) Show 1, London (2018). Panta Rhei - Total Refreshment Centre, London (2017).
Selected Prizes: Metro Imaging Mentorship Prize - June 2018. Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, shortlisted - June 2019.
Jordan Robertson works in photography, and has previously exclusively shot nature and landscapes. For It All Comes Down, Jordan has explored the themes of transformative experiences and duality, incorporating portrait photography and lighting techniques.
Lay Stevens is an Architecture student, currently studying at University College London. Lay works with architectural designs, sculpture and collage to create works that reflect her relationship to buildings and the people who reside in them. She is interested in the ways in which media, sculpture and film influence different aspects of our lives, and how the designs of structures help contribute to relationships between us.
Molly Morphew works and lives in London. She was invited to be the first artist-in-residence at the Silk Mill, Frome, UK (2020).
Molly Morphew works in mixed media, including sculpture, painting, performance, and poetry. She uses her body and adopts discarded possessions, exploring their textures, scars, and the memories they hold, and transforming them into figures that convey new emotions and meanings.
Selected performances and exhibitions: Flower Flower, [SPACE], London (2019); Asking for it, AMP Gallery, London (2019); Liminal, Tapir Gallery, Berlin (2017); Naked mail, Artspace/Interlude gallery, Sydney (2017); Here in the subject of our everyday lives VIII by Julian Talarico, Oxford Art Factory, Sydney (2016); 16, Alaska Projects, Sydney (2016). During lockdown she curated an online exhibition, Small Talk My Animal, featuring 11 emerging artists. She studied at Sydney College of the Arts.
Rebecca Cromwell is a visual artist and photographer. She works with a variety of different media; photography, collage and sculpture. Her work is often based on personal experiences and draws upon her background; her experience growing up in London, her mixed heritage and her interests in a wide range of things such as maths, psychology, dance and art.
Rebecca lives and works in London. She graduated with a degree in Mathematics from the University of Manchester in 2019, having previously completed a Foundation Diploma at Camberwell College of Arts (2016).
Selected exhibitions: The Signal, The Photographer’s Gallery, London (2020); Foundation Summer Show, Camberwell College of Arts, London (2016), exhibition at Islington Museum, London (2015); Source, Tate Britain, London (2014).
Safiye Gray is a visual communicator based in London. She studied Illustration Animation at Kingston School of Art and since then has been building her practice as a researcher, designer and maker. Her research-based practice revolves around book-making and printed matter. Using research methods that range from reading, image-making and conversation, she explores the everyday through (its) materiality. For Safiye, the process of exploring a subject is more important than the realised outcome; often the heart of a project is found within her sketchbooks.
Sam Ahern is a time-based artist, who works in illustration, sound, photography and film. Her work focuses on autobiographical events explored through illustration, interviews and documentary. In addition, she explores the coalition of personal and professional events on an individual's life.
Sam’s work has been shown at Camden Arts Centre, Red Gallery (Shoreditch) and Lumen Café (Bloomsbury). In 2018, Sam was one of the co-presenters alongside Georgia Harper and Anna Richardson of Channel 4’s ‘Are You Autistic?’ She studied at Wimbledon College of Arts and lives and works in London.
Sneha Alexander (b. 1995) is a visual artist from Stoke-on-Trent, now living and working in London. After studying English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford, she combined her passions for art and literature in an MA in Postcolonial Studies (SOAS University of London) where she focused on queer and postcolonial interventions into the art world. Sneha’s work has been commissioned for Kew Garden’s upcoming exhibition, Grow Wild.
Vangelis Trichias creates short films and digital videos. He is interested in digital culture, pop culture and politics. For It All Comes Down, he aims to explore the themes of power and manipulation, both in its content and form.
His creative process can’t help but involve the use of symbolism, elements from club and queer culture, politics and contemporary internet.
He has been a member of the Design Yourself Collective since 2019.
Some of the artworks in It All Comes Down contain images, video or audio that viewers may find emotionally challenging or disturbing. All content warnings are listed below:
Anorexia, death, eating disorders, flash imagery, harassment, loud music, misogynistic language, nudity, online grooming, racism, references to white supremacy.
The works that require content warnings are detailed here, along with an outline of what they contain.
Sam Ahern: Sam’s work explores autism-friendly spaces and the recent COVID-19 crisis through the mediums of illustration, photography and audio recordings. Her work contains references to harassment, eating disorders and death.
Becca Lynes: Becca’s film piece, Becca Becomes A Real Girl; Chapter 1: True Love’s Kiss, is a 3-minute race through a childhood as a girl in the noughties. The film includes references to online grooming of a minor and misogynistic language.
Defne Ozdenoren: Defne’s photographs and recorded conversations in It Took Me Many Years To Arrive At Such A Life centre around friendship and emotional healing. Her work includes mention of anorexia and eating disorders.
Vangelis Trichias: Vangelis’s infotainment film, Bareuropean explores the manipulation of information and the subjectivity inherent in presenting an allegedly objective piece of information. In doing so, it contains nudity, loud music, some flash imagery and references to white supremacy and racism.
Arabella Turner: Arabella’s music video, fitterhappier, holds up a mirror to our relationships with our personal technological devices. It contains some flashing imagery and loud music.