Photography Now & Art in mind exhibition – Reflections of the sky 13th – 25th April 2021





Opening on Instagram Live
@bricklanegallery 6pm, Wednesday 9th December

Exhibiting Artists:
Abigail Chua | Elodie Kowalski | Gian Luca Photography | Estaminé Studio | Britta Ortiz | Echeverria | Don Kosta | Eva Chelmecka | Frank Briffa | Jo Haran | Yas Crawford | Alexander Jackson | Seart Driftwood | Jon Seddon | Cengiz Yatagan | Chinda Smith | Nathanael Cox | Ivana Bachová









The Brick Lane Gallery is proud to welcome you back with our latest show and last exhibition of the year, Reflection of the Sky. Set across our two galleries, the artists in this show reflect a strong sense of individualism in their work and we are thrilled to display their unique worldview. Comprised of several skilled photographers who interrogate the interrelationship between humans and our lived environment, we see the omnipotence of nature through each artist’s distinctive snap-shot. Informed by her diverse cultural upbringing, Abigail Chua’s photographs offer an architectural work in progress, of humans manipulating and developing their environment. Both the French photographer Elodie Kowalski’s and the British artist Jon Seddon capture the juxtaposed beauty and hostility in the natural and urban environments, whilst Gian Luca Photography is methodical and objective in his visual archival of the Manchester Canal System. This relationship between humans and the environment is literalised in the work of Seart Driftwood who creates figurative sculptures from unique pieces of wood found on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Jo Haran’s stunningly beautiful floral paintings again show a close scrutiny of nature, whilst the inspiration to cultural factors in the world around them is evident in both Alexander Jackson’s caricatures of cultural icons and Frank Briffa’s abstract responses to music. Yasmin Crawford’s Blood, Cells and Neurons series is the most conceptual offering on the relationship of the artist to their surrounding geography. In her photography Crawford intertwines the internal and external human landscapes. The result of which is a series of striking ambiguous imagery, which invites the viewer to engage with their physicality in new, informative, and thought provoking ways. 


Born in Manila, Abigail Chua grew up in the Philippines before moving to the US at the age of 15 where she latercompleted both her bachelors and postgraduate degree at New York University. Her formative years credited her with many diverse friendships and a colourful, multicultural childhood. The artist describes how, ahome, she would sit around the dining table and speak Chinese, Tagalog and Spanish with her parents, turn, and speak in English to her siblings and friends.

Chuas photography explores the modern world and the place of humans within it. Working professionally as a construction project manager, her photography frequently engages with themes of industrialisation. We are provided with a unique perspective of an architectural work in process, Chuas photographs are taken spontaneously in a quick shot’ which captures her particular worldview at any particular moment. Light is the foundation in much of her work, be that the gleaming sun in Space Walk Man on the Moon, or thereflection of the iPhone screen in her subjects glasses in Street Portrait. Chua utilises lighting to manipulate the viewer’s perception, drawing them closer to discern details in the work, or causing them to step back so as to understand the whole picture.



Elodie Kowalski is a French photographer based in London. Her photography seeks to capture the dominance of natural beauty over hostility in the natural and urban environment. Kowalskigrew up in the Alps where she was surrounded by awe-inspiring forests and the mountains. The force of nature omnipotent in this environment translates into her photography. In Skye we are positioned at the base of a long curving road as the mountains loom ahead with the water and hazardous terrain on either side. Kowalski later moved to the city, studying at the London School of Photography. As a result, the subject matter of her work reflects this dichotomy in her experiences. In her photographs we see mountains, the sea, clouds, cities, busy streets, buildings, flowers and occasionally, people. Travelling is her greatest source of inspiration. Through her lens she shares with us part of her journey and with her soft focus, she creates a subtle atmosphere of blue and green, grey, pink and brown, in which she places moments, capturing the elusive sense of beauty and purity in the ever-changing world around her.



To make the series; The Manchester Canal System, Gianluca used a map of the Manchester Canal System from 1835,when Manchester was at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution, and drew a grid reference at 1cm by 1cm on it. He then photographed at these pre-set points along the canal. To keep the photoshoot uniform, Gianluca photographed facing North East using a compass. These images are part of a series of 14 photographs which surveyed the Rochdale and The Duke of Bridgewater canals.Using Straight Photography” he created a historical visual document of what was observed through the camera lens. Objectivity was maintained in a way that the series does not focus on the picturesque. Thislogistical, objective way of working is typical of Gianlucas photography practice. Since first venturing into photography with photographs of the natural landscape, he has since delved into commercial photography and developed an artistic focus on motorsport.




Born in North Macedonia and now based in Germany, Don Kostas unique geometric abstract paintings elegantly combine elements of Cubism, Impressionism, Classical art and Futurism. Since venturing into art at a young age, Don Kosta has gained recognition for his comics, his tattooing practice, and his advertising campaigns but we are thrilled to be showing his return to contemporary painting. In Wicked Game, Memories, and Wild Horse, the figures emerge out of the indistinct background of biomorphic shapes. Indicated by their brighter colours and patterning the figures are in motion. In Wicked Game, two figures materialise out of the picture surface; the top figure appears to be pushing away from the background in an exertion of effort to metamorphose away from tonal background, whilst in Wild Horse the organic shapes appear more anatomical and are reminiscent of muscle. This is particularly noticeable in the head of the horse where the teeth and eye are shown naturalistically as opposed to the cellular shapes that comprise the rest of its body.

@ don_kosta_arts


Eva Chelmecka is a Polish artist who has exhibited extensively throughout Europe with works in collections in Austria, the Netherlands, Croatia, Italy, Colombia and Canada. In addition to her surrealist-inspired paintings, Chelmecka also creates colourful mosaics and unique sculptures, often experimenting with body-paint performed live on the bodies of models in ultraviolet light. Eastern ornamentation inspires much of her work and facilitates her artistic focus of bringing to life new imaginary worlds, exposing the spiritual and mysterious aspects of reality. The artist describes how her work has its origins in the imagination, in the spiritual and inner world, which is why it takes forms associated with the poetics of dreams, filled with a surreal atmosphere. By creating new, imaginary worlds governed by their own rules, I use intense colour, used as an emotional symbol, the skills of realistic imaging, and often a certain amount of narration, which is the starting point for the recipient’s free interpretation.

Chelmecka’s current artistic preoccupation is with integrated circuits, microprocessors and the remains of cell phones which she references in her work to symbolise our epoch of cyber-culture. This inspiration is visible in herthought-provoking assemblage works, where we see electronic remains, brokentoys, fragments of jewellery and other splinters of our contemporary culture. The artist’sup-cycling aims to instigate reflection on consumerism and its impact on the environment.





For Danish born Britta Ortiz Echeverria, artistic expression has always been a part of her life however she has only exhibited her work in public within the last ten years. In this time she has since participated in several exhibitions in Denmark, Italy, London and the US, and been represented in several international contemporary art compilations.

Drawing in black ink Echeverria creates great depth, shade and movement in her landscapes and nature studies. Taking as her subject matter the natural landscape which surrounds her, Echeverrias drawings are beautiful, tranquil and incredibly calming to look at. The simplified nature of her landscapes, rendered in monochrome using a variety of sketchy marks and ink washes, quells the stresses of the world in a way that being within nature always succeeds in doing. Echeverria views her focussed drawings of the landscape as a catharsis to the stresses of daily life, describing how nature fills (her) mind with calm and has a de-stressing effect in a stressed world.


British artist Frank Briffa has been painting full time since retiring from his lecturing post in 1998. Educated at Challoner School, London, and Newcastle University (, Ph.D, P.G.C.E. Cert. in Art Studies), Briffa has exhibited widely in the UK and currently has three paintings on show at the Rossocinabro Gallery in Rome. Predominantly working in oil on canvas, Briffas artistic investigation is primarily concerned with exploring the links between music and the visual arts. The symbiotic relationship between the visual and auditory arts is a frequentlyinterrogated theme throughout both art, and musical history. The two share a vocabulary which endeavours to describe something evasive; colour, tone, rhythm, texture, chromaticism, all seek to define something abstract in itsactuality. Naturally, his paintings follow the non-representational quality of music depicting abstracted forms, colours, and brushwork. In his work Briffa is searching for the pictorial equivalent to the musical language.

In the pastel drawings included in this exhibition, Briffas work continues to display strong links with music. These works are mostly based on specific pieces by composers including Ives, Copland, Janacek, Schoenberg, Beethoven, Wagner, Meredith Monk and others. The artist describes how he has lived with the pieces of music which inspire his work for a long time and they thus have become ingrained in his subconscious and he does not need to hear them to create his visual interpretations.

Briffa does not think it necessary for viewers of his work to know the music on which it isbased – he hopes the paintings can stand for themselves, but he does say,

If they produce a curiosity that stimulates the viewer to find out more about the music then I don’t thinkthat is a bad thing.

The greatest (conscious) influence on my work is not a painter but the American composerCharles Ives.(1874-1954)


Surrounded by a family of horticulturists and artists Jo Harans deep love for painting flowers began as a young child growing up in Somerset where fascinated by the fallen leaves and blooming flowers in her garden she would sit and paint what she saw. Her joy for painting and natural love for nature has since spanned over two decades and blossomed into an impressive career in fashiontextile design with an international reach.

Exhibited together in the debut exhibition of her paintings we are here met with an overwhelming bouquet ofincredibly diverse and stunningly beautiful flowers in various stages of bloom. Haran works spontaneously, building layers of mixed media on watercolour paper – gouache, watercolour ink and gesso – striking for a fluid tension betweendetailed areas and a softer focus. There is a strong compositional element to her paintings, which points to her history and aptitude for textile design. In her floral paintings Haran explores the fragility and beauty of the naturalworld, the lightness and translucency of petals and the texture and multiple colours in foliage. Combined together they testify to the beauty of the natural world, the cyclical nature of the seasons and the familial, comforting, feel of painting the flowers in your back garden.



While art and science both deal in facts only the artist was able todescribe reality as it was actually experienced. Proust :2017 in Lehrer.

I was born in Pembrokeshire, Wales where the arts, its geological landscape and biological make-up have it seems, subliminally seeped into my being and heavily influence my work. I have a multidisciplinary background and practice as both a healthcare scientist and a photographic artist which adds a cohesiveness and curiosity to my image-making. Working collaboratively with research institutions or simply producing my own projects often reveals layers of scientific research combined with the landscape.

My education includes an MA Photography Falmouth University, BSc Geology Cardiff University and I am trained in Microbiological Methods, Biomerieux France. I am a Member of the Association of Photographers and an Associate of the Royal Photography Society.

My work has been exhibited in Rome at the Expo Arts for Rome Art Week, I was nominated for Royal Photographic Society, Science Photographer of the Year 2019 with the image Oxygen Ib’, exhibited at the Science Museum London and is now on an international tour. In order to support Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E) research I have completed artist talks and therapeutic photographic workshops in Devon and exhibited at the International Invest in M.E Scientific Conference in London. My images have won several awards including an Honorary Mention for the 15th Pollux awards for alternative processes during lockdown and included in several publications such as the Art folio 2021 Top 100 artists. I have been recently nominated as Artist of theFuture Award, by Contemporary Art Curator Magazine.

Blood, Cells and Neurons

The series intertwines the micro and the macro, the internal and external human landscapes. The mapped landscape revealed in the images acts as a vessel totransport the science in a certain time, creating a safe place for the viewer to absorb the information. The abstraction removes the onerous requirement of controls and variables leaving space for subjective expression. The repetitive nature of the images reveals the constantly relapsing condition and the sets of images are produced as a photographic scientific experiment catalogued for success or failure and reflected in its numbering.

The images were created by combining digital and analogue photography, clinical trial data,flow cytometry, bacterial microarray printing and other bioinformatics as well as rephotographing archival prints of landscape and scanning electron microscope work, gathered from my own personal scientific research.

The work investigates a symptom of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). Post-Exertional Malaise or PEM as it is more familiarly called is the extreme exhaustion, pain and cognitive dysfunction found after physical exertion in M.E patients. The patients suffer an extremely slow return to baseline. The return could be as long as one day, weeks or months. Its as if the blood cells become frigid, as if the body takes on a type of hibernation and the cellular function is

unable to process in the normal way.



Alexander Jackson is an English illustrator whose popular culture and musical influences provide the principal subject matter for his work. These colourful, bright portraits have a sense of humour and are all instantly recognisable as Jackson’s unique illustrative work. The images are packed full of character and clearly credit the influence of mainstream media on his quirky style. The nine portraits that denote Bowie’s various guises is a particular stand out piece. Bowies expression is unchanged throughout Jacksons characterisation of the singer/actor, instead Jackson draws on a shared cultural knowledge to make each alter ego instantly recognisable to the viewer with just slight additions and select visual markers. In the similarly composed work, Samuel L Jackson, we are again presented with nine characters which the legendary actor has played, however our understanding of the piece is dependent on our contextual knowledge of Hollywood culture.

Alexander Jackson originally trained in fine art and traditional painting techniques before developing his more graphical style whilst studying illustration at Edinburgh College of Art. He has produced editorial illustration work for childrens books and comics as well as magazines and murals. His children’s book Jennys Bath was acknowledged by 3×3.



Vytautas J Kavaliauskas is an artist born in 1960 in Kaunas, Lithuania. Fifteen years ago, in order to escape from his busy routine, he moved to the Curonian Spit and started taking long walks along the shores of the Baltic Sea. There he started to notice the unique pieces of wood washed ashore. These pieces of driftwood, which for him are sculptures in themselves, are the focal point and the raw material in his creative practice. His sculptures are created through the process of subtraction. By carving away parts of the driftwood (an unconventional material for fine art sculpture), in collaboration with nature, he becomes the narrator of a story. He experiences this as a creative challenge, an adventure, a jazz improvisation. In his work we see effortless figures flowing freely in space, unaffected by gravity. They seem to be malleable and flexible, yet strong and balanced. In these sculptures the elements of humour and irony are also present. Kavaliauskas describes how the result of his carving, the stories, are completely led by the natural contours and flaws of the raw driftwood, connecting to nature as an infinite source of inspiration.



The Brick Lane Gallery is honoured to showcase these essential images from Jon Seddon’s ‘Our Human Coastline’ collection. In this series of photographs, on public view for the first time, the British artist has captured the raw power and the sometimes tranquil energy of our seas. The interaction between humans and the landscape is at the heart of Seddons artistic ventures, here he questions how we interact with this ever-changing environment.

Seddon came pretty late to photography but has been exploring the ways that this medium can express his interpretation of what he observes. He has a passion for learning and runs workshops in order to share this knowledge with others, with the objective of helping them find their own inner artist. Seddon has always been endlessly fascinated by our British coastline. The stories of our interactions with this both benign and malevolent boundary has inspired this collection of images here which shows the sea in both its forms. These images represent both our deep respect for and our own ingenuity in living and working along our countrys most challenging of margins.




Chinda Smith a Lao born British national who grew up in Wiltshire. Smith attended the Royal Drawing School for her art foundation and is now studying Fine Art at Camberwell college of arts. She has exhibited at Terni Museo Diocesano with Controcorrente, Dauntseys School end of year show and the Royal Drawing School foundation end of yearshow.

This series of paintings fall under the title, The Forgotten. Here Smith focuses on the erasure of identity and a sense of absence, existing in a state of limbo between two places. However, through her art, Smith has found refuge in her memories of childhood. Eyes on the road with a cigarette in hand depicts Smiths grandad during his regular smoke in the early hours of the morning. There are a further two figures located in the background. A mother cradles her child despite not having any hands. We dont see the paralysed father, who rarely leaves the house. The smoking man watches the passing traffic. Dust comes in waves, settling on the skin. Seated in the cool shade of Prussian blue he encompasses both the internal and external. Smith would wonder what he was thinking. Although he was always hidden in a cloud of smoke.



New Jersey based photographer Nathanael Cox has been pursuing his love for photography since 2016. At thecore of his workare breath-taking landscapes and sprawling cityscapes. Originally trained on 35mm photography during the late 2000s when dark rooms were still prevalent and digital photography had not yet completely dominated the landscape. After taking a long break, and a few detours, he started to learn digital photography and returned to shooting. Nathanael lists Stephen Wilkes and Peter Lik as major influences in his creative process. In his pictures we get to experience diversified texture,abundant variations of colour and endless landscapes.



Estaminé Studio, was established in 2016 and is based in Porto, organised and run by André Santos. They use paper as their material of choice to create colourful,  multi-layered and unique 2D and 3D pieces. Their process is centred around their love for their craft, the respect for the material and the pure joy of creation. At the same time their work space isfull of energy, inspiration and constant background music. Their pieces are all handcrafted and produced in small quantities. We are delighted to exhibit here at the Brick Lane Gallery their latest piece Four Squared, which serves as an abstract, creative and imaginative exploration of the number four, while at the same time highlighting the dynamism and sense of movement created by the shadows and the glows of the paper. It comprises four pieces, which in turn are based on a four-sided shape, within a 4×4 grid, using four colours.



Ivana Bachová is a Czech artist who works to investigate the interrelation between the natural environment and the experience of life itself. Bachová provides a pure expression of being, liberated from conceptualisation, direct and ever-changing. Primarily painting landscapes,nature is her main inspiration and subject matter. The series of work on show in our current exhibition highlight the artists affinity with the element of water. Bachová examines the movement of the current and the flow of the river, considering its ability to affect the landscape. She describes how the element is central within our lives and crucial for all forms of existence. In her beautiful and dynamic paintings we see majestic, lush variations of blue suggestive of the variation of the waters depth. The cropped viewpoint positions us as the viewer within the water, creating a direct experience where we are one with the water.



Cengiz Yatağan is a Turkish contemporary artist born in 1968. His work is about recording abstract impressions of the experience of reality, while at the same time escaping it in order to reachsomething even more fundamental. Cengiz, inspired by moments from everyday life, pours layer upon layer of paint onto the surface. The artist describes this multi-layering as a paradox in itself, in the sense that despite the individuality and uniqueness of each layer, they are fundamentally all one. The element of chance is crucial in his work. This immersive process allows him to create impressive and colourful  visuals which in turn transcend the stillness of the moment, and ultimately access and uncover deep infinity.

In his work Untitled from his Puzzle Series we get to experience intricate multi-layered visuals and get a glimpse of absolute infinity. At the same time this beautiful sculpture comes to redefine the relationship between the whole and its parts, explored through his endless layers of colour. Its shape from one angle can be perceived as a person, an individual unique in its own personhood, while at the same time as a piece of a bigger puzzle, expressing its unity and oneness with the whole.


The Brick Lane Gallery

216 Brick Lane | London | E1 6SA


The Brick Lane Gallery – The Annexe

93 – 95 Sclater Street | London | E1 6HR