Three galleries around Vauxhall, all in old brick buildings, refurbished from minimal to full-blown international gallery standard, with a variety of neighbours – the Oval Cricket Ground, the Vauxhall gasworks and massive redevelopments, and all, by coincidence currently showing work by female artists, all with different themes.
Use of colour is the theme of ‘True Colours’ at Damien Hirst’s Newport Street gallery with three very different styles of work by the English artists Helen Beard and Boo Saville and the American artist Sadie Laska, the colours projecting from the white walls of the gallery and interplaying with the geometric shapes of the architecture, while nearby at Beaconsfield is the show ‘In Whose Eyes’ by Practice in Dialogue, a group of artists who examine the history of female representation, objectification, sexualisation, violence and racism in art alongside their own work (there is a link here to the work of Sadie Laska at the Newport Street Gallery).
In some ways, the most interesting work is Nigerian artist Evan Ifekoya’s installation ‘Ritual (Without) Belief’ which fills the two spaces at Gasworks where the sea flows up the walls to a ceiling of balloons that reference back to the 1970’s New York party, The Loft, where the party comes to an end as the balloons expire, while viewers are invited to lie down and immerse themselves in the musical, vocal and other sounds described by Ifekoya as ‘a black queer algorithm across generations, locations and political affiliations’. The depth of the work makes some of the work in the other galleries appear interesting, but relatively superficial, but it is worth making the effort to walk between all three. .