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Impressions of Tokyo

The Former Newington Library
155 Walworth Rd
SE17 1RS

28 August to 2 September
Open from 12 – 5pm


James Cyril Gardiner will be opening his third exhibition, ‘Impressions of Tokyo’ on 28 August at The Former Newington Library, London. The show will continue until 2 September with an invitation-only private view taking place on 27 August 6.30 – 8.30pm. ‘Impressions of Tokyo’ is a culmination of three years of work based around what has now become his iconic style.

His work reflects the relative permanence of the buildings and the temporary, ever-changing impermanent nature of people. He experiences a sense of urgency and spirit there that is particular to cities like Tokyo. In the city, there are so many people, but everyone seems to have something to get on with, even if that something is just existing or finding their own freedom despite the restrictions of space.

This exhibition spans his classic ‘transparent people’ drawn in copic fine line pens set in front of solid, greyscale buildings. This, like his other work depicts the energy across a selection of world cities including London, Barcelona, Florence, Vienna and New York, gaining him the name ‘The City Artist’- because of his desire to capture on paper the very essence of life in major world cities.

His line drawings of structures in copic markers with greyscale were reversed with suggestions of people’s movements finished with more abstract watercolour and ink impressions. This was set in front of views around central Tokyo, especially those gazing upwards from street level.

The final part of this new exhibition is the even more abstract watercolour and ink painting highlighting the progression of the artist in a series of images about the frantic life of the city and those inhabitants therein.

This is James’ second exhibition in London after a successful inaugural exhibition at Artworks, Elephant and Castle. Following this, he did a small exhibition for a week in Asakusa, Tokyo, in March this year. It was very well received, and he has been invited to exhibit in Tokyo again, this time at Gallery Siacca in Ginza next year.

James says, “I like the idea of the paper I worked on, and the marks I made, then existing in another’s world…”

About the artist:

James is a London-based artist who found solace in capturing the beauty of city life following an almost fatal car accident.

Having studied Art up to A Level, aged 18 it wasn’t until the life-threatening accident which prompted James to rediscover himself through art expression.

Waking up from a coma being unable to move, simply watching the world go by led to a desire to see and record the relationship between people and the structures around them.

Growing up in a small, quiet village near Egham in Surrey added to his desire to capture the ever-changing feel of busy, vibrant places. This unique atmosphere is created by people passing through in a crowded, yet ultimately lonely, situation. So many lives, overlapping and intertwining, the stationary and the mobile, the sterile and the vibrant, the permanent and the temporary, all juxtaposed with modern concrete, steel and glass structures.

The Former Newington Library is at 155 Walworth Rd, London SE17 1RS and the exhibition is open from 12 – 5pm.

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