Jonathan Ellery: The Hen House

New work by artist and designer Jonathan Ellery is currently showing at the Londonewcastle Project Space in the capital. The Hen House contains some haunting imagery and new pieces in brass on the subject of religion

New work by artist and designer Jonathan Ellery is currently showing at the Londonewcastle Project Space in the capital. The Hen House contains some haunting imagery and new pieces in brass on the subject of religion…

NYC 1997/2012, 1505mm x 1076mm by Jonathan Ellery, photographed by John Ross

In Ellery’s new show – his first since 2011’s The Human Condition – the world’s of finance and religion loom large. There are also references to 9/11, the most obvious being the jarring pair of photographs of the Twin Towers and their absence – a subtle invocation of the sheer scale of loss on that day (the images were taken in 1997 and 2012) and, perhaps, the place of religion within it.

Financial and spitirual crises seem to merge in Ellery’s new work. The giant, machined brass plates he has previously employed as media are again used here, this time with statements and iconography relating to the murky goings on at the Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan in New York, where in 2012 several of the church’s board members quit their posts over questions of excessive spending by rector, Rev. James Cooper.

The St Paul’s plate shows the footprint of the cathedral in London, but also recalls the name of the church near to the Ground Zero site in New York that took in several of the wounded following the attacks of 2001. Inside this church, a banner of support from the people of Oklahoma was also displayed – a connection referenced on another of the brass plates.

When The Fox…, Machined Brass, 1188mm x 1188mm by Jonathan Ellery, photographed by John Ross

In a further reference to religion engulfed by crisis, Thomas Flexner of Citigroup was quoted as having written the above proverbial statement in his resignation letter from the Trinity Church board.

As with Ellery’s other exhibitions, The House House has an accompanying book designed by his studio, Browns, and available from Browns Editions.

The Hen House is on until Sunday at Londonewcastle Project Space, 28 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DP. See more of Ellery’s work at


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