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.
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The March issue of CR magazine celebrates 150 years of the London Underground. In it we introduce a new book by Mark Ovenden, which is the first study of all aspects of the tube’s design evolution; we ask Harry Beck authority, Ken Garland, what he makes of a new tube map concept by Mark Noad; we investigate the enduring appeal of Edward Johnston’s eponymous typeface; Michael Evamy reports on the design story of world-famous roundel; we look at the London Transport Museum’s new exhibition of 150 key posters from its archive; we explore the rich history of platform art, and also the Underground’s communications and advertising, past and present. Plus, we talk to London Transport Museum’s head of trading about TfL’s approach to brand licensing and merchandising. In Crit, Rick Poynor reviews Branding Terror, a book about terrorist logos, while Paul Belford looks at how a 1980 ad managed to do away with everything bar a product demo. Finally, Daniel Benneworth-Grey reflects on the merits on working home alone. Buy your copy here.
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