Private view: Thursday 3 December 2020 (RSVP essential)
Exhibition continues 4 December 2020 - 2 March 2021 (by appointment)
Chabad Islington Jewish Community Centre and Art Gallery, 36 Upper Street, N1 0PN
// we returned’ is the inaugural group exhibition celebrating the opening of the Jewish Art Gallery in Islington. The gallery space is part of the recently launched shul (synagogue) and Chabad Islington Jewish Community Centre at 36 Upper Street.
The exhibition centres on London-based Jewish artists, and their commentaries on British Jewish pride and identity. Running from 4 December 2020 - 2 March 2021, the exhibition will showcase the work of Beverley-Jane Stewart, Liorah Tchiprout and David Hochhauser.
Head Curator Nicole Zisman has said:
‘As the presence of a synagogue inevitably nurtures a community, so too may the presence of Jewish art in this space foster connections between artist and audience within a wider community. Despite indisputable Jewish legacy, until now the Jewish community seemed to keep within small satellites and tread fairly quietly in London. We hope that the presence of Jewish art in this space properly contextualises our community as one driven by hachazarah (החזרה — as one that returned, returns, and will return to each other.)’
Beverley-Jane Stewart tells the story of the Jews from past to present, displaying history in its various periods. As a ‘visual writer,’ she looks in intricate detail at how Jewish heritage operates in contemporary multi-cultural society, fusing facts with emotions.
Liorah Tchiprout is concerned with belonging, girlhood and the theatrical. She builds physical puppet characters to construct her own pantheon from which to draw images. This methodology allows her subjects to sit in between the real and the imagined, to be drawn from a constructed reality. Her puppets are informed by the Modicut Theatre of 1920’s Yiddish New York, which took puppetry (traditionally a gentile medium) and infused it with Yiddish folktales and political satire.
David Hochhauser is a sculptor, painter, printer and cartoonist using a number of mediums and approaches in his work. His work concerns itself with themes of manufactured nostalgia, uncertainty, diaspora, and the deconstruction of the figure. He looks to combine his academic interests with his personal identity and Jewish background, using multiple artistic mediums to traverse the interconnectedness of his artistic pursuits.
The focus of the Jewish Art Gallery is to exhibit work by contemporary Jewish artists and to celebrate Jewish culture, identity and history. The next exhibition, scheduled for January 2021, will commemorate the Holocaust Memorial Day.
Chabad Islington, a local Jewish charity, opened the synagogue and community space in September 2020 with religious services to celebrate Jewish High Holidays. It is the only synagogue in Islington as the last Islington synagogue, the Poets Road Synagogue, closed its doors in 1967. The space hosts prayers, adult education courses, mum & baby group, children's Hebrew club, events, Jewish art and history exhibition, cafe, Judaica shop, and serves as a kosher food collection point.
Rabbi Mendy Korer has said:
‘It has been our mission to create a community centre in Islington that is welcoming, inclusive and meaningful for the Jewish and wider community. We are delighted that we can now offer a hybrid space for people from all backgrounds to connect with each other and discover Jewish art - especially during the trying times of COVID isolation.’
Find out more and RSVP: www.jewishislington.co.uk/art-gallery