Exhibitions

The Poetry Café hosts a lively programme of art exhibitions inspired by poetry and literature. A number of our exhibitions have toured to other venues, resulted in publications or have been shortlisted for the prestigious Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. We collaborate regularly with up-and-coming artists, including students from the Illustration and Graphic Design departments of Middlesex University.

Current exhibition – Apes, birds and books by Jim Anderson RE

9 July to 18 August 2018 • Join us at the launch event on Friday 20 July – all welcome!

Body Languages – Verbal Gymnastics by Jim Anderson RE.
Body Languages – Verbal Gymnastics by Jim Anderson RE.

“In 2008, a few weeks after the birth of my son Oscar and a few months into the global financial crisis, I found a pile of linoleum tiles in a skip on the Holloway Road,” writes Jim Anderson. “Acting on an impulse that life was going now going to be full of changes – and always happy to find free materials – I scooped them out and carried them home.”

“For the few years prior to this, I had mostly been making large-scale mosaic murals. Now it seemed to be time for something smaller, that could be done at home, and whisked away when my son started moving around. A return to making small linocuts seemed to be just the thing – small images and illustrations full of stories and words.

“I started that day with ‘The Princess and the Pea’, and then onto a series entitled ‘Children’s Games’ (named after a Bruegel painting I’ve always liked). The original impulse was to make images about my son, though as the prints have multiplied I realise that they are much more about my own childhood. As the years have passed – my son is now nine years old – the themes in the prints have broadened, taking in folklore, books, and birds, not to mention the occasional monkey or ape.

“How did the apes get into my ’scapes? In 1997 the world froze in astonishment with the launch of Ape magazine (later The Illustrated Ape). The mutant offspring of Smash Hits and Private Eye, but with more poetry than both, Ape was nurtured into existence by myself, Mike Sims, and Christian Pattison. Before Ape, I had no more or no less interest in simians than any other right-thinking person. After Ape, I can’t help seeing possible simian parallels all over the place.”

This display is dedicated to musician, wit and dandy Ben Golomstock, who died earlier this year.

All pictures in the exhibition are for sale, available directly from the artist. Jim will donate 20% of the proceeds from any sales to the charity Médecins Sans Frontières.

About the artist

Jim Anderson RE is a multimedia artist living in London, who divides his time and energies between printmaking, mosaic-making, painting, teaching, and writing. His work encompasses many different media and ideas – but use of found or recycled materials is always paramount; and his imagery is steeped in the satirical and the surreal.

He is a member of The Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers; and his work has been awarded several prizes in major national exhibitions, most recently the 2016 T.N. Lawrence Award. In 1997 he was a co-founder of The Illustrated Ape magazine; and in 2000 his book Handmade Prints – co-authored with artist Anne Desmet – was published by A & C Black. He was also one of the artists featured in Tony Dyson’s 2009 book Printmakers’ Secrets.

2002-2004 found him playing the theremin and providing backing vocals for the rock group Jujubabies, who were band-in-residence for Ibiza’s Manumission Club during the summer of 2004.

His prints and paintings appear in numerous exhibitions, and in 2002 one of his mosaics in Gospel Oak was shortlisted for a Camden Design Award. Recently he completed a series of mosaic murals for Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge; from 2002-2007 he was involved in a series of large mosaic projects in various hospitals in Kenya.

Jim’s prints can usually be seen at The Bankside Gallery and For Arts Sake Gallery, both London. His public mosaics can be seen at locations around London and Cambridge, and in unexpected places in Spain, Greece, Kenya, and the USA. www.jimpanzee.co.uk

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