15 May - 20 June 2021

Including new works by Louise Giovanelli, Olivia Jia, Johnny Izatt-Lowry, Ciarán Murphy, Isabel Nolan, Olivia Sterling and Miko Veldkamp.

Exhibition opening hours: Sat – Sun, 11am – 5pm



Reliance Wharf

2-10 Hertford Road
London N1 5ET


Workplace is pleased to inaugurate its new temporary exhibition space in East London with Interludes, featuring works by Louise Giovanelli, Olivia Jia, Johnny Izatt-Lowry, Ciarán Murphy, Isabel Nolan, Olivia Sterling and Miko Veldkamp. The exhibition looks beyond the gallery program by showcasing the works of four international artists, some of whom have never been exhibited in London before, alongside some of the UK’s most exciting emerging artists. Interludes, epitomises Workplace’s commitment to forging connections between contemporary artists internationally, whilst also being the first in a series of shows in the gallery’s new location aimed at introducing the work of emerging and mid-career artists to new audiences.


The exhibition brings together a group of artists whose work offers a glimpse into the diverse approaches and themes explored through painting today. When placed in conversation with one another, the works reveal a shared pictorial sensibility and a concern with painting itself, which manifests through each artist’s rigorous approach to the medium. Isolated objects and cropped figures appear throughout the works in the exhibition, suggesting layered, hidden and non-linear narratives which are left to the viewer to unfold. Removed from their original contexts these objects and figures are used by each artist as formal elements, as well as symbols and access points into diverse experienced and imagined realities. 



Louise Giovanelli, b. 1993 in London, currently lives and works in Manchester. Her intense, luminous, paintings refer both to art history and contemporary mechanics of viewing and consuming imagery. Cropped and isolated images gleaned from historical painting are repeated and restated, dislocated from their origin and repositioned within a rhizomatic sequence of works. Giovanelli employs a layering technique to build works that simultaneously compose multiple modes of representation and painterly lexicons of flatness, translucence, abstraction and realism.


Olivia Jia, b. 1994 in Chicago, currently lives and works in Philadelphia. Her paintings of archives, books and historical artifacts are drawn from objects of art, as well as personal, and wider cultural histories. Jia’s arrangements draw aesthetic and metaphorical connections between artifacts of disparate geographic or cultural origin. She is interested in spaces where various histories collide, and how contemporary institutional politics, personal memory, and objects from the past make new meaning. Painted in a muted palette, her works are constructions of symbolic objects and echo the psychological processes used to reconstruct distant memories and dreams.


Johnny Izatt-Lowry, b. 1995 in Durham (UK), currently lives and works in London. His paintings of quotidian objects and figures in the dark are exercises in making the familiar feel unfamiliar. With a dream-like quality, his paintings deny classification and question instead what an image is and how it exists in our collective consciousness. Composed of various elements from google searches, stock image databases and the artist’s imagination, Izatt-Lowry’s paintings exist between the real and a fabricated world.


Ciarán Murphy, b. 1978 in Mayo (IE), currently lives and works in Callan (IE). His paintings can be understood as an effort to deal with the fact that we live in a world where images are omnipresent, exerting an almost ghostly or spectral presence in our everyday existence. His works are populated by an uncanny array of objects and forms in varying states of flux. Murphy’s paintings capture a sense of place through fragments, charting the artist’s exploration of a familiar landscape along with associated perceptions, highlights, and memories.


Isabel Nolan, b. 1974 in Dublin where she currently lives and works. Her new paintings are erupting, colourful landscapes, dissolved urban spaces or scenes that try to paint an impossible cosmic perspective into existence. They paint disorder and collapse into something beautiful yet not cogent or explicable. Exploring fundamental tensions that operate in painting, the making of these works is in itself a metaphor for the ways we try to mould or force the world into meaning. In concert, her works give generous form to fundamental questions about the ways the world is made meaningful though human activity.


Olivia Sterling, b. 1996 in Peterborough (UK), she currently lives and works in London. Her paintings address questions about blackness and whiteness in twenty-first century Britain. Presenting scenes of colourful mayhem with a nostalgic twist and signature ‘slapstick’ style, her paintings combining joyous celebration with a subtle critique of racialised ways of seeing. Sterling’s work reflects on how we are confronted by racialised discourse everywhere in the everyday, where seemingly happy spaces are encoded with structures of othering and difference.


Miko Veldkamp, b. 1982 in Suriname and currently lives and works in New York. His paintings combine the artist’s personal life with folklore and ancestral histories, as if existing in one fantastical time and place, in order to reflect on race, privilege and historical relations between the United States, the Netherlands (where he grew up), Suriname and the Asian Diaspora. Playful, sensitive, dreamy and lucid, the paintings build complex and idyllic scenes that are reminiscent of Les Nabis and Expressionism, yet they escape a colonial gaze that racially and geographically codes notions of civilized and wild, joy and suffering.



The gallery will be open Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 5pm, and Monday to Friday by appointment only. In order to protect the health and safety of our staff and visitors, we have put new measurements in place. All visitors will be required to wear a mask; hand sanitizer and disposable masks will be provided on site. Booking is not required but at busy period visitors might be asked to queue outside to ensure social distancing is observes in the gallery space.


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