Lucie Loves... Illustrator Gareth Barnet debut solo exhibition, The Albert // Utopia is not a destination, Utopia is a direction 


On Tuesday evening I attended the debut solo exhibition of one of my Vis Com peers, Illustrator Gareth Barnett.

It fills me with such pride to see him exhibit his first ever solo show, filled with the faces of both friends and strangers all present to celebrate his work. 

It is an exhibition rich with texture and colour in the form of projections, structural pieces, painted canvas and slide film. 

Having initially graduated with a Visual Communication Illustration degree from Birmingham Institute of Art & Design (BIAD), Barnett then went on to study at Central Saint Martins. You might have also seen examples of his work if you’ve come across the art collective ‘Them Lot’.

He has exhibited nationally and internationally, notably, at the Moscow International Biennale for Young Art 2012 and at The Tomorrow People–Artists of the Future Now exhibition at the Elevator Gallery, London. He was also recently featured in the February issue of Dazed and Confused, pg 26-27.

The solo show is an exhibition of new work by Barnett, completed during his artist residency at The Albert. The residency ties in with an ongoing exploration of architecture and the urban environment and continues his fascination with the concept of Utopia.

Gareth says “I am fascinated by the idea of utopia, especially now that the very act of dreaming or considering a brighter future has become, in itself, an act of nostalgia. Working on site at The Albert has allowed me to revel in its past, present and future-all informing the work in equal measure. The outcome re-examines modernism and considers the utopian ideology imbued in the fabric of the site’s architecture.”

Barnett explores the urban environment though a Psycho-geographical approach, hinting at untold narratives, investigating the site of Albert Road as a futuristic archeological ruin to produce a body of visceral yet playful illustrative work exploring the physicality of the space.

For this exhibition Barnett will be presenting a combination of painting, sculpture, collage and 35mm slides all completed between February and May 2013.

If you’d like to visit the exhibition it’s on at The Albert, 1-5 Albert Road, London. NW6 5DT, until 12th May.

The Albert,
1-5 Albert Road, London NW6 5DT
7-12 May 2013

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Photography © Lucie Kerley