Second Floor Studios & Arts – [SFSA]

It was a packed house at the opening of URBAN BARRIER last week – Exhibition runs until Sun 23rd Dec

Posted in Arts, Events, New Works, SFSA Members by Second Floor Studios & Arts on December 10, 2012

URBAN BARRIER, opening @ no format



A Dynamic Assembly of carefully selected UK Outsider & Sub-Urban protaginists. Over 35 Top Notch artists in this must see Group Show of 2012

Exhibition Run: 7th Dec – 23rd Dec
Open Thursday to Sunday –  11.30 – 5.00pm



URBAN BARRIER @ no format

URBAN BARRIER @ no format

URBAN BARRIER @ no format


Freedon Of The Press – Opening at no format, Thursday 15th November

Posted in Events, New Works, Open Studios by Second Floor Studios & Arts on October 25, 2012

Celebrating the art of print at it’s very best created by Thames Barrier Print Studio artist members.

Thames Barrier Print Studio, London’s most spacious printmaking studio based on the South bank of the Thames in Woolwich, opened one year ago and has been welcoming artist members from throughout the city and beyond ever since.

Freedom Of The Press, in the outstanding visual arts space no format, represents the diversity in scale, subject and medium our members have used in their printmaking practice – from intimate works mastering traditional techniques to experimental works spanning a range of print processes. Our growing membership is made up of artists with years of experience, recent graduates, newcomers to the processes and people revisiting a past pleasure. They all however share one thing in common: a passion for making original prints.

Like many artforms the art of printmaking has been practiced for centuries. Our members skillfully carry on this tradition but with a contemporary spin. One of the oldest processes, relief printing, offers bold dramatic results by carving an image into a piece of wood or lino, inking up and taking an impression – as seen in the ‘imagined landscape’ woodcuts of Julian Davies inspired by his visits to Tokyo.

With traditional etching Nick Richards captures the ever-changing mood and activity of the River Thames, his style reminiscent of the Old Masters and Angela Brookes uses photo etching to capture the beauty of the natural world including her delicate studies of the honesty plant.

Screenprinting, originally used in industry, was made popular as an artform by Andy Warhol and offers fantastic scope in the use of colour and graphics. In her new work, Chinese-Canadian artist J Yuen Ling Chiu uses a layering process overprinting flat sumptuous colour with texture, pattern and photographic images inspired by her memories of (and relationship with) Hong Kong.

Emerging graduate Daniel Clark has produced an ambitious, quirky piece – a very large drypoint print inspired by domestic folklore to be wall-hung with his animation of hands working on an etching plate projected on to it.

Letterpress (a unique print studio facility) has recently experienced a resurgence in popularity, particularly with graphic designers looking for a hand produced process in contrast to creating type on a computer. This exhibition logo was printed on a small Adana press by young letterpress enthusiast Kim Vousden.

These are examples of but a few. With over 200 prints on show and available for sale, encompassing landscape, portraiture, narrative, figurative and abstract, vibrant colour, subtle line, large and small in scale, Freedom Of The Press literally offers something for everyone.

Original prints are an excellent affordable option for festive gifts or personal acquisitions – suitable for the seasoned collector and first time buyer alike. This fabulous eclectic exhibition provides the visitor with an insight into the freedom Thames Barrier Print Studio members enjoy creatively with the infinite possibilities of the printing press.

Exhibition runs from 15 November – 2 December, Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11am-5pm.

Carolyn Nicoll on 07815 090648 /


Matthew Wood on 07946 554574 /

Sally McKay: Multisensory experience and artistic images of the moving human figure – Opening 13.09.12

Posted in Events, New Works, SFSA Members by Second Floor Studios & Arts on September 14, 2012

Solo performances: Yolande Yorke-Edgell and Jack Jones (Yorke Dance Project)


Lewisham College Dance Dept: 1st Year students gallery visit 14.09.12

Lewisham College Dance Dept: Rehearsal in no format 14.09.12

Performances: Friday 21st September – 2pm

Sally McKay: Multisensory experience and artistic images of the moving human figure

Posted in Arts, Events, New Works, SFSA Members by Second Floor Studios & Arts on September 12, 2012

no format gallery

Sally McKay: Multisensory experience and artistic images of the moving human figure

Opening – Thursday 13th September (5pm – 9pm) Until Sun 23th September – no format gallery open Thursday to Sunday 11am – 6pm

The response of painters to the challenge posed by photography is evident in the changes which occurred from the late 19th Century onwards in the way paintings were used to record recognisably human figures. Photographs of apparently moving human figures became source material for artists like Edgar Degas who used them to endow the human figures in their figurative objective artworks with naturalistic forms and apparent movements. Dissatisfaction with the attempts of photographers like Eadweard Muybridge to adequately record the trajectories of moving figures led Étienne Jules Marey to invent different types of chronophotographic camera for this purpose. Chronophotographic attempts to visualise previously invisible phenomena led early 20th Century visual artists like the Italian Futurists to base their attempt to use artworks to achieve the same goal both on Henri Bergson’s ‘cinematographical’ theory of visual perception and aesthetics; and on the use of synaesthetic (sensory perceptual) analogies and pseudo-synaesthetic (extra-perceptual linguistic metaphorical) analogies between sensible forms in different modes of perception to record their multisensory perceptions in visual artworks. Like these Italian Futurist artists, Sally McKay seeks to immerse spectators in the multisensory perceptions of moving human figures recorded in her visual artworks.

The early 20th Century eurythmic dance theorists Emile Jaques-Dalcroze and Jean d’Udine argued that seeing ‘morphocinetic’ arabesque lines caused a spectator’s ‘muscular sense’ to arouse resonations in different modes of this spectator’s perception. This muscular sense governed the synaesthetic ‘art of gesture’ used by visual artists to orchestrate and identify the physiological rhythms of their bodies with the physical rhythms of music, painting and sculpture; and in particular by dancers to visibly express their invisible ideas, emotions and feelings. A spectator’s endowment of morphocinetic arabesque lines with a muscular sense also aroused this spectator’s visual perception of such ‘muscular’ lines as a ‘living symphony’ of human movement. Dalcroze and Udine’s ideas inspired the semi-abstract paintings of moving human figures by artists like Frantisek Kupka and Francis Picabia. McKay’s envisaging of her multisensory perceptions of moving human figures as lines, colours and shadows in her artworks relies both on visual memory-images abstracted from her visual sensations, and on body memory-images abstracted from muscular sensations of her body movements. McKay uses such body memory-images to coordinate her multisensory perceptual making of artworks during collaborative events where moving human figures may experience a loss both of personal subjectivity, and of the distinction of their bodies from the ‘living’ atmospheres of light and sound in which they are immersed.

Text: Stephen Baycroft Copyright 2012


Deborah Cumming – GTF: Gridscape, Textile and Flora opening at no format gallery Thursday 28th June, 5pm – 9pm

Posted in Events, New Works, SFSA Members by Second Floor Studios & Arts on June 27, 2012

Traditional oil painting techniques and subject matter underpin these paintings by Scottish painter Deborah Cumming, but recent work reveals a new approach to both landscape and still life.

Landscape has emerged as Gridscape, combining two contrasting styles which have had a profound influence on the artists career: traditional landscape painting and rigid colour grids used in design. The landscape painting sits behind a number of painted squares that have been selected from a grid structure, mapped out before painting begins in colours which provide both sympathy and contrast. The resulting painting offers a mix of traditional and contemporary styles that compete for the viewer’s attention.

Still life, while retaining static observations of composition, form, colour, light and mood, has been simplified, offering a new representation of an old theme.   Influenced by the work of mid 17th century Spanish artists Zurbarán and Cotán who simplified the concept of still life by depicting everyday objects, in an uncluttered setting, devoid of religious symbolism or moral sub-context, this work attempts to present still life in a new way. These contemporary paintings involve three basic elements: a dark background, an everyday object and a piece of fabric. The main object is either flora or fauna at varying stages of growth placed simply on carefully considered fabric. The light source is important in all of these works, as is the composition and placement of the object.

“Deborah’s grid landscape paintings force the viewer to switch between two opposing styles within a single painting. The grids provide a strong design element to an otherwise traditional landscape painting. Her still life paintings are simple, uncluttered examples of beauty and artistic craftsmanship”Matthew Wood, SFSA Director

More info and gallery opening times here:

Additional Text –

Deborah Cumming: Landscape painting as a fusion of artistic subjectivity and visible objectivity

Text by Stephen Baycroft

The painted image of a figurative objective painting relies on the spatial depth of an artificial geometrical perspective to impose the same apparent objectivity onto the coloured forms of the figurative objects in this image as the coloured forms of the figurative objects located outside this image in the visible world of someone observing this painting. Western aesthetics has included attempts to endow the visible lines and colours in figurative objective paintings with the functions of mimetic illustrative representation and/or non-mimetic non-illustrative linguistic expression.

The capacity of the lines and colours in a painting to function as mimetic illustrative representations of the apparently objective coloured forms of figurative objects located outside this painting, benefited from empirical scientific research into coloured pigments by Michel Eugene Chevreul and coloured lights by Ogdon Rood.

The capacity of the lines and colours in a painting to function as non-mimetic non-illustrative linguistic expressions of apparently subjective things like an artist’s emotions, feelings and ideas, was legitimised by modern empirical scientific, philosophical and occult scientific research into the subjective properties of colour. Such colour research has involved theoretical and practical attempts to develop universal languages of colours whose systematic organization has included the use of abstract grids of coloured squares. Many figurative objective and abstract painters have tried to invent and use universal languages of objective colours to make paintings using colours which they believed had the linguistic capacity to express their subjective emotions, feelings and ideas.

Cumming uses the space envisaged by the painted surface of one of her landscape paintings to juxtapose the coloured forms occupying the perspectival space of the representational (i.e. figurative objective) areas of this painting, with the abstract grid of coloured squares occupying the non-perspectival space of the expressive (i.e. abstract) areas of this painting. The painted surface of such a landscape painting can be conceived to be the visible means by which Cumming tries to abolish the distinction between the abstract thought-formal content of her own subjectivity and the figurative objective content of the visible world represented in this painting.

“LET ME PUT MY POEMS IN YOU” – David Bray solo show @ no format opening this Thursday 14th June – 5pm – 9pm

Posted in Events, New Works, SFSA Members by Second Floor Studios & Arts on June 12, 2012

“The title derives its name from a throwaway gag in the Will Ferrell movie ‘Blades of Glory’. It’s an absurd title, reflecting the ridiculous subjects of the drawings. Unfortunately in the last few years, too many of my friends have passed away – life can sometimes seem very bleak and sad. This body of work is an attempt to step away from that darkness – into a world of unbridled joy and stupidity.”David Bray

David Bray’s compelling works come from a lifetime love of drawing and an active imagination. Using basic working tools, such as pens, pencils and paper bought from ordinary stationary shops, Bray creates intricate, time-consuming drawings, which explore emotion, utopia and a world of fantasy.

Born in Dartford, Kent, in 1970, as a child Bray would apparently draw images of space travel, where he would depict himself and his friends visiting other Planets and Universes. As he grew older he began to explore a dark, egotistical fantasy world, which is still apparent in the work he makes today being influenced and inspired by a wide range of artists: from Allen Jones, Eric Stanton, to erotic photography by Helmut Newton and Araki.   Bray has exhibited worlwide – having shown in London, Tokyo, New York, Hong Kong,  Amsterdam, Portland, Los Angeles and Perth.   As well as an exhibiting artist, Bray has had a successful career as a commercial illustrator since graduating in Graphic Design from Central Saint Martins in 1992.

Clients have included: Absolut, Puma, Agent Provocateur, VW, Vodafone, MTV, Nokia, The New York Times, GQ and more.   His collaboration with photographer Tim Bret Day on the Harvey Nichols advertising campaign ‘HN on Earth’ is now in the permanent poster collection at the Louvre.   Bray has recently resurrected his design practice: clients including Virgin Atlantic and Terence Conran.

His show at no format sees Bray working on large scale portraiture, with overiding themes of loss, voodoo, religion and sadness……

Exhibition open: Fri 15th, Sat 16th and Sun 17th June & Fri 22nd, Sat 23rd and Sun 24th June (11am – 5pm)

Laurent Cahard: Poetic painting as a non-grammatical language analogous to music – ‘Synaesthesia (I): Abstract Painting as Visible Sound’ Opening at no format Thursday 31st May 2012 5pm – 9pm

Posted in Arts, Events, New Works, SFSA Members by Second Floor Studios & Arts on May 28, 2012

Laurent Cahard: Poetic painting as a non-grammatical language analogous to music – ‘Synaesthesia (I): Abstract Painting as Visible Sound’ Opening at no format Thursday 31st May 2012 (5pm – 9pm)

The second exhibition in the cycle of exhibitions at the no format gallery on the themes of sublimity and synaesthesia is devoted to the work of the painter Laurent Cahard. The ‘germinative’ artistic process developed by Cahard involves his use of an ‘atmosphere’ of graphic ideas, emotions and feelings aroused within himself to mentally abstract a set of line and colour elements from the visible world, that he envisages as the set of configurations of elements of a ‘motif’ in a computer-generated sketch. Cahard then uses the processes of addition, removal and rotation of these elements to arrive at the final version of this sketched motif that functions as the starting point for the compositional process by which he paints a new version of this motif on the gridwork of canvas units of a painting. The elements of this painted motif have qualities of texture and colour that are absent from the sketched motif from which it is derived, thereby preventing this sketched motif from being an ‘original’ of this painted motif. The composition of the elements of a motif in a painting by Cahard is based both on pseudo-synaesthetic analogies with music, and on linguistic analogies that endow these elements with the status of a non-grammatical language analogous to music. Pseudo-synaesthetic musical analogies permit Cahard to break with the classical rules of composition associated with the making of mimetic illustrational paintings in which figurative objects occupy a pictorial space whose depth relies on artificial geometrical perspective. Like painters such as Paul Cézanne and Henri Matisse, Cahard suppresses the spatial depth of artificial geometrical perspective in a painting in order to envisage a flattened tapestry-like pictorial space within which an observer can see melodic, harmonic and vibratory rhythmic tensions of motif elements. The ‘musical’ qualities of these painted elements deprives them of the representational function of mimetic illustration, while permitting such elements to possess the expressive function of linguistic signification of the motive attributes of the atmosphere of ideas, emotions and feelings used by Cahard to envisage the motif in the sketch from which this painting is derived. The theoretically unlimited nature of the germinative process by which Cahard actualises the potential variation of a motif, parallels the processes by which human potential is continually becoming actualised in contemporary human life.

Exhibition text Copyright 2012 Stephen Baycroft

Full info here:

The 2012 exhibition programme for the ‘no-format’ gallery will include a series of exhibitions of visual artworks under the collective title ‘On Sublimity and Synaesthesia’. These exhibitions will explore art created in response to experience at the sublime limits of ordinary vision, and how the limits between the physical senses can be transcended by synaesthetic processes in the brain which enable non-visual data to contribute to the creation, experience and knowledge of visual artworks. Each exhibition in this series will give one in-house artist the opportunity to exhibit a selection of his/her visual artworks, and to work in conjunction with the freelance writer Stephen Baycroft (author of a biography of the artist Ken Currie entitled The Mask of Being, 2001, and currently completing a book on the relationships between the art of the Greek dramatist Aeschylus, the American poet T.S. Eliot and the Anglo-Irish painter Francis Bacon), to produce an artistic statement in which this artist places his/her work in the context of Western art history and philosophical aesthetics.

Full programme here:

Second Floor Studios & Arts Open Studios Thursday Night Opening – Open all weekend 11am – 6pm

Posted in Events, New Studios, New Works, Open Studios, SFSA Members by Second Floor Studios & Arts on May 18, 2012

CANTEEN – SFSA’s new social enterprise arts cafe!















Never Promised Pound Land – Opening Night at no format 3/5/2012

Posted in Events, New Works, SFSA Members by Second Floor Studios & Arts on May 3, 2012

Opening night – Never Promised Pound Land @ no format 3/5/2012.

Works by Ray Richardson, Cathie Pilkington, Mark Hampson.

Exhibition runs until 27th May – Open Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun 11am – 5pm

Ray Richardson, Cathie Pilkington, Mark Hampson – no format 3/5/2012

NEVER PROMISED POUND LAND – Ray Richardson, Cathie Pilkington and Mark Hampson – opens at no format this Thursday (3rd May) 5pm – 10pm

Posted in Events, New Works, Open Studios, SFSA Members by Second Floor Studios & Arts on April 30, 2012

NEVER PROMISED POUND LAND – Ray Richardson, Cathie Pilkington and Mark Hampson – no format gallery

Opening night – Thursday 3rd May 2012, 5pm – 10pm

Exhibition runs until Sunday 27th May (Open Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun – 11am – 5pm)

Welcome to a world, but not the real world.  The concept of the real world has of course, been hotly debated by a long list of Philosophers, Mathematicians, Physicists and Creative’s.  Everyone from Plato, Aristotle, Wittgenstein, and Rubin to the velveteen rabbit and her fellow toy, Pinocchio have had their questions.  In Never Promised pound Land we are presented with a probable and parallel world created by, the combined inventions yet distinctly different narrative based practices of, Ray Richardson, Cathie Pilkington and Mark Hampson.

Mark Hampson

Cathie Pilkington

Ray Richardson

More info here:

no format – Second Floor Studios & Arts, Harrington Way (off Warspite Road), Woolwich, London, SE18 5NR.

no format –  is located immediately off the A206 dual carriageway near Charlton and Woolwich. There is access from the A2/M2, M20 & M25. Charlton and Woolwich Dockyard Main Line stations and The Docklands Light Railway are in close proximity. Jubilee Line North Greenwich (O2) then 161 or 472 from bus stop A to Warspite Road. Regular bus routes (180, 177, 161, and 472) serve the local area.