The Well exhibition space, London College of Communication
16th - 26th October

Curators: Peter Cannings & Alex Roberts.

Artists: Siân Hislop, Oliver Jones, Aubrey Laret, J.A. Nicholls, Alejandro Ospina, Alex Roberts and Adrian Tobin.

‘Transient Façades’ brings together seven London-based artists all of whom are concerned with making figurative work, predominantly within the two-dimensional world, as a means of exploring the plethora of illusions inherent within society.

The works are to be shown at The ‘Well’, a space whose architectural nature suggests a similar focus to the collective’s work – multiple and varied viewpoints. Transient Façades includes different forms of art, such as painting, graphic design and photography, but all are concerned with offering a response to the image-obsessed world of the media (not to mention society at large).

Alongside demonstrating the artists’ shared fascination with figurative imagery, the works in Transient Façades also knowingly examine the contradiction inherent within the idea of ‘capturing’ something or someone; here is a portrayal of a transient moment and yet simultaneously also an attempt to create something permanent.

But most of all, Transient Façades seeks to question contemporary notions of beauty (what constitutes an ‘ideal look’ for example), encouraging the viewer to challenge the complexities of self-image, perception and desire. The objective is to provide a platform for contrasting viewpoints, occurrences and to evoke discussion. If beauty is defined and reflected by the aesthetic, physical, psychological and emotional sides of life, then, as Roger Scruton suggests in his book, ‘Beauty’, “in exploring beauty we are witnessing the sentiments of people”.

Equally with our present, fleeting nature of society we are left constantly questioning what is the ideal? How do others know us or we others? Are we who we say we are?

“Sensitive people faced with the prospect of a camera portrait put on a face they think is one they would like to show the world... very often what lies beneath the facade is rare and more wonderful than the subject knows or dares to believe”. Irving Penn.

The Artists:

Siân Hislop. With intricate ink drawings overlaid with dripping layers of pastel washes and glittering oil, Hislop’s paintings investigate the spaces between triumph and decay in Americana. Her kitsch dystopian vision is concerned with memory and transience, with a particular fascination for the imagery of the journey – in its physical, psychological and personal sense. The teen idols make us aware of how powerfully screen ‘memories’ act on the course of time, paralysing us between anticipation and nostalgia.

Recent shows include a solo exhibition Le Baiser at French Riviera, London 2011, Apocalypstick at the Nunnery Gallery, London 2011 and The Lunar Society, Guillochon Gallery at London Art Fair 2012. She received an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2009 (

Oliver Jones lives and works in Birmingham having studied Fine Art at the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design. Flesh is the main focusof critique throughout Jones’ work. The most recent examples include a number of pastel drawings “Maybe She’s Born With It” and “Shrink Wrap Flesh” which are studies that illuminate an image of the skin that we are more commonly exposed to, scrutinising the subtle variations, colours, structure and complexity of its surface. The work is a retort towards the way the media and industry advertise, manipulate and exploit flesh and the exterior, inducing society to become familiar and accepting of an idealised image that is far removed from the everyday.

Exhibitions include: BBC 2, Show me the Monet exhibition Mall Galleries 2012, Ultra Social, UAMO City Tour Munich 2011, The Threadneedle Prize, The Mall Galleries 2010, West Midlands Open 2010, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Gas Hall (

Aubrey Laret’s work is a response to the speed with which images are produced, consumed and disposed of. Laret explores unique physical characteristics of digital images i.e. pixels and jpeg artefact as well as their limitations - the ease with which they can be manipulated and the restrictions on quality in order to distribute them digitally.

His background as an Art Director in advertising (with over 20 years experience at some of London’s top integrated agencies, plus two years as a Creative Director for one of London’s biggest digital agencies) has exposed him to the tools of graphic design which he uses to make work. “While other artists might use paint or stone or light and sound to make their work, I use pixels” (

J.A. Nicholls continues to exhibit internationally since gaining an MA (Fine Art; Painting) from The Royal College of Art in 2002.

Selected exhibitions include Creative London in Korea, which took place to coincide with the Olympics, Something Borrowed at Cultivate (2011), Jerwood Contemporary Painters (2010) and Stick Stamp Fly at Gasworks (2007). Nicholls’ paintings look like collage but are made entirely of paint on a single canvas surface. Relishing the sense of awkwardness that comes from putting different marks and images together, different perspectives, scales and histories posture for new significance, a “something happening” which does not have a precise name but comes from the exchange of ideas which occurs with the unexpected meeting of marks (

Alejandro Ospina. “A portrait of oneself is no longer a luxury. Portraits in the worlds of online, user-generated media are a peer-pressured necessity for networking with “Friends”, “Connections” or “Followers”.

Ospina’s series fotolog/ is a rigorous illustration of some of the fundamental issues concerning engagement with digital images in the 21st Century. It demonstrates how contemporary image making and dissemination can be a tool for the re-evaluation of the condition of portraiture and contemporary painting”. To quote from Mark Jackson’s (IMT Gallery, London) essay on Alejandro Ospina.

Like his earlier years of education (Duke University USA, postgraduate studies at New York Studio School and his MA at the Slade School of Fine Arts), Colombian born Ospina exhibits regularly worldwide. Algorithms is a solo show (curated by Carlos Blanco) at Centro Colombo-Americano, Bogota Colombia that coincides. He is represented by the IMT Gallery, London (

Alex Roberts studied at City of Bath Art College and Reading University (BA Hons Fine Art) before completing a postgraduate course at the London College of Printing. Roberts is an accomplished artist working predominantly with paint, whilst she also explores other media such as film and installation.

Her critique is motivated by the concept of how we perceive identity and change. Roberts’ current studio practice is concentrated on working with the figure. She questions the normality of human characteristics and explore the emotions that fuel our character. The resulting work invites the viewer to question how he or she perceives their own world and offers a provocative and often humourous take on the sometimes-different world of others.

Recent exhibitions include the solo showcase Individual Liberty, 7/7a Gt. Guildford Business Square London 2011, Worcester Open 2010, Swan Song St. Anne’s House, Diadem Court London 2010, curated by Rowena Chiu (

Adrian Tobin is a proficient painter. His work often records social injustice and momentary observations which emerge as platforms to ponder - challenging the viewer to reflect beyond the picture plane. Tobin’s training took place at Wimbledon School of Art and Chelsea College of Art & Design (BA Hons Fine Art) before finishing with a postgraduate course at Cyprus College of Art. He currently teaches Fine Art and Photography to students at an inner London, Catholic sixth form college. Exhibitions include: Coated 2011 and Super Saturation 2012 at The Crypt Gallery, St. Pancras Church London.

The Curators:

Peter Cannings is a Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Design, London College of Communication. He originally trained in 3-dimensional design, studying Industrial Design at Central School of Art, Design and Furniture Design at the Royal College of Art. He practised as a freelance designer/maker for a number of years working on a range of commercial and domestic projects in furniture and interior design. As an 'early adopter' he played an important role in helping to establish the viability and integration of digital media as a core element in the graphic design curriculum. Cannings has been involved in a number of collaborative associations.

Alex Roberts has curated varied art projects over the last eleven years. Roberts was a previous student of Cannings’ Postgraduate Certificate course in 2D Digital Design. Since their initial meet Roberts has provided talks to Cannings’ current LCC students as a visiting artist/ tutor. Cannings has supported Roberts’ short film work. Curating Transient Façades is their next progressive step.

For further information contact Alex Roberts E: T: 07765 891 166

The Well exhibition space
London College of Communication
University of the Arts London
Elephant & Castle SE1 6SB

Image Credits: Siân Hislop, This Road Will Never End, It Probably Goes All Around The World, 2012.

Graphic Design by Ishmael Annobil /  Web Development by Ruzanna Hovasapyan