May 26th, Lee Sharrock launches Contemporary Vanitas at Lights of Soho. An exciting new exhibition which looks at vanity and mortality. Vanitas is a metaphor for the meaninglessness of earthly life and transient nature of earthly goods and pursuits. Vanitas artworks were common in the 16th and 17th Century Dutch and Flemish still life painting, and were often created as metaphors for human achievements, as well as serving as reminders of human mortality. Memento Mori symbols of death, materialism, spirituality, earthly pleasure, temptations and corporality often featured.
Curator Lee Sharrock states, “I’ve always had a macabre fascination with the Vanitas paintings of the 16th and 17th century, and was intrigued to see how contemporary artists would interpret the enduring themes of mortality and vanity.”
Nancy Fouts’ ‘Exit Jesus’ features the reincarnated figure of Jesus embracing the cross of the ‘x’ in Exit; Fouts states: “Vanity of Vanities, saith the preacher, all is vanity” quoting Ecclesiastes 12:8. She continues, “My Exit sight represents corporality and the idea of Jesus being reincarnated in a modern era of neon signs and overwhelmingly constant communication.”
The exciting exhibition consists of 16 contemporary artists, featuring iconic memento mori symbols such as skulls, butterflies, and fruit, as well as more abstract interpretations in the form of celebrity portraiture and the written word in the form of neon.
Enjoy new work from artists Alexander James, Alt-Ego, Derrick Santini, Hannah Matthews, Jeroen Gordijn, Jimmy Galvin, Kalliopi Lemos, Lauren Baker, Nancy Fouts, Paul Broomfield, Pure Evil, Rebecca Mason, Sara Pope, Soozy Lipsey, Tom Lewis and Toni Gallagher.