Glimpses of the future in Hackney exhibition

Tomorrow's World exhibition

Artwork at the exhibition, Tomorrow’s World. Pic: Rikke Etholm-Idsoøe

A new exhibition in Stoke Newington offers visitors a glimpse into what the world might look like in the future.

The exhibition, which opened at the contemporary art space Atom Gallery on Friday, features 70 pieces from 50 local national and international artists.

Atom Gallery co-owner Richard Pendry. Pic: Rikke Etholm-Idsoøe

Atom Gallery co-owner Richard Pendry. Pic: Rikke Etholm-Idsøe

Gallery co-owner Richard Pendry said that while the exhibition is about the future, the curation strongly reflects the world today.

The pieces were selected from an open call for work portraying utopias, dystopias, science fiction, prophecies and visions of the future.

“It’s perhaps not surprising, given the current political and economic climate, that some of the pieces offer a less than optimistic view of the future,” Pendry said.“But they generally do so with a sense of humour, and they are balanced by other artworks with a more positive outlook.”

“We received more than 300 submissions,” he said. “We hope that the final selection is by turn thought-provoking and amusing for the audience.”

One of the featured pieces was by Oli Fowler, an artist from Dalston.

Artist Oli Fowler. Pic: Rikke Etholm-Idsoøe

Artist Oli Fowler. Pic: Rikke Etholm-Idsøe



Fowler has not always been an artist but described the transition into art as “the best decision of [his] life”.

Fowler said: “It’s great being part of a local exhibition. I sometimes find it hard to connect with galleries, so to be part of an exhibition that’s so close is great.

“I started working as an artist in my late 30’s. I was bored with my life and I wanted to make money doing something I really enjoyed,” he said.“It’s now turned into an obsession, with money I make going back into the art to create bigger and better things.”

Another artist featured is Steven Quinn, who hails from Belfast, and has been living and working in East London for the past six years.

Steve Quinn's artwork. Pic: Rikke Etholm-Idsoøe

Steve Quinn’s artwork. Pic: Rikke Etholm-Idsøe

He commended the gallery for taking on an exhibition which is not exactly in a “festive mood”, right before Christmas.

“It’s a great thing they are doing as it would be very easy to sell more easy-going work this time of year.

“But for me, it’s more important at Christmas to view ideas of tomorrow and what we could lose if things globally do pan out how they look to be going.”

Quinn said his art has always focused on “funny or surreal imaginings” of the future, but that the recent years’ political climate has changed the tenor of his art.

“Since Trump, Brexit, the rebirth of a cold war feeling in the air with Russia, North Korea etc, the unreal seem real.”

The exhibition will be at Atom Gallery until January 27.

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