Thursday, 26 February 2015

More Than #FreeTheNipple at Hoxton Gallery

After a hearty brunch at Bill's Hoxton Square, one of my friends took us to Hoxton Gallery at The Arch while we wait for KK Outlet to open, and before heading to the International Fashion Showcase in Brewer Street car park.

Impossible Instant Lab Universal had a photography exhibit dubbed "8x8": eight works each by eight distinctive instant photographers.

My HTC worked better in taking these shots, so apart from the photos of the venue, everything else came from my camera phone. 


The Hoxton Gallery at The Arch in the heart of London's East End, is an events venue and short-term gallery which reminds me of war underground tunnels or bunkers with its exposed bricks and distressed features. Even the way 'Gallery' is written above isn't perfect, which makes it even more appealing. It's like a woman's tousled hair: looks natural and effortless but surely has a put-together element.

I didn't know what to expect to in the gallery, but I quickly warmed to the images when I saw that they're mostly black x white, not flawless, and tackle raw sexuality.

These ones are from Kate Bellm, a fashion photographer who celebrates youth and sexual freedom.

My friend Chris Bramaje, a professional photographer himself, captured me while capturing Scout Willis's shots.

The Willis girls (Yes, none other than Bruce's) are getting a reputation for being quite liberal. I say quite, as one of them, Scout Willis, has only posed topless on Instagram and Twitter. Should she start walking naked in her neighbourhood, then she's more libertine than Dominique Strauss-Kahn can define the word.

Turns out the #FreeTheNipple campaigner is really serious about instant photography. Now, haters and the righteous will brand her work as exhibitionist as she takes photos of pubic hair, mons pubis, and other female body parts. But that is no different from men and women constantly posting photos of themselves half-naked or nearly naked on their Facebook or Instagram profiles which are so public, by the way. Or even selfie addicts whose every little twitch of existence visually assault us, or whose every photo is carefully composed, I wonder if they went to school to study their best angles.

Not defending this young woman, but we are all exhibitionists in our own way. Some are just cringe-worthy. And still others are just plainly declaring their undying self-love.

The above photos are by Scout Willis (don't know though if she was also the subject), while this one below is by Oliver Blohm. Bhlom is a Berlin-based fashion and portrait photographer who experiments with and pushes the technical limits of photography. I believe the below photo was created using a technique that involves placing a polaroid while being developed, behind a working microwave oven, to create the distressed vintage appearance.

There's always something on show in the gallery, so pop in when you're in the area.

9 Kingsland Road
E2 8AA London


  1. Interesting tour through Hoxton Gallery ( a perfect place especially for black and white photos ) and it's nice to visit the exhibit with you! Kate Bellm's photos are very beautiful...

  2. It's been a while since I've been to a gallery but this one looks very interesting for reasons I won't go in to. Who knew Bruce's offspring had this hidden talent, I didn't and I too am curious to know if she was the subject of the photo or just the photographer. Love the idea/method of getting the vintage print, although I probably won't be experimenting with it! Hope you're having a good weekend xx

  3. Beautiful exhibit full of provocative pieces! The venue is likewise very interesting, almost a fitting backdrop for the kind of exhibit it showcases. (Very "underground" and edgy.)

  4. Interesting photos! I had no idea that Scout Willis was a photographer; would love to see her work for real.

  5. This looks like a really interesting exhibition, never been to this gallery as well. Love the idea of this as well. Would have been great to see in real life!! Fantastic pictures doll xx

  6. Very interesting exhibit, nonetheless. I also like the photos that you took. Sometimes black and white images can be more intense than ones in colour--or even allows the viewer to feel more emotion from it. :) x


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