New Contemporaries 2022 returns to the South London Gallery with a rich diversity of voices and approaches to making. This year’s exhibition features 47 of the UK’s most exciting artists emerging from art schools and alternative peer-to-peer learning programmes. The 2022 cohort was selected by internationally renowned artists James Richards, Veronica Ryan and Zadie Xa from an open call submission of over 1,500 entries.
It’s essential for emerging artists to get an early sense of how their ongoing practice – Veronica Ryan
Veronica Ryan, New Contemporaries 2022 selector, said, “It’s essential for emerging artists to get an early sense of how their ongoing practice will develop. In addition, new Contemporaries provides an excellent way for artists to get a sense of the wider world, what happens once you leave art school, their contemporaries and of different colleges and alternate ways of thinking.”
Selected artists for Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2022:
Lou Baker, Ashton Blyth, Adam Boyd, Tom Bull, Velvet Butler Carroll/Rudi Blu, Danying Chen, Josh Clague, Eugenia Cuellar, bill daggs, Francesca Dobbe, Charlotte Edey, Paola Estrella, Winnie Hall, Hamish Halley, Deborah Hobson, Eva Hopper, Steph Huang, Kneed – Ishwari Bhalerao and Leonie Rousham, Gabriel Kidd, Yun Kim, Sarah Lang, Akinsola Lawanson, Lorena Levi, Rudy Loewe, Catarina Ludovico, Jemisha Maadhavji, Leily Moghtader Mojdehi, Mehmil Nadeem, Abi Ola, Beverley Onyangunga, Ciara Otuokere, Meitao Qu, Bishwadhan Rai, Divya Sharma, Nicole Sheppard, Sherie Sitauze, Katie Surridge, Yukako Tanaka, Kialy Tihngang, Emma Todd, Rosalie Wammes, Theresa Weber, Andre Williams, Dawn Wilson, Zearo and Zish.
Adam Boyd, New Contemporaries 2022 artist, said, “New Contemporaries has allowed me to continue the momentum from the culmination of my degree, vastly increasing the audience that will encounter my work. It’s a real privilege to show in such recognised institutions and to be introduced to a whole new cohort of artists.”
Presented thematically, the exhibition broadly explores Portraiture of the Self and Others; Communication and Disconnection; Spirituality and Mysticism; Repurposing and Retro-futurism, and Reclaiming Spaces – reflecting the cultural frameworks that inform each artist’s practice.
Portraiture of Self and Others: Jemisha Maadhavji’s work represents individuals from different cultural backgrounds, exploring their personalities and genders through symbolism and narrative. Maadhavji’s work is hugely influenced by fashion and typified by bold, bright colours and patterned fabrics. Zearo’s painting practice has an autobiographical perspective exploring his relationship to the male figure influenced by his south-east Asian background and same-sex desire.
Communication and Disconnection: Rosalie Wammes’s cluster of terracotta sculptures are evocative of natural forms, where personal memories are translated into sound. Catarina Ludovico’s photographic practice is an ongoing self-discovery using another physical body to portray her own, where figures in her images seem disconnected from the gaze.
Spirituality and Mysticism: Akinsola Lawanson’s short film Bosode explores Ifá religion (a religion that originated from the Yorùbá ethnic group from West Africa), divination systems and binary mathematics. The film is inspired by Nollywood horror and Nigerian magical realist literature. Denying Chen’s practice centres on emotional attachment. Revisiting childhood memories of the Buddhist spirituality of her hometown, Chen’s work looks at how images of gods, praying, emotions, wishes and selfish desires are portrayed.
Repurposing and Retro-futurism: Emma Todd’s kimono made from repurposed tracksuits questions mixed cultural heritage, indigenous knowledge and the idea of ‘returning to our roots. Kiely Tihngang reimagines old histories by speculating on new ones through an interest in Retrofuturism and obsolete or ‘useless’ technologies.
Reclaiming Spaces: Kneed – Ishwari Bhalerao and Leonie Rousham explore structural violence, hostile bureaucracy and collective histories embedded within landscapes and institutions. They attempt to complicate ingrained power relations in their collaborative, socially engaged practice. Deborah Hobson’s portraits depict prominent Black political campaigners she has worked with, as well as well-known Black figures in popular culture and those who have been overlooked or ignored.
Alongside the exhibition, New Contemporaries will present a series of Public Programmes events developed in response to the exhibiting artists’ ongoing interests and topics relevant to emerging practice.
New Contemporaries and the MA in Art & Ecology, Goldsmiths, University of London will curate a symposium of discussions, performances and workshops. The seminar will explore how our relationship with the environment might be reconsidered through the lens of alternative/reimagined futures and speculative/fantastical possibilities. This symposium is programmed in collaboration with Camberwell College of Art and the South London Gallery.
Also programmed is a day of performances, sonic works, readings and discursive workshops by exhibiting artists on the theme of listening. Led by artist and peer mentor Chloe Cooper and Art Quest, a talk and participatory session will introduce the practice of peer mentoring.
Also complementing the exhibition is New Contemporaries 2022 Online Platform platform.newcontemporaries.org.uk, an online space for artists to present their work beyond the physical show. Including artists’ works and biographical material, the platform also offers new, critical voices and fresh perspectives on New Contemporaries and the artists’ practices by early career writers. Contributors include Abiba Coulibaly, Dan Guthrie, Alex Hull, Isaac Huxtable, Anjana Janardhan, Debbie Meniru, Sam Moore, Pelumi Odubanjo and Evelyn Wh-ell.
Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2022 at the South London Gallery follows the exhibition’s successful launch at our partner venues, Humber Street Gallery and Ferens Art Gallery in Hull. The show continues in Hull until 27 November 2022.
Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2022 9 December 2022 – 12 March 2023 South London Gallery’s main building 65–67 Peckham Road, London, SE5 8UH.