Steven Morgana, Christian Newby, Lisa Slominski, Theodoros Stamatogiannis, Farniyaz Zaker: A House Is Not A Hotel


A House Is Not A Hotel, 25 July - 13 September, is a curated group exhibition of emerging UK- based artists.  

Itinerancy has increasingly become one of the primary characteristics that differentiate the lifestyles of the people, particularly the young, of contemporary western societies from the lifestyles of their predecessors. We move from city to city, rented accommodation to rented accommodation at an ever-increasing pace. A consequence of employment becoming increasingly flexible and precarious as well as a workforce that is more skilled and less laden with material and maternal/paternal commitments than its precursors. It is a process that is also hastened by a housing market in which supply and demand have slowly drifted apart from each other. This situation is nowhere more evident than in London, a city in which the migratory flow around and through it happens at an exhilarating pace and where the ideologically driven discourse on how to manage the places we live in is at its most charged.

For those that can take advantage of it, this freedom of movement opens up exciting and liberating opportunities while for others it ebbs at the sense of security that stability and continuity can bring. Nevertheless, for both of these groups, their relationship with the places in which they live is rapidly changing, and is increasingly one that is defined by transience.

The six artists included in A House Is Not A Hotel each make work that is motivated by a distinctly different set of concerns and subject matter. Lisa Slominski plays with the palette and motifs, as well as the patterning and repletion, of interior design. Christian Newby deploys an abstract painting practice and its high-art connotations within the context of craft objects such as ceramics and carpets. Farniyaz Zaker juxtaposes references to architecture and female clothing, drawing out their analogous roles in mediating between the public and the private. Theodoros Stamatogiannis replicates ubiquitous architectural components such as floors, doors, and windows, in a way that perturbs their traditional function and consequently renegotiates our relationship with them. Steven Morgana acquires a heterogeneous array of materials from the public domain such as charity posters, detritus from abandoned buildings, and crowd control barriers, which are transformed into structures that are alluring and pristine while still hinting at the more complex and forlorn reality that the original objects are props in.  Yet, within their respective practices, each artist has created work that deals with the house/home/dwelling place and the tropes of the distinctly contemporary relationship we have with it, creating a curatorial point of cohesion with the exhibition that has been arrived at from a set of distinctly different directions.

A House Is Not A Hotel demonstrates the commitment Pi Artworks, London has to not only exhibiting work of its own international artists but also creating an platform for emerging UK based practitioners, something that will continue beyond the gallery's first year in London.

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Steven Morgana, b. 1982, Australia. In 2014, Morgana was commissioned to create an exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK; and was the recipient of the Artstart grant from the Australia Council for the Arts; and was a finalist for the 2014 Mark Tanner Sculpture Award, Standpoint Gallery, London, UK. His solo show, The Future Feels Like a Phantom Limb, opened at La Scatola Gallery, London in 2012. His work was also included in Bloomberg British New Contemporaries 2013. Morgana received his MA from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2012.

Christian Newby, b. 1979, USA. Newby has had solo exhibitions at Space in Between and Vitrine Gallery, both in London, 2014 as well as Galerie OÙ, Marseille and Transmission Gallery, Glasgow in 2013. He has recently been included in group exhibitions at Whitechapel Gallery, Kinman Gallery, and MOT International Project Space, all in London, and Palais de Tokyo, Paris. In 2013 he was shortlisted for the Dazed & Confused/Whitechapel Gallery Emerging Artist Award, London. Newby received his MA from Glasgow School of Art in 2009.

Lisa Slominski, b. 1981, USA. Slominski has had solo and two person exhibitions at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery; Tenderpixel; and BEARSPACE, all in London.  Group exhibitions in the UK include The Open West,  Cheltenham Museum, Cheltenham; Rushing to Paradise, The Royal Standard, Liverpool; and MAD MARCH HARES, Vegas Gallery, London. She was the Artist-in-Residence at the School of the Creative Arts, University of Hertfordshire, and will be the Artist-in-Residence, Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA in 2015. Slominski received her MA from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2008.

Theodoros Stamatogiannis, b. 1977, Greece. Stamatogiannis has been in solo and two person exhibitions at Seasons Projects, London as well as David Dale Gallery and McLellan Galleries, both in Glasgow. He has been in group exhibitions at Flux Factory, NYC, USA, and Transmission Gallery, Glasgow and was selected for the 2010 Bloomberg New Contemporaries. In 2011 he s awarded a Fulbright scholarship and was one of the six finalists for the DESTE Prize, Greece. His work is held in the State Museum of Contemporary Art, Greece. Stamatogiannis received his MA from Glasgow School of Art in 2009.

Farniyaz Zaker, b. 1982, Iran. Zaker has had solo exhibitions at the Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah, UAE; Dolphin Gallery, St John's College, Oxford, UK; and the North Wall Gallery, Oxford, UK. She has recently participated in group exhibitions in Paese Museo, Sardinia, Italy; Etemad Gallery, Dubai, UAE; and the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK. Zaker received her DPhil in Fine Arts from the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, St John's College in 2013. Prior to this, she completed her MA in Textile Design at the Winchester School of Art, Southampton University.
About Pi Artworks: Pi Artworks was founded by Yesim Turanli in 1998 in Istanbul and for the past 15 years, has been introducing Turkish and international artists to the primary market. Since its founding, Pi Artworks has been committed to showcasing the best of Contemporary Turkish and international art to Istanbul's growing art scene, alongside providing an international platform for its roster of artists to showcase their work. The gallery is located at the famous historical Misir Apartmani in Istanbul and in October 2013 Pi Artworks London opened on 55 Eastcastle Street, in the heart of London's bustling Fitzrovia. 

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