As British Summer Time kicks into gear, it’s time for the next edition of our specially-curated Fab 30. In honour of our 30th birthday, each month in 2022 a member of staff from the gallery will be curating a list of their 30 favourite artworks, highlighting pieces that particularly resonate with them.
This month, our Fab 30 has been chosen by Eden – Enter Gallery’s coordinator and curator extraordinaire for the last four years. In today’s blog, we chat to Eden to learn why her selections hold such a special place in her heart.
Poolside Scenery – Slim Aarons
‘I absolutely love this little snapshot of what was happening on the day that Poolside Gossip was shot. It feels intimate and personal. I want to know what they’re talking about. Poolside Gossip is such an iconic image, but I find the other images taken on the same shoot really interesting, because it makes you wonder why out of all of the photographs taken that day, Poolside Gossip was the one that blew up and made Slim Aarons famous.’
Visible Invisible I – Colin Barnes
‘This artwork is so important. I’ve chosen it for the realisations it makes people have and the essential conversations it starts. It’s what Barnes doesn’t say that says so much. A lot of people wouldn’t have thought about the fact that this cartoon character is faceless, they would have just consumed it as children.’
By leaving the observer to fill in the blanks of his piece, Barnes invites us to consider the nuanced micro-aggressions that have permeated black representation in popular culture, showing how seemingly innocuous moments can enforce harmful racial stereotypes.
Flower Child 1972 - Poppy Faun
Poppy sourced her flower child from a vintage porn magazine. By representing her as strong, beautiful and free, Faun transforms her subject from a sex object into an empowered woman, owning everything that she is.
Speaking of why she has chosen this piece for her Fab 30, Eden explains:
‘I’ve worked with Poppy at the gallery for four years now so watching how she has grown as an artist, the messages she conveys and the buzz her work creates - I’m so proud. I love the imagery and colours she uses, and how she empowers women through her art.’
Great White - Dave White
‘I love this piece because it reminds me of when I first started working at the gallery. My boyfriend, Sam, was really encouraging when it came to applying for the job, urging me to believe in myself and to take a leap of faith.’
‘He took such an interest in art to support me and once I got the job, he’d listen to me talking about everything I was learning. Great White was his favourite piece, so when it was his birthday I scoured the internet trying to find one. I still remember his face when I gave it to him and how much it meant.’
‘Everyone who has bought art as a gift will know how amazing it feels to give someone you care about an artwork that they really love. Knowing that it will evoke that special feeling every time they look at it is a wonderful feeling.’
Banana Republic – Gavin Turk
Bananas are a recurring motif in Gavin Turk’s work, used as a symbol of exoticism, gender and sexuality. For Eden, the piece makes her smile as it reminds her of her trip to Art Basel in Miami, when a banana was famously sellotaped to the wall by Italian artist, Maurizio Cattelan…
‘We were rushing through Art Basel, in a rush to see the Grayson Perry’s and we thought, ‘Wait a sec, there’s a banana taped to the wall. We need to take a photo because it’s weird.’ Soon there was a massive crowd, and it was all everyone was talking about. The piece makes me laugh. It’s amazing we saw that in real life and this piece feels like a play on the moment.’
Build and Destroy - Aroe
Eden hails from a family of artists – her sisters are artists, as is her Dad, who readers of this blog might know better as Aroe – a prolific graffiti artist, and co-founder of Heavy Artillery, one of the UKs most notorious graffiti crews. Eden explains what Build and Destroy means to her…
‘These prints were released for the Build and Destroy event we held at the gallery in 2021. It was an amazing night - to see my Dad having fun and enjoying a successful sold out show - we still talk about it now. It was great to be part of it behind the scenes in my role at the gallery, as well as a member of the family. ‘
Colour Splat Bang – Ian Davenport
‘Ian Davenport is probably my favourite artist’, Eden says. ‘Again, I love the conversations that his work starts. With Colour Splat Bang, everyone that looks at it says, ‘I could do that’ – that’s my favourite thing people say in the gallery. People who don’t necessarily have an interest in art but they look at a piece and it opens up possibilities to them - it makes them think they could be a part of it, that they too could create great art.’
If you’d like to see the artworks for yourself, swing by the Enter Gallery on Bond Street in Brighton. Select pieces included in Eden’s Fab 30 are marked with blue stickers.