The Dynamite Gallery showcases an eclectic array of artists from all around the world. Walking into ‘The Fed the Lion’ exhibition is like walking into an alternative Renaissance reality with a postmodern twist. Iva Troj incorporates her experience of traditional painting techniques to create elegant artworks inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites.
The exhibition is a collaboration between several established artists. Seiko Kato’s cut out flowers and creatures dance across Iva Troj’s glimmering canvases. You can see echoes of Justyna Neryng’s nudes emerging in Troj’s decadent works of art. Justyna Neryng is a professional photographer based in Brighton. Seiko Kato enjoys creating multi-layered collages by cutting out tiny images from rare books and botanical magazines. I have a chat with Henry Gomez, the Director of the Dynamite Gallery.
What inspired you to set up the Dynamite Gallery?
I suppose it was doing many jobs where I felt like I was wasting my days. I’ve always been a creative person. I was in a rock band called ‘My Echo’ for a while. We weren’t very big. We played at the Shepherds Bush Empire. It was really cool, but when that ended I thought I needed to focus on something. I thought I’m not going to be creative – I’m going to focus on something serious. Then I realized that serious things are not as fun. It’s wonderful to be part of the art world. Although it’s the most unpredictable world. The reason why I set up a gallery is because I have always been creative. But being an artist is really difficult. Its a hard life.
Are you an artist yourself?
I’ve made some things and sold some things. But I haven’t pushed it enough. You need to focus on art every evening. I was doing artwork and then I decided that the gallery is still me being creative in terms of how I curate it. It’s inspiring to watch these amazing artists emerge.
How do you curate exhibitions?
Artists have a particular way that they want things to be hung. You have to have a dialogue. I was told a long time ago that in terms of framing artists aren’t always the best people to frame their own work. It’s the same thing with hanging work. Artists just want their favourite picture in the main place, but as a curator you have to see how things fit with a gallery like this. You’ve got all weird shapes and parts of the wall that jut out. You’ve got to fit things in the right way.
Could you tell me a bit more about Iva Troj’s exhibition?
Iva Troy’s work is just stunning. Even for me. I’m not a history of art buff. It just reminds me of going to beautiful museums and art galleries around the world when I was younger, such as the old bits of the Tate. I was blown away by the detail, even when I was ten years old. Its amazing to be able to have that experience in a small gallery like this. I just jumped at it in a heartbeat. The artist is a Swedish lady called Iva Troj. She came into the gallery about seven months ago.
Do you have a favourite painting?
Yes, the one in the window. It’s the one with the lion in it. And it’s so beautiful. Its called ‘Wonder Under no Bridge’. There’s a lion and a lady looking at each other. I repainted the walls for this exhibition. It has a subtle difference to it. A grey with a slight tinge of green which works well with the paintings. It’s a very unique collaboration. I haven’t seen a collaboration like this before.
Do you have any plans for the next exhibition?
I did have some plans. I have a different plan every day. After this exhibition, the gallery is being hired out by an independent clothing company called Edy and Bridge. The gallery will be closed but the website will be fully running. It will just be until the 6th June. And then Sarah Shaw will be exhibiting at the gallery. She is an amazing artist. Her and a few friends are taking over the gallery for the last few weeks of June.
I am going to do a toy show, which will include collectible toys, vintage toys and hard to find toys. It’s nice to do things that are different. The gallery showcases a collection of different styles and it is very collaborative. It’s my own place so I can bring in whatever I want. And sometimes it will work and sometimes it won’t. But you’ve got to take that risk. The other show is going to be a collage show and I am also planning to do a 3D show. There is one show that I have been wanting to do for a while, but I think I might wait until the winter, until it’s dark and dismal. There is going to be a light show, which will include of custom lights that people make. Really beautiful ones.
Do you do an affordable art scheme?
Yes, we do the payment plan. Its interest free. Up to five months. We haven’t go the Own art scheme, which allows you to pay for work over 12 months. We haven’t been allowed it yet because we haven’t been going long enough. You can’t take the work away until you’ve paid it off. We do that with everything thats over £150.
The Dynamite Gallery is like an international art explosion. It shows off the work of artists from all corners of the world. The ‘Fed the Lions exhibition is a collaborative art project that fuses different styles from a range of different artists. The display includes work by Masakazu Yamashiro, Justyna Neryng, Casette Lord, Greg Gilbert, Andrew Victor Stock, Shizuku Rumi and Seiko Kato. The exhibition is on until 15th May.