Exhibition Launch: Observant by Gemma Johnson

Event Details

Exhibition Launch: Observant by Gemma Johnson

Time: January 6, 2017 from 5pm to 11pm
Location: Craving Coffee
Street: Unit 3 Gaunson House, Markfield Rd
City/Town: London
Website or Map: http://www.cravingcoffee.co.uk
Phone: 02088083178
Event Type: exhibition, street food
Organized By: Craving Coffee
Latest Activity: Dec 14, 2016

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Event Description

Exhibition Launch: Observant by Gemma Johnson
Launch Party At Tottenham Social, 
Craving Coffee, Friday 6th January 2017
Food by Soul Food Sisters
Bar open 5-11pm, kitchen open 6-10pm

Exhibition runs 6th-29th January 2017
Sun-Wed 10-5, Thur-Sat 10-11, Free entry.

“Celebrate is a goyish word. Observe is a Jewish word.”
-Lenny Bruce, comedian

Observe (v)
1. Notice or perceive something and register it as significant
2. Fulfill or comply with a social, legal, ethical, or religious obligation

Goy (n) גוי
Yiddish for non-Jewish person, gentile.
Goyish (adj)
A label for something or someone that seems or is non-Jewish.

This series of work in lino, paint, and pen, explores the role of the observer living around - but not in - the insular and religious Hasidic Jewish community of Stamford Hill. Often the first reaction of outsiders is to stare, poke fun at, or judge this group’s different style of dress and way of life. I have tried to approach this project from a position of respect and have used colour and contrast to show the activity and beauty in a long-standing community that is often seen in black and white.

The works are set out in three stages: watching, hiding, and being watched. Thinking about the meaning put in the words ‘observe’ and ‘outsider’ I invite you to question the act and the ethics of watching another community. How is one treating other people when acting as a voyeur? What does it mean when someone knows they are being watched? Who is watching who?

A note on the artist: Gemma Johnson
I was born and grew up in Toronto, Canada and have been living in London for just over a year. Living in Stamford Hill has served as a catalyst for me to explore my Jewish background. As my Jewish heritage is from my father I am not technically Jewish since it is inherited through one’s mother. This exhibit has evolved from an initial exploration of a disjointed Jewish and goyish identity.


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