Art Exhibition

On the first Thursday of every month, The Gallery Cafe opens its doors late for a chance to see amazing art, culture and events after hours. Our exhibition changes every month, featuring a whole host of different artists, as well as encouraging local talent.




FABIO FORIN (b. Rome 1985) is a photographer and writer based in London since 2009. His work straddles portrait, still life, and street photography, focusing on human stories within the urban landscape. Forin often adds pieces of text alongside the photographs to provide greater context to the images. Forin has recently exhibited in Moscow, Athens, has been selected for the ‘Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2016’ at London’s National Portrait Gallery, and is now touring across the UK.

L I M I N A L is Forin’s first solo show. It brings together photographs taken between 2009 and 2016 - predominantly in London, New York and the Middle East - and aims to document the “movement of a man through the past decade of his life.”

The term “liminal” gained popularity in the late 60s through the writings of anthropologist Victor Turner. It is derived from the Latin “limen”, which means “threshold” - the bottom part of a doorway that must be crossed when entering a building. The Oxford English Dictionary defines “liminal” as “relating to the transitional, or initial, stage of a process” and, in his studies of rituals, Turner used it to define that moment in which something, somebody, or somewhere was in a state of transition between two defined states. The liminal state is by definition undefinable for it has no attributes of either its previous or future form.

Each photograph - along with the selected poems, fragments of dialogue and inspiring quotes - is like a diary entry of Forin’s life after he moved to London to “become himself” at the age of 24.

The stark black-and-white images reflect Forin’s instinctive approach to the medium and describe the experience of growing up - in which social relationships begin, change and end with the outside world in a constant state of flux.

Forin’s photographs are infused with personal meaning and possess the same unfiltered emotional quality found in the accompanying text. The pictures and the words offer a view of a self-contained world that exists somewhere in the underexplored territory between the outside world and what is within. It’s a liminal dimension, a realm of emotion and metaphor, where time and space lose relevance and there is always something clouded in obfuscation that one can’t quite grasp completely - it could be the face of someone waiting for a train, a table nobody is seated at, the obscure line of a poem, or an empty stage when the concert is over, the lights are still on and the singer is gone.

Even though Forin’s work is strongly autobiographical, his main preoccupation is to represent something which, despite being unrepresentable, is shared by every human being happening to be here now. In such an improvised dance that life is, we are all wearing dancing shoes, all moving through time.



Mykal - Unusual Creatures Series.jpg


Mykadelica is the self-titled retrospective of Shadwell-based artist Mike Whyte.


This exhibition is the culmination of 20 years of work. Reflecting upon the beginnings of an illustration career in Wolverhampton, leading through the ebbs and flows of the following two decades. Culminating in the fever dreams of recent times, where the ‘Unusual Creatures’ series originated from.



Sketch Music by Simona De Leo

Simona Exhibition Image.jpg

Music can be listened to. It can be sung and played. It can be drawn.

Sketchmusic, showcases original sketches made extemporaneously during live music performances, where the exhibition intends to emphasise the relationship between music and art. 

A sketch is a bit like a photograph which tries to capture the moment but it is also able to transmit what the artist feels during that determinate instant. A rough sketch line might transmit more emotions than a finished masterpiece.

When the music starts it is like the hand could dance on the paper, the line follows the rhythm of the music; the musicians are captured in their status of delight.

The sketchbook became a study for the finished works in which Simona De Leo communicates the pleasure of the music through the addition of colours and decorations that reflect the style of that specific moment and melody.

The sketches are realised using charcoal, graphite pencil and ink brush-pen, while the final works are fully inked with nib and brush with the addition of watercolours and colour pencils.

Come along to the opening night of this exhibiton on Thursday 2nd February between 6.30pm and 8pm to meet the artist and hear music that inspired the pictures from DJs Patrick O'Brien and Robert Goldie.

Originally from Puglia, the heel of Italy, Simona De Leo started to draw probably before she could say her first word. When the other children were playing with dolls and mini cars she was painting with her mum's oil colours. Continuing this passion De Leo gained a BA Degree in Comics & Illustration at the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna (Italy). 2 years ago she moved to London where she is expanding her knowledge in graphic design and illustration. 




Hannah is an English interpretive portrait artist and illustrator based in London.

She captures women's inner selves by expressing their qualities, energies and emotions through a surreal expression of their hidden beauty. 

Her dream is to reveal the 'authentic self' of the client by portraying their ‘self love’ and ‘unearthed beauty’ through her surreal expression of the woman. She empowers women to explore deeper elements within as she unleashes the key to the soul of immense power. Through a ‘soul session’ she will tap into the ‘authentic’ inner essence of the women to reveal these qualities through an interpretive portrait.

‘The Lotus rises from the mud, untouched and clean, to open into a magnificent flower high in the air.’

Her self realisation started when she embarked on a life changing trip and flew 10,553 miles to Sydney for a year. Her curiosity for spiritual being began as she started to look deep within the soul to find her ‘true self’. Much of her inspiration came from discovering ‘dramatic and theatrical’ organic forms within plants as they held conceptual meanings of what beauty was for her.

‘Awaken’ presents recent works by Hannah. The exhibition showcases a series of face illustrations portraying her own journey of emotions and ‘inner beauty’ as surreal interpretations. Alongside this, for the first time there will be a display of her original portraits of the real women she has worked with.



Charming Creatures by Laurène Pijulet-Balmer (Piju)


Laurène Pijulet-Balmer (aka PIJU) is a French visual artist, illustrator and filmmaker based in London and Paris. Piju graduated in Cinema and Video from Panthéon-Sorbonne before studying Communication Design and Digital Media at Central Saint-Martins.

'Charming Creatures' presents recent works by Piju. 'Les Muses’ is a series of portraits of some of the artist’s female role models from 20th and 21st century (including Patti Smith, Iris Apfel and Frida Kahlo). The exhibition also includes a series of illustrations of animal-inspired and movie inspired artworks and more, all highlighting Piju’s vibrant and colourful palette, often influenced by French Art Nouveau, nature observation, and a taste for deconstructed portraits.

Her work has won two Output Awards and has been shown in festivals and exhibitions including: ‘History Is Now’, at Hayward Gallery; Wolf and Badger’s Summer Residency at Selfridges; the Anti-Design Festival, curated by Neville Brody; the Hospital Club; Hackney Picture House; and Parallax International Art Fair.

Her clients include Hachette, Pedestrian Publishing, Le Chocolat Des Français, Paulette
Magazine, Benetton’s Fabrica, the Advertising Producers Association, Ballad Of and music artists such as Zaza Fournier and Anna Meredith.

Join us at the Gallery Café on Thursday 1st December 2016 from 7pm to 9pm, for the opening of ‘Charming Creatures’, an illustration exhibition by Laurène Pijulet-Balmer (Piju). The event will also include a pop up shop with limited edition books, prints and other crafts by Piju as well as a short talk about everyday creativity.




Antonietta Torsiello is  an award-winning visual and textile artist based in East London. Her latest exhibition AfriWest is a collection of textile and screen prints inspired by the parallels between African and Western culture. Her work is also inspired by the contrast in natural craft vs man-made structures, drawing from the natural African crafts of wood carving, body scarification and the tribal decoration of the Surma and Mursi tribes of East Africa’s Omo Valley. 

All of the screen prints are printed on unbleached natural cotton and recycled paper.  There is a strong emphasis on the visual aspects of texture in these prints. By combining rubbings using string with oil pastels and graphite and silhouettes from feminine forms of the body, Antonietta was able to mix the textured rubbings to create organic forms in the final screen prints. 

Join us on November 3rd from 6pm for the opening night   where the artist will have a pop-up shop of textiles, prints and cards.


Antonietta Torsiello, Contemporary Artist | Textile Designer | Workshop Facilitator

@TorsielloArtist / /


Girl Town (Celebrating the Culture of the Female in the 21st Century)

A selected exhibition of photography celebrating the culture of the female in the 21st Century.  

Curated by Shutter Hub and the Old Girls Club through the open entry Instagram call out #girltownPM  , a shortlist of the most relevant and significant entries will be exhibited in the cafe.

In addition, a people’s choice winner, selected over the course of the exhibition, will be awarded with a photographic prize from  print partners Metro Imaging.



SWINGIN'CISION by Gotcha la boom

Gotcha La Boom is a polish artist and graphic designer living in London and working worldwide. After graduating from a Graphic Design degree at the University of Southampton in 2008 and a Product Design degree at Lodz, Poland in 2013, she moved to London to discover new ways to express her passions. 

The blend of an artist and a dancer became a creative mixture to produce this set of prints, Swingin’cision, where the exhibition captures dancers of today that are an inspiration to the artist.

Swing dance is a family of dances that expanded with the swing style of Jazz music in the 1920s-1940s, with the roots of each dance predating the popular “swing era”. Influenced by the Swing music and dances of that age and engaged with the medium of linocut printmaking, Gotcha La Boom’s designs merge her two inspirations and passions

Fusion of these two arts produced swing explosives filled with passion and energy, simple and dynamic shapes, and bold images; ready to burst up the viewer’s imagination.



           CULTURAL CONNECTIONS BY Matthew Joseph

Matthew Joseph is a fine artist from East London who graduated from a mixed media and fine art degree at the University of Westminster in 1996. Cultural Connections is Joseph's second solo exhibition. 

Influenced by the bold graphics and repetitive imagery of the Pop Art era, Joseph is inspired by vibrant colours and the importance of the line. Merging his fascination with these visuals, and referencing his heritage from Africa and St Lucia, Joseph's work experiments with colours from the St Lucian national costume, The Madras. This traditional five piece costume was worn on feast days by woman and girl plantation workers during the times of slavery to brighten up their work clothes, which forms a strong inspiration in his work.

Creating drawings using combined mediums of printmaking, collage and digital imagery, this exhibition showcases Joseph's series of bold colourful prints emphasising these colourful, graphic and repetitive influences.

Matthew Joseph is a cancer survivor and nine years ago was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He wants to raise awareness through Cultural Connections for Cancer research - please see his Just Giving page for more information.

Join us for live soul and gospel music at the opening night of the exhibition from 6pm



           the work on display throughout july is by local art group, ART4U2

By Anthony Cherrington

The work on display throughout July is by local art group Art4U2. Art tutor Virginia Hawke runs a series of art workshops in East London. 2 workshops take place at The Create place Monday evenings and Thursday afternoons. 

The work is a retrospective of the last academic years work. They looked at different projects including: Holidays around the world ; seascapes ; colour theory; shape and line ; Pop art portraits; illustrating food ; flowers.

They base projects in a variety of mediumscharcoal soft pastels links; oil pastels, oil paints, acrylic paints, watercolours; 
looking at tone form line textures mark making;  out on location to parks and museums; study different artists. This year they looked at Turner, Monet, Van Gogh, Georgia O Keefe and Andy Warhol amongst others..

We have been to various exhibitions and galleries including lots of study in the British museum
If you would like to join them , they are taking bookings for September. Please email .

June exhibition:

Colour by Anita Bodis

Anita Bodis is a Hungarian born artist based in London where she has been living and working for 4 years. Her current exhibition at The Gallery Café presents two recent projects Colour Series and Time Trilogy. Experimenting with different mark-making materials including oil, acrylic, watercolour and ink, Bodis's paintings are inspired purely through her relationship with music. 

Her vision is driven by Deep/Tropical House, Trance, Techno and Electronic Dance Music; where her paintings question the colour and visuals of specific songs and sounds. Forming a connection between sound, colour and process, this debut exhibition documents her ongoing influence and inspiration in music through a series of colourful layered paintings.

The opening night will emphasise Bodis's visual merging between songs and her paintings through a participatory live painting event with music from DJ Beattrix. Guests are invited to inspire the artist's work through their selection of songs, where the final piece will complete the painting series.  


Time start: 7pm

Price: free

Facebook event :


MAY exhibition:

Opening night of Stephen Staunton’s first solo exhibition

Stephen Staunton is an artist from Galway who discovered his talent for painting after surviving a traumatic brain injury. The event will open his first solo exhibition. There will be a brief talk about Stephen’s work and the work of Headway East London, the charity where Stephen has developed his practice, followed by live music performed by some of Stephen’s fellow Headway members.

Time start: 6pm

Price: free

“Headway East charity”:



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