Exhibitions at Westminster Reference Library

ll exhibitions are completely free to view.

Exhibition space for hire - Westminster Reference Library has an exhibition space on its first floor. To hire the space please contact Rossella Black via email on rblack1@westminster.gov.uk, or 020 7641 5250 or 07940 146681. View our Facebook for more information

Current exhibitions

Tres Riches Heures (Karl Miller Dux Redux & A Pilgrim’s Shell)

16 to 28 May

Books and drawings by Daniel Miller. 
Two books of photographs poems and drawings introduced and signed by the author. Karl Miller:  
Dux Redux: Poems by friends of Karl Miller, photographs and drawings from the life of the writer and editor. Designs and decorations include a painting of the path south from Straiton, in the Scots borders, made by Karl in 1953.  The hills folded, whirring collieries and mute follies.
A Pilgrim’s Shell, is a migration from one home to another.  Sixty drawings in sequence celebrate the progress of a marriage, in scenes. From private to public, In another group of drawings, London Fields, the parish of Dalston is overcome with the stories of incomers.

Miller is a painter who has exhibited in the UK and with recent events he has moved between studios and learnt in the middle of life to work, however responsibly, between stations.


Forthcoming exhibitions

Urban myths and legends

30 May to 11 June

Typographic linocut city maps by Mark Andrew Webber & Illustrations of Ovid's Metamorphoses by Emma Wright.

Artist-printmaker Mark Andrew Webber and publisher-illustrator Emma Wright have teamed up to present an exhibition inspired by the Roman poet Ovid's Metamorphoses and the new Emma Press poetry anthology Urban Myths and Legends: Poems about Transformations. 

About the artists:

Mark Andrew Webber works primarily in linocut printing and specialises in painstakingly-researched typographic and geometric projects. His work has been featured in leading design magazines including Creative Review and Blueprint Magazine, and in 2007 he was awarded a prestigious Silver Cube award from the Art Directors Club of New York. He had his first solo exhibition, Wonderlust, at the Londonewcastle Project Space in London in 2014. He is based in Reading.

Emma Wright studied Classics at Brasenose College, Oxford. She founded the Emma Press in 2012 and has since published 29 poetry books, including themed poetry anthologies and single-author pamphlets. She designs all the book covers and illustrates most of the books, responding to the poets' work and adding her interpretations to the books. In 2015 she was awarded a grant from Arts Council England to run a poetry tour for children. She lives in Birmingham.


Previous exhibitions

Les Carrieres d'Ocre 

3 to 14 May

The ochre quarries of the Roussillon and Rustrel in the Luberon have inspired this exhibition of textiles, photographs, paintings and models by artists Chlebek & Nunes. Situated at the foot of the Monts de Vaucluse, perched high on a hilltop, the village of Roussillon overlooks the red of the cliff faces carved out over two centuries ago. At one time, 17 different ochre tints were quarried in Roussillon. 
For further information, contact Carole Nunes

Carole Nunes

After studying and practicing stained glass, Carole is now a textile artist who explores organic images of the natural world. Currently in London and the south of France, she integrates various disciplines (silk screen, cyanotype, batik, embroidery) in producing textural works, which are inspired by local landscapes such as the Cevennes mountains, the Luberon ochre quarries and old village buildings. 

Jan Chlebek

Chlebek is an Artist/Architect who has studied and exhibited widely in the UK and Europe. On gaining his Master of Arts (Painting) degree, he was the recipient of a British Council Scholarship to study Fine Art at Düsseldorf Academy of Art with Joseph Beuys. After qualification as an Architect, whilst continuing to paint, he held various senior positions with leading international design consultancies, spending much of his time in the emerging Middle East. Having returned to Europe, Jan Chlebek now lives and works in London and the South of France where he concentrates on drawing, painting and photography, both of a figurative and abstract nature, engaging with process and medium to release new meanings in an ongoing investigation into the built environment as an art form.


Re-imagining the laws of England 

18 to 30 April

A Book Arts celebration of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

Artists from across the UK are participating in the Sidney Nolan Trust’s celebration of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta (1215). 

A set of ‘Halsbury’s Statutes’, the accepted authoritative texts for statute law (Acts of Parliament) of England and Wales, was donated to the Trust by a local court service whose staff now use online reference. The 27 volumes were destined to be pulped had the Trust not taken them. Each volume has been transformed into a work of art exploring themes related to topics covered in the particular volume as well as ideas around legislation and society. The unusual collection includes beautiful works of art, powerful indictments of abuses of human rights and humorous takes on law, power and politics.

Anne Rook took inspiration from the flora and fauna found at the time of King John for her volume. Jane Tudge’s illuminated garden shed is a metaphor for how a nation grows from the foundation of a set of published laws. Sharon Hall Shipp’s paper ribbons references the ‘red tape’ of bureaucracy. Vivienne Sole’s appealing tiny paper shoes that ‘toe the line’ – or don’t – each denote a different aspect of laws that affect children. Linda Toigo cut the pages of her volume into human lungs – every time the book is opened and closed it breathes in and out 800 years of history. Mellie Lane’s birdcage depicts King John as a bird trapped in a cage by his barons. Rachel Rickett’s remarkable Nine O’Clock Horse references folklore around bedtime rules.

Since opening at the Trust's home, The Rodd in the Welsh Marches, in 2015 the exhibition is touring to venues nationally through 2016 and 2017. Further information is available from from Amanda Fitzwilliams: 01544 260149, info@sidneynolantrust.org

The House Where I Was Born 

29 March to 16 April

"Je m’éveillai, c’était la maison natale”
Inspired by ‘The House Where I Was Born’ (La Maison Natale), by poet Yves Bonnefoy (b. 1923), Laura Tynan has created a unique response to key images in the poem. The viewer moves through the house from the monumental exterior to a veiled and increasingly fragmented interior space. The charred, peeling, ephemeral materials offer glimpses of a space on the borders of memory that will ultimately be forgotten.

Laura Tynan (b.1978) is an Irish artist living and working in Stockholm, Sweden and is a member of the Studios Detroit, Stockholm and East London Printmakers (ELP). Recent exhibitions include A New Home, a multimedia exhibition with the ELP in February 2016 and Twin Room, a group show at Detroit Stockholm, April 2015. As a member of ELP Laura has contributed screen prints to the 2012 and 2015 Box Set both of which are in the archive of the V&A Museum. Laura has been invited to represent Detroit, Stockholm at this year’s Supermarket Independent Art Fair which will be held in Stockholm in April.


Sonia Martin - Etchings 

1 to 24 March

Painter/printmaker Sonia Martin has put together an exhibition of her prints produced over the last 10 years.

"The beginning of an etching with aquatint can be a word or phrase, something seen or remembered which is then developed through drawings, and sketches from life, into an imaginary composition. This is a guide for the drawing made directly onto the etching plate. The settings – windows, doors, passageways can suggest memory and the past, or escape and freedom.  The figures appear to be at moments of realisation or reflection which adds to the sense of a poetic logic within the work."

All sales contact artist via website: www.soniamartin.co.uk


Trafalgar: Photoseries by Alexander Williamson 

15 to 27 February

"Trafalgar Square is a public space and tourist attraction in central London, built around the area formerly known as Charing Cross. A carefully ordered space frequently disordered by restive forces, Trafalgar Square can be conceived of as what Pierre Nora termed 'lieux de mémoire'.  With its symmetrical construction and imperial origins, it is inextricably connected to Empire and postcolonial British, and indeed global, identity. Its contemporary incarnation as a site of pilgrimage and orientation within the capital arguably make Trafalgar Square a microcosm of global consumer capitalist behaviour. Property of the Crown protected its heritage status; the square is often used for quasi-anarchic political demonstrations and minority community gatherings.
Alexander Williamson's photoseries 'Trafalgar' is an attempt to explore the tension between those competing forces: history's grand narratives, and the role of the individual within them. It also effects a detailed investigation into the behaviour of crowds, and the exchange between the openness of this public space and the private space of the individual's inner life, their unreadable thoughts as they cross the square. Shot every day over the course of 12 months, Trafalgar invites the viewer to look at an instantly recognisable place in an entirely new way."



2 to 12 February

"I like the idea of abstraction being pressurised or pulverised into new forms by worldly 'outside forces'. Collage is like abstract art's naughty little sibling and they have both been around for just over one hundred years in the West. Historically, abstraction has an air of 'higher aims' about it. Collage by contrast has a cheeky, satirical and playful edge (and edges are what my work is all about). Collage allows me to constantly test the limits of what an abstract painting's 'body' can take. I hope to find something like a new hybrid visual grammar in these clashes of materials and forms. By using the most basic materials to hand gleaned from my city streets, I'm destroying and rebuilding paintings as I go. I enjoy forcing the history of abstraction into new and dynamic relationships with life lived."
- John Bunker 2015.

Turning ‘ages

3 December 2015 to 30 January 2016

Turning 'ages is an installation  by Bristol-based manifest artist Elaine Robinson which comments on our connection with the written word and promotes our relationship with books and libraries. The exhibition is currently on a 2-year UK nationwide tour around city libraries. Robinson's stunning artwork captures the importance of ancestry and the connection we have with books and libraries. Visitors to the library will be able to see and interact with Elaine’s artwork during normal library opening hours.

Turning 'ages highlights the intimate and complex relationship between people, books and the ephemera that is picked up and left behind in the course of their everyday lives and then over a period of time, forgotten. The installation sensitively displays these memories and also focuses our attention to the constantly moving moments that we all have, and also those that we have chosen to keep hidden within a book. Writers’ groups have been inspired by the work to organise alternative creative voiced events.

The piece invites comment during this changing and transitional time that the book is undergoing, whilst at the same time our relationship with books and the written word is also being redefined and examined. It beautifully demonstrates the evolving importance of the published written word in a book, which will always be held close to our hearts.

The work has recently evolved as an encapsulated time capsule for all the many library employees as its tours the country, capturing the historical library space changes. As it leaves the library a token of remembrance is placed by the staff representing their particular library which all the staff will sign. Turning 'ages has become a vehicle of connection for all the libraries, a fitting tribute for its powerful comment.

To find out more about Turning ‘ages, see Elaine Robinson's website.

​The Cycle - Atom

18 to 30 January with private view and dance performance on 22 January

“My work is a kind of autobiographical fiction which explores the themes of mind, body and spirit and their transformation in space and time. I paint my dreams as well as real events that changed me and made me be what I am now. We all experience similar emotions and feelings and my way of connecting and sharing me with the world is done through the creation of my paintings and my performances. My work is about Everything and Nothing. It is about Love, Pain, Sorrow and Depression, Happiness and Rebirth, Reincarnation and the everlasting cycle of Life.” - Yuliya V Krylova, London, January 2016

A Late Splurge - an exhibition of paintings by Philip Stones 

4 to 16 January

“My pictures date from 1973, when I came down to London to receive psychotherapy.  This carried on for many years.  Psychotherapy provided the stimulus to my imagination and enabled me to illustrate my psychological problems in a light-hearted way. Most of my pictures are the product of my imagination and many were started during my course at City Lit so I would like to thank Clare Barton Harvey, Amanda Knight and Luke Jones in particular and all my tutors at City Lit for their support and advice.

My influences are many from the art of the Northern Renaissance to the early work of David Hockney. I am aware that when exploring images for my pictures my mind has a tendency to choose Christian themes, reflecting my religious upbringing. The pictures are about narrative, time and place and illustration rather than abstraction and ideas. I am not consciously exploring any grand themes here, rather just developing my craft as a painter, however it is difficult to put into words ideas that seem to flow naturally in paint.

I hope you all enjoy the exhibition”

- Philip Stones, London, 2016

Find out more at  Artrabbit

Amelia Critchlow and Evy Jokhova

9 December 2015 to 2 January 2016

‘Mimesis' – from the Greek 'mimos' imitator or actor. This exhibition operates within a palpable impasse between an absorbing narrative of books and generations of stored knowledge and the ordered, timeless quality of a public library.

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication ‘Mimesis’, co-written by Critchlow and Jokhova, with a commissioned text by Becky Huff Hunter

Last updated: 19 May 2016
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