Exhibitions at Westminster Reference Library

All exhibitions are completely free to view.

Exhibition Space for hire
Westminster Reference Library has an Exhibition Space on its First Floor. This space is available for hire, for further information please contact Rossella Black: Email: rblack1@westminster.gov.uk; Phone: 020 7641 5250; Text/mobile: 07940 146681; Join us on Facebook!

Current exhibition

NYCLondonHK – a trilogy tripled

8 July – 24 August 2015

Photographs by Hark Yeung and artworks by Fong So. 

The umbrella, a symbol of protecting civil liberties in the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong in 2014, links art exhibitions in three world cities: New York, London and Hong Kong. We use umbrellas to keep rain off our heads. During the Hong Kong Occupy Movement in 2014, protestors used umbrellas to protect themselves from harmful pepper spray and tear-gas fumes. The two-month occupation of central Hong Kong to protest the government’s political “reform” plan has since been dubbed the Umbrella Movement. Civil liberties were discussed in the Umbrella Movement, and prompted these exhibitions by the two journalist-turned artists. Umbrella is the theme of the first two exhibitions.

The two Hong Kong artists’ exhibits focus on what has happened in Hong Kong after the city’s handover by the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China in 1997. Most of Fong So’s artworks in this exhibition can be viewed as an imagery summary of some of the biggest protests in Hong Kong from 1997 to 2014. His work, to a certain extent, reflects Hong Kong’s complicated history, its Chinese connections, its international environment, and also the sentiments and aspirations of its people – Hongkongers.

The exhibits of Hark Y consisted of images about events that happened in the three cities but managed to become the headlines around the world, among them photo journals of the Snowden story and the Umbrella Movement.

The artists:

  • Hark Y has been a writer on international affairs and a photographer since 1989. She is the author of four books: Hong Kong SOHO (2008, in Chinese), Why do people in Norwich look young? (2011, in English), Will Hong Kong continue to be a place of Good Luck? from 1989 to 2010 (2011, in English), Shadow Walking 100 hours in NYCLondonHK (2015, in English).
  • Fong So is a journalist-turned artist living and working in Hong Kong. He was the Managing Editor of a current affairs magazine for 18 years. Despite his training in traditional Chinese painting, he has created his own genre of brush-and-ink artwork. His recent project is a series of unique paintings and woodcut prints about the world over the past 25 years. His paintings have been exhibited in Hong Kong, Gwangju (South Korea) and London. 


Forthcoming exhibition

A Portrait of Our Population - An exhibition of artwork by Nicola Wills 

25 August - 12 September 2015

A Portrait of our Population' is a representation of human society in the twenty first century.  In this exhibition the artist explores contemporary society and its values and depicts scenes of modern life through use of abstract and representative imagery.


Previous exhibitions

Rebecca Tang - Paper Arts Summer Show 

16 - 27 June 2015

Rebecca Tang’s artistic journey began at the age of six when she picked up a pencil to draw flowers, portraits and animals. Now, the inspiration for her artwork comes from the beauty of reusing unwanted materials and giving them a new life. In this particular series Rebecca Tang recycles cardboard boxes, toilet rolls, newspaper, index papers and paper bags to make artwork, canvas and frames. In the process of creating her artwork, she moves between ideas with papier-mâché, origami, mosaic and illustration. Making picture frames from cardboard boxes is also one of the ideas she likes. Playing with colours and textures, she assembles papier-mâché, cardboard boxes and coats them with emulsion paints. Portraits, flowers and canvas are varnished as a final finishing touch. Rebecca Tang is a Hong Kong born artist based in London and this is her first solo show.


The Human Zoo - an exhibition by Alexander Lumsden 

27 May - 13 June

Following on his London shows: ‘Overground / Underground’ (2011) and ‘Necropolis’ (2013), Lumsden continues to explore the human experience in the metropolis in the digital era.

The project draws on best seller ‘The Human Zoo’ written by zoologist Desmond Morris (published 1969), which examines the nature of civilised society by observing the human animal, a super-tribal citizen desperately struggling to match his ancient inherited qualities with his extraordinary new situations. Lumsden’s use of honeycomb structure and beeswax is a visual metaphor for the city. A giant super-organism linked up through our physical and virtual interactions. Each image sets out to explore the constant duality of our physical and virtual world. The resulting picture is sometimes confused and confusing,  “..partly because we are involved in it in a dual role, being, at the same time, both spectators and participants”. A golden honeycomb or a chain-link fence? Lumsden’s work challenges the perception of the city as a safe and secure environment.  In the giant metropolis our basic needs may be taken care of, leaving us free to explore and grow – But at what price?


Inflection Point - Exhibition of works by Priya Chohan 

11-23 May

Chohan’s work harnesses the transformative qualities of the materials she selects. A tactile approach is employed to play with the matter; surfaces are manipulated and layers added in a ritualistic manipulation of form.  

Guides to Elsewhere - Book art by Linda Toigo​

21 April - 9 May

Book artist Linda Toigo presents: 'Guides to Elsewhere', her new exhibition of imaginary landscapes carved into books, displayed in the evocative setting of Westminster Reference Library, in the heart of London's West End. 
Like a geologist from a miniature planet, Toigo excavates complex landscapes of paper and words from old volumes; layer upon layer, her scalpel transforms the pages into valleys and mountains, cliffs and caves. Together with recent book alterations, her new exhibition works with literary descriptions of imaginary places modelled out of discarded Lonely Planets guides.
Linda Toigo will be holding a series of two workshops in the library on 28 April and 6 May.

Paste Table Gallery 2

31 March - 18 April 

Nick Cash's Paste Table Gallery returns to the West End's Arts Library.

Miracle of Colours - Paintings by Arturas Jonikas

​2 - 14 March

Arturas Jonikas was born and raised in  the city of Klaipeda in Lithuania, which lies on the shores of the Baltic Sea.
Jonikas developed his skills as an artist while travelling all over the world, practicing and focusing on his main interest: colours.  He uses vibrant tones, colour and symbols that reflect the object of his focus at the time of painting. Curved and crooked lines are favoured over standard forms, as well as spiritual aspects that evoke a contemplation of nature, energy and national artefacts. The definition of his line of work is connected to his own experience of life, skill and vision present in all his creative projects.

Lives of the Artists - Robert Good

11 - 28 February 2015

Lives of the Artists updates the concept of artist biography for the internet age. Taking its title from the eponymous Renaissance work by Giorgio Vasari, artist Robert Good uses a well-known brand of internet search engine to conduct a trawl for artists, receiving daily notifications and painstakingly collating the results in an extensive and engaging display.

Robert Good is interested in the possibilities for art and in the frailties of language and the treachery of knowledge. Also exhibited is Phaidonidae, an entomological display cabinet of 1500 paper butterflies. With one butterfly per artist profiled in The Phaidon Encyclopedia of Art and Artists, Good creates a new family of lepidoptera and explores our need to classify and categorise the world around us.

Winter Show - Works by Daniel Liu

22 January - 7 February

Paintings, drawings and ceramics by London based Chinese artist Daniel Liu.

The 5 Heads of Humbert Wolfe 

5-19 January 2015

Sculptures by Anthony Padgett of Poet & Civil Servant Humbert Wolfe, to mark the 75th Anniversary of his death & 135th Anniversary of his birth.

Last updated: 21 July 2015
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