Show Don’t Tell at The Horse Hospital

PUBLISHED: 11:29 28 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:29 28 January 2020

A piece by Marc Almond for Show Don't Tell which runs at Bloomsbury's Horse Hospital

A piece by Marc Almond for Show Don't Tell which runs at Bloomsbury's Horse Hospital

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A ‘queer group show’ including works by Soft Cell singer Marc Almond could be the last exhibition at Bloomsbury’s not for profit Grade II listed arts centre

Show Don't TellShow Don't Tell

A 'queer group show' including works by Soft Cell singer Marc Almond never before seen in London could be the last exhibition at Bloomsbury's not for profit arts centre The Horse Hospital.

A two month lease extension expires on February 28 - on the final day of the exhibition Show Don't Tell.

If they cannot negotiate "a fair rent" by that date, centre managers are considering going to court over an annual rent hike from 30-130k. The Grade II listed venue near Russell Square used to treat injured horses and has held cutting edge shows including exhibitions of punk designs by Vivienne Westwood.

The possible final show by five artists is curated by Islington-based Jamie Mcleod whose work mashes up classic portraiture, graphic art and iconography to create cinematic like cameos for his subjects "to expand within".

Print, photography, signage and scratched symbols combine to conjure "the city's lost and found...a land of dead-end chancers, exhibitionists, pop stars, femmes fatales, wrestlers, transvestites, criminals, poseurs and whores."

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He said "Show Don't Tell is a literary device and cinematic term. The technique of allowing a viewer to experience, relate to and gather information based on observation and actions, rather than written or spoken dialogue.

"The pieces in this group show draw on a variety of disciplines, all connected by the artists' use of suggestion, fragmentation and implication."

Art by singer Marc Almond who trained in Fine Art before rising to fame as the Soft Cell frontman will be seen for the first time in the capital. He has returned to his artistic roots in recent years producing work featuring "Dadaesque" montages and collages, which he calls 'mood-boards'.

Starting with a self-portrait, he adorns the boards with images from his unsconscious, slicing and dicing them to create almost religious shrines with a wild and exotic cast of endangered animals, savage brutes with fangs, diamond-studded collars, and birds of paradise with axolotl eyes.

Also showing is award-winning British figurative painter Sadie Lee, known for her realistic often gritty portraits.

Here her paintings draw on the representation of women in art, sexuality, gender and the aging body. A celebration of the personal politics of vulnerability, defiance and notions of 'otherness', combining details of classical Rococco paintings with 70s and 80s pornography.

Show Don't Tell runs Feb 8 until Feb 28 at The Horse Hospital in Colonnade, Bloomsbury.


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