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South London photographer Brynley Odu Davies' debut solo exhibition, Artists Portraits is a series of never-before-seen artist studio portraits captured between 2020 and 2023. The project features over two hundred artists, highlighting Brynley's dedication to promoting young creatives and the incredible emerging art scene in the United Kingdom. It serves as a testament to Davies' unwavering commitment to promoting young creatives and the thriving artistic community. Artists Portraits is now on view until May 31st at Studio West gallery in London.

The origins of the exhibition are quite unexpected. In the year 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic caused a sudden halt to Davies' flourishing career as a music photographer, he chanced upon his true passion. With not much to occupy himself, he started clicking studio portraits of artists from South London whom he had gotten to know during his daily lockdown strolls.

His Instagram posts received a massive response from artists, inspiring him to embark on an exciting new project. He has already photographed over two hundred contemporary artists in their studios across the UK, with a commitment of five weekly shoots. He has approached emerging young UK artists with a refreshing and unbiased perspective, highlighting diversity and richness. He visited various locations, including less explored areas, to capture intimate studio spaces and form meaningful relationships with the artists. This adds warmth and openness to the final images, showcasing his creative vision and personal connection with the artists. The exhibition features over forty artists but here are some of the featured artists in this exhibition.

Alice Bloomfield is a London-based illustrator who blends traditional and digital art to create unique pieces exploring human emotion, sex and love. Her style is linear and figurative, similar to manga, with cool colours and rich compositions. She is known for experimenting with various mediums such as painting, music videos, and digital projections, and describes her art as “opulent, perturbing, and sleazy.” Her versatility and creativity have allowed her to produce exceptional works of art that captivate and inspire viewers.
Jaffar Aly, a talented artist from Lewisham, South London, is skilled in using various mediums like paint, photography, film, writing, and lectures to address critical issues in the current socio-political climate. He gained popularity by hosting spoken word and music events under the program Spaghetti Live Action across London. Recently, he collaborated with the Livesey Exchange team to curate events. Despite Covid-19 challenges, Jaffar Aly produced two outstanding works Self Portrayal and The Aftermath. These works reflect the human experience during unprecedented times of social and political issues, including racism.

London-based artist Xu Yang is a rising star in fine art painting. She earned her degree from Wimbledon College of Arts (University of Arts London) and a Master of Arts in Painting from the Royal College of Art in 2020. Xu's artistic talent has been acknowledged by various organizations such as Barbican Arts Group Trust ArtWorks Open, which she won in 2019. Her solo exhibitions have been held in renowned galleries in Hong Kong, Athens, and London. Xu's artwork has been featured in group exhibitions, including Guts gallery's It's my party, Simon Lee gallery's Machines of Desire, and 180 Strand's Eat, Drink, Man, Women. In 2023, Xu will be commissioned by Tate Collective for LGBTQI+ history month. She has also participated in duo exhibitions such as Tomorrow will be the Most Beautiful Day of Your Life with Victoria Cantons, Studio West, London, and Photo London.

In a previous interview with METAL, Trackie McLeod, a young artist from Glasgow, showcased his fresh and distinctive artwork with a touch of humor. His first solo exhibition, Milk Chocolate Lemonade, was recently held at The Pipe Factory, where he has lived all his life. McLeod's artwork is a testament to his creative talents and unique style. In his body of work, a standout is his collaboration with the Boys Don't Cry Collective, a group of artists from the United Kingdom. Their focus is on exploring the complexities of male mental health and the pervasive phenomenon of lad culture. In his renowned piece, Milk Chocolate Lemonade, the artist explored the complex themes of masculinity, sexuality, and sectarianism. He cleverly infused pop culture references into his artwork to unlock his creative expression and reflect his unique Glasgow heritage. This innovative approach allowed him to bring a fresh perspective to his artistic practice and capture the attention of audiences worldwide.
Brynley Odu Davies' exhibition Artists Portraits is now on view at London's Studio West gallery until May 21st.

Tanya Malik
Corbin Shaw, Soho, London, 2021, © Courtesy of the Artist and STUDIO WEST

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