Two good shows at the Serena Morton gallery

It’s well worth a visit to the Serena Morton Gallery at the top end of Ladbroke Grove to see two very different exhibitions. First up are colourful portraits of Londoners painted on old windows by Barka. All the portraits are missing eyes. “I’m a private person you know, I like discretion, and the simple thing of not putting the eyes in gives them life without giving them life,” explains Barka. “Because there are no eyes, you are drawn to the eyes and then after that you take in the rests of the painting. It’s almost like you are magnifying the eyes. It happened through experimentation and it captivated people.” Barka mostly paints on found materials, but when he is in London windows are his medium of choice. When Barka was in Australia he painted on pool salt bags found in rural deserts towns, in Kenya he painted on cement bags found on construction sites and in New York he found old coca cola signs and metro maps to paint on.

Next door is a very different exhibition of black and white photographs by the American photographer Hunter Barnes. These are extraordinary images of times when Barnes has immersed himself in peoples lives for a few years and taken the resulting images. The most haunting are those of a series of tattooed jail inmates. Others of him travelling with a girlfriend are free and friendly. It’s a still, contemplative exhibition full of images of people with a purpose.

Serena Morton Gallery, 345 Ladbroke Grove (corner of Barley). Tuesday – Friday 10am – 5pm and Saturday 11 – 4pm until 23rd July.  serenamorton

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