The Hospital Club in Covent Garden will host the first solo exhibition in the UK by Club member photographer Simon Brann Thorpe, entitles Toy Soldiers.
As part of the Photo London VIP Programme, it is also a first solo showing for Toy Soldiers as a body of work, an important dialogue on war and conflict through conceptual art in this critical time of socio-economic conflict and upheaval.
Recently receiving two nominations for the Prix Pictet Award, Toy Soldiers is a unique collaboration between a military commander and Thorpe in the creation of a unique allegory of modern warfare. The series stages real soldiers, posed as toy soldiers, in this investigation into the impact, legacy and dehumanising effects of war. Toy Soldiers is a powerful conceptual project on war and conflict that blurs the boundaries between documentary photography and art.
Brann Thorpe explores the paradigm of colonial conflict through our cultural notions of freedom, nationhood and entertainment. He creates a critical lens through which we view the projected metaphor of war games and reality re-constructed onto the little known conflict in Western Sahara, known as ‘Africa’s last colony’.
Sofia Vollmer Maduro , a Prix Pictet judge, said “By captivating the viewer with the seemingly playful device of ‘Toy Soldiers’, Simon’s images successfully counteract our growing desensitisation to images of conflict. Upon careful viewing, these striking images reveal their poignant message on the fate of victims of warfare, while alerting us to the impact on society of current trends that view war as a game.”
Photo London was created to give London an international photography event befitting the city’s status as a global cultural capital. Now in its third edition, Photo London has established itself as a world-class photography fair and as a catalyst for London’s dynamic photography community. From the capital’s major museums, to its auction houses, galleries large and small, right into the burgeoning creative communities in the East End and South London, Photo London harnesses the city’s outstanding creative talent and brings together the world’s leading photographers, curators, exhibitors, dealers and the public to celebrate photography, the medium of our time.
Toy Soldiers will be on display at Hospital Club Gallery from 19 – 21 May. You can find further details on the website http://www.thehospitalclub.com