Two British artists and two Japanese artists are opening their first group show at Menier Gallery in London! The exhibition titled 'Gardens' will be held from 8th January to 12th January 2013, where you can see their own gardens through photography, sculpture, illustration and printing, creating a unique atmosphere of optimistic new year.
Yoko Kataoka: I studied arts and textile design in Okinawa Arts University. I am an illustrator, printer and draftswoman with exhibitions since 1998 in Japan, the UK and Spain. I have lived in Tokyo, Okinawa (the southernmost part of Japan) and London. I am currently residing in the countryside of Gerona in Catalonia (Spain) with my partner, a cat and dog. I print and draw about details of modest daily happenings that inspire and bring me smiles. Mostly my work is using printing technique on paper and textile called “Bingata” which means colours and patterns. They are imaginative, colourful, naive and detailed, like keeping a diary. Every piece has a story behind it. I published a story book "El Viatge a la Lluna" (Journey to the Moon) in 2011.
Tom Payne: I graduated from the Kent Institute of art and design in 2000 and have gone on to become a self employed sculptor and model maker.
My sculptures are generally figurative based and built using coiling techniques in high-grog crank clay. I concentrate on poise and character rather than realism but like my figure to be easily recognisable and relatable too. My finishing is normally quite rough as I like to show the surface and making-marks such as fingerprints.” Each ‘Grunt’, as I call them, are one-off pieces, however they exist in themes and groupings.
I am currently showing my work at Cecilia Coleman gallery as a part of 2 month-long exhibition till the end of this year and has a regular spot at StArt Space gallery.
Takako Watanabe: I graduated from Bath College of Higher Education (Bath Spa University) in 3-D Design Ceramics B.A (Hon) in 1995. Currently, living in Fujiyoshida, a city at the the foot of Mt.Fuji, working in a textile company while exhibiting works constantly since 1999 in Japan.
Through my works I am trying to express the world of my imagination, with inspiration from memories, feelings, sensations, scenery and natural phenomena. I’d like the atmosphere of my works to be unique, heart-warming, and take people away from their daily routine for a while.
I am currently preparing for my solo exhibition at a gallery in Ginza, a prestigious district in Tokyo, Japan next month.
Juliette Wiles: I have been taking photos since I received my first camera as a birthday present on my 10th birthday, way back in 1970! Photographing the world around me has always been one of my greatest pleasures in life and recently I have found myself in a position to be able to devote time to creating more artistic images.
In 2006 I was on holiday in Japan and visited the Kyoto botanical gardens where fortune was smiling on me as I took a photograph of a group of young Japanese school children standing looking at a row of very tall plants; etchium 'pink fountain' to be precise!
I entered the photograph in the 2008 International Garden photographer of the year competition and gained a Commended award. This spurred me on to delve deeper into the world of plant and garden photography and since then I have found myself rising at ungodly early hours to catch the first light when everything is fresh and at its best. I mostly photograph in London's park and gardens and in the South East of England. However, I do often venture further afield both in Britain and overseas.
Travel photography is also very close to my heart and a recent photography workshop to China gave me a wonderful opportunity to capture the beauty of Yunnan province, through its historic villages and delightful inhabitants.