South Hackney gallery features Dada-inspired artist

Steven Quinn in front of his work, which plays with religious symbolism in new forms. (Image provided by Unit G gallery)

Featuring a 3D sculpture of a crucified Christ with the arms of an action figure and images of the Madonna created out of 1950s magazine covers, Steven Quinn’s new exhibition Firmament leaves anything “open to ridicule”.

Open to the public until November 12 at Unit G gallery in Victoria, Firmament showcases the latest work from the Belfast-born artist.

Inspired by the Dada books – a collection of avant garde literature from the early 20th Century – his art teacher father had collected over the years, Quinn’s sometimes controversial work takes pictures, often of religious figures, out of their original context and places them into new ones.

“Some people might say my work may touch on blasphemy, but I don’t think it does,’ says Quinn, “I don’t mean to be disrespectful, I just like to take religion out of its original context.”

Quinn moved to London six years ago and works in the Stour Space studios in Hackney Wick. He said: “People in Belfast still think that ‘art’ can only mean ‘paintings’. London has a completely different mindset; it’s a lot more progressive.”

Maguelone Marcenac, the gallery’s  curator, says she was attracted by a leaflet left by Quinn the Hackney Wicked Art Prize open studios and contacted him soon after to arrange the solo exhibition.

The gallery is part of the ‘First Thursdays’ project launched by the Whitechapel Gallery and presents a new exhibition with a private view on the first Thursday of every month.