WEAVE: Crowd Images

By Leah Sinclair


Crowd images often evoke different opinions when eyes are first laid upon them. The type of images which are filled with visual stimulation, leading you from one angle to the next. This is seen prominently in the Heist Gallery ‘The Road to Elysium’ exhibition, which aims to take visitors on a visual journey to a dreamlike world, filled with busy images for us to gaze on.

The exhibition is specifically focusing on pieces that encompass variations upon the idea of utopia, while tackling social and political issues, amidst some strong ethereal aesthetic qualities. The show will feature works from some of the world’s most innovative fine art photographers including AES+F, Richard Mosse, Amanda Charchian, Laurent Badessi, Kim Keever, Liu Ren and more.

While each artist’s depiction of utopia may differ, one common thread which weaves seamlessly throughout the exhibition is the cluttered images depicting various people, themes and emotions all packed into one. This can be seen in many different artists who also take this approach, including famed photographer David LaChapelle.

David LaChapelle Kardashian Christmas Card, 2013

LaChapelle’s work is often a commentary on social and popular culture, cramming beautifully chaotic images with elements of materialism, consumerism and celebrity, as seen in his 2013 Christmas card for the Kardashian family. Another artist who takes a different approach at crowd images is British artist Carl Randall, who’s series of Japanese artwork has garned attention for over 10 years.

Carl-Randall---Shinjuku LRG
Carl Randall ‘Shinjuku’

Randall’s figurative paintings show the people and places of Tokyo, while weaving themes of overpopulation, community, the individual and the group into one image.


 The Road to Elysium exhibition, opens on 13 November 2014 at the Heist Gallery
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