Coelacanth - real and imagined creatures

2 Apr 2015 – 30 Apr 2015

Regular hours

13:00 – 18:00
13:00 – 18:00
13:00 – 18:00
18:00 – 20:00
18:00 – 20:00
18:00 – 20:00

Cost of entry


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England, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Hackney Wick
  • Hackney Wick
  • Hackney Wick
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An exhibition of artwork by Lucy Pook and James Ballance, whose work respectively renders zoological creatures and imagined monsters, which when set amongst disparate backgrounds, creates a sense of the uncanny.


James Ballance is an illustrator originally from the South West but is now based in West London. Since studying Illustration with Animation at UWE he has worked on children’s books, animation, and computer games. Most of his work is produced in pen and ink, and photoshop. The main focus of his work is on narrative and the depiction of monsters.

“My Monsters” is an exhibition of photos showing the perspective of a girl who can see monsters through her magical false eye. It is a fun narrative piece, displaying an alternative view on London and the world, and has been produced to be enjoyed as much by children as by adults.

As we get older our vision and knowledge develops. As this continues, less and less our imagination converts the scary and bad into monsters, and instead we start to see the true hate and fear that exists. This exhibition is about the moment we realise that those monsters we saw when we were children, that though terrifying at the time, were actually our guardians, keeping us safe from the true horrors that can exist. 

In this display we are asked whether the girl can actually see the monsters or whether she uses them to deal with having to grow up with a disfigurement? Each image is created using photoshop to paint directly onto photographs.


Since graduating from Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in Fine Art, Lucy Pook has predominantly worked with pencil on paper, enjoying the simplicity of the medium. She works with pencil on pure white paper to create post-apocalyptic scenes of both real and imagined creatures.

The anthropomorphic creatures in Pook’s drawings are created from a re-imagined game of picture consequences. The precision of the drawing sits in contrast to the absurdity of the image she depicts.

Noble, fantastical creatures are reduced, with great humour, into the ‘novelty corkscrew’. Yet these bizarre creations are given a sense of reality through the quality and detail of their execution. The viewer becomes absorbed into the fantasy and might well ask whether a purely imagined creature would be dignified with such effort and care of recording.

Hummingbirds buzz around an empty space, drained of colour but not perhaps of beauty?


What to expect? Toggle


Lucy Pook

Exhibiting artistsToggle

James Ballance

Lucy Pook


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