21 January - 1 March 2014
Noah Da Costa
Open Tuesday to Saturday 12pm – 5pm (closed Sunday and Monday)
Artist and photographer Noah Da Costa was born in London in 1970 but grew up in Norfolk having moved there at the age of four. Following in the artistic footsteps of his mother, painter Caroline Hoskin, and grandfather, the renowned St.Ives sculptor John Hoskin, Da Costa studied at Norwich School of Art and Design (1988-90 General Art and Design Diploma).
Subsequent to this, Noah was rarely without his camera and he continued to experiment creatively with photography and film. He moved to London in 1996 and worked in a photographic library. As the photography medium went through the transformation from analogue to digital, Da Costa decided to follow a career in professional photography and now has over ten years’ experience in this field.
His commercial work has influenced his own artistic practice and vice versa. This interaction and creative cross-fertilisation comes to fruition with the series ‘Concrete’, where many years of architectural photography for clients incorporate a nostalgic attraction the brutalist architecture of Denys Lasdun.
The ‘Concrete’ series focus on the shapes and surfaces of cast and pre-formed concrete and Da Costa creates new images and forms using techniques, whereby the image is reversed or inverted; the resulting photographs present a kaleidoscopic vision of archetypal urbanism deliberately divorced by the artist from context or any particular sense of place.
As a child Da Costa clearly recalls Lasdun’s concrete campus at the University of East Anglia (where his father worked) and Da Costa’s earliest memories are of playing around the concrete columns and walkways which make up much of the University campus. It wasn’t until 2012, and after many camera-bearing excursions, that sections of Lasdun’s Royal National Theatre complex on London’s Southbank became a focus for his lens and inspired the works exhibited in the gallery today.
In this exhibition, the artist challenges our perception of the most widely used man-made material on earth. The application of concrete in architecture was extensively pioneered by the Roman Empire with the roof of the Pantheon remaining the largest unreinforced solid concrete dome in the world. Today as the material of choice for infrastructure, concrete is often perceived as being lacklustre and monotonous but Da Costa’s work re-opens the debate around the material, both visually and conceptually.
This exhibition is presented by the Gallery at NUA in conjunction with Tom Rowland Fine Art, London.