Willesden gallery

Throwing Light, Casting Doubt, Telling Tales: Making The Postcard Women’s Imaginarium

8 – 19 October 2019

“Orientalist, colonial, and patriarchal systems created a powerful Imaginarium, as we are calling it here, that ferociously generated and disseminated images on postcards of women from the so-called ‘East’, to the ‘West’. They leave a profound legacy in our present. We wanted to create a Counter-Imaginarium.”

The Postcard Women’s Imaginarium project group was created and set up by artist Salma Ahmad Caller in 2018, together with artist Afsoon, artist curator Esen Salma Kaya, poet Betül Dünder, translator Neil Patrick Doherty, and writer Stephanie Nic Cárthaigh. The project aims to reveal the problematic and misleading processes that created false ‘exotic’ and ‘ethnographic’ representations on postcards of Southwest Asian and North African women from the late 19th century onwards. 

Using photography, collage, drawing, sound, text, poetry, and assemblage, the group members have drawn inspiration from their own family histories, forgotten histories of women, amulets, personal objects and old tales. Transforming Willesden Gallery into a space where imagination can lead to rich diverse pathways and webs of meaning, they will reveal how the present is connected to the past, and to the lives of the Postcard Women. 

The exhibition is questioning and exploring ideas about colonialism, identity, immigration, cross-cultural encounters and how women are seen, used, and treated today.

Find out more on the exhibition's Facebook group



Mark Haccius

22 October – 2 November 2019

“If I don’t holler, you ain’t doin’ it right” Barbara Carr.  

We are constantly assaulted by images. Photos of love, violence and sex saturate our senses daily. We have the images; what we need is the emotion.

In this exhibition Haccius presents a selection of oils, acrylics and charcoals that have moved him in one way or another. His images are of everyday people, unassuming at first, but each shimmering with life. But people are more than a physical representation of physiology. Haccius has his cast of characters shout, cry and laugh, and progressively seduce the viewer with their range of passion.

Why Visceral Images? Because there’s no point in painting if it doesn’t touch the viewer somehow, somewhere. Haccius aims for feelings, and expression of emotion over an intellectual exercise of precision and technique. His paintings depict people and places, but beneath the form and thick, angry use of paint there lies a sadness, an anger, a love or a loneliness.

These paintings all have this in common: they all dig deeper than the form.

“If they don’t touch you somehow, I ain’t doin’ it right.”

The Artist

Mark Haccius was born in the sixties, of English, Swiss, and Australian nationality, and Irish by osmosis. He is a father of four, fascinated in history, people, the Rolling Stones - along with many other subjects. He also enjoys cooking and wine.

After a variety of different career paths, he began teaching in the 80s and decided it suited him: social, relevant, varied and useful. Time also passed quickly. Five years ago he began to channel his energy into his painting, the relationship  he developed with the subject on the canvas complementing the energy he injects into his classroom.

Haccius isn’t really sure what an artist is; he just paints. His work has attracted interest in Switzerland, where he has exhibited and participated in two collections: Le Noir et Blanc (2018) and “L’érotique” (2018).

“Painting is all about building bridges and creating links. A bit like teaching, actually...”

He lives and works near Lausanne in Switzerland and escapes to Brittany whenever possible.                   







17th December 2019 – 4th January 2020


Stanislas Slavomir Blatton was born in Poland and Studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. He graduated in 1969 with an MA in Painting and Graphics.  He gained a scholarship from the Ministry of Culture and in 1970 moved to London. From1975 – 2004, he taught Etching at the Working Men’s College for Men and Women in Central London. He was then employed as Conservation Officer at the National Gallery in London.

Protoklis Nicola studied at Birkbeck, University of London, where he gained a BA and an MA in Philosophy. It was during this period of contemplative studies that he developed an awareness of the deep mysteries of human existence and how important it was to ask questions. Protoklis feels that his fascination with religious icons is a natural extension of his Philosophy studies. He studied icon painting at The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts where he graduated in 2015 with a PhD in iconography.

In the essay Cultivated Uncertainties: the Painting of Stanislas Słavomir BlattonHabib William Kherbek,expresses well Stanislas’s artistic vision: “Blatton finds ways to pose formal questions about the interplay of image and language as well as ideological questions about the roots of totalitarianism. His works serve as records of human experience in the fraught political ecology of the preceding century, but also as deeply personal statements which often endeavour to destabilise the monolithic certainties on which power rests. His recent work continues to be characterised by the same forthright, eternally probing vision that animated his first major works. This determination not to settle into easy orthodoxies - be they aesthetic, relational or political - means that Blatton’s painterly voice remains as relevant and as necessary as it has ever been.”

In the contemplative art of painting icons Protoklis Nicola is committed to the traditional view that in icons the simplicity of form and limited colours all serve to emphasise the intellect’s ascent towards the divine. Through the orientation of desire towards God a new dynamic relationship can be established that is defined by a perpetual participation in the Infinite Being of God. This state is characterised by the experience of encountering new things that are always curious and awe-inspiring. When painting an icon the ‘holy’ form or theomorphic aspect of the figures depicted becomes an expression of the personal journey and objective of the painter and viewer to become God-centred and achieve union with the divine.