Posted on Sep 23, 2021

After The Garden by Anna Souter | Plants & Their Symbols: Paradise Is Not Just a Place

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Roman Road is delighted to provide you with a beautiful descriptive essay to complement Paradise Is Not Just a Place. Written and narrated by Anna Souter, After The Garden discusses selected plants and their symbols, featured within the works of Yulia Iosilzon & Anna Skladmann in the show. 


The discussion weaves together different ideas around Bosch, feminism, vegetal ontologies, the Garden of Eden, and the cultural tropes that emerge around different plants within the works in the show. 


Immerse yourself into Paradise Is Not Just a Place at Roman Road, whilst listening to the careful descriptions of the plants showcased in the exhibition. 


The essay is available in both written and audio formats:



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Posted on Aug 9, 2021

Lily Lewis ‘Safe Places’ | New Display at The Columbia

Commencing August 9th 2021

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Lily Lewis’ works are now on display at The Columbia. Curated by our creative director Marisa Bellani, ‘Safe Places’ is now available to view in the Artist Room commencing the 9th August 2021. Lily Lewis’ display is accompanied by a digital catalogue, outlining Lewis’ intention and theme behind the works. To access and read the catalogue, please follow the link below


Lily Lewis ‘Safe Places’ Digital Catalogue

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Posted on Jul 27, 2021

Opening | Yulia Iosilzon & Anna Skladmann: Paradise Is Not Just a Place

Thursday 16 September | 6 – 9 PM

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Roman Road is pleased to present Paradise Is Not Just a Place, an exhibition by artists Yulia Iosilzon and Anna Skladmann. The exhibition will feature a selection of Iosilzon’s latest paintings and ceramics and Skladmann’s photography. To attend the Paradise Is Not Just a Place opening on 16 September please email


Opening: Thursday 16 September, 6 – 9 PM

Exhibition: Friday 17 September – Saturday 06 November 2021

Location: 69 Roman Road, Bethnal Green, London E2 0QW

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Posted on Jul 23, 2021

This could be us by Yulia Lebedeva

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We are thrilled to share with you all the photography series This Could be Us by Yulia Lebedeva, accompanied with a text written for the project. Yulia has just finished her residency with Roman Road at The Columbia. Her works will be exhibited during the residency group show Still Journey in September. Stay tuned for more information!

Yulia Lebedeva This could be us: Rome, 2021
Yulia Lebedeva This could be us: Rome, 2021 
Yulia Lebedeva This could be us: Provence, 2021

Yulia Lebedeva This could be us: Provence, 2021 

Yulia Lebedeva This could be us: Santorini, 2021 

Yulia Lebedeva This could be us: St Tropez, 2021 


This could be us


Appropriating the stylistics of postcards, Lebedeva muses on what people now need to feel happy and connected. This could be us is translating our natural yearning to connect with people from our past, present and future. It picks up on words that have not been spoken yet and invites you into a made-up holiday that you almost feel like you have taken with your friend or lover. 


The project consists of carefully curated leisurely visuals that are reminiscent of holiday cliches that have been elevated to an art form with a slight patina of decadence, that the current visual social media culture has ascended upon us. 


No longer just a term of opprobrium for mannered art or immoral behaviour, decadence today describes complex cultural and social responses to modernity in all its forms. 


Shaw M (2019) Decadence and the Urban Sensibility. In: Desmarais J & Weir D (eds.) Decadence and Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 82-97.


Each visual is titled in a holiday kitsch font with the corresponding locations that are not their actual locations yet are presented as very much believable lies. The moments themselves are borderline lies as well. The vibrant photographs capture beautiful, almost too perfect, moments that would not have existed had they not been photographed by the artist. It is real, yet it is fake. This penetrates the idea of people living parallel lives through the carefully curated and conceptually approved photographs that illustrate a prosperous and carefree life, which does not necessarily correspond to the actual offscreen image of us.


Each postcard is signed by hand by the artist on reverse, with the intimate message for the receiver, thus inviting us to participate in the artist’s lie. There are no faces portrayed apart from artists’ own, creating an intimate feeling as if indeed, this could be you and her about to embark on this journey. 



This journey invitation comes just at the right moment as many are still affected by the pandemic in so many aspects of our lives. Lebedeva’s exceptional cheerful and escapist execution tone is exactly what we need after almost two years of bleakness and uncertainty.

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Posted on Jul 12, 2021

In conversation with our artists in residency at The Columbia

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We are pleased to update you on the progress made by our artists in residency. Last week was the halfway mark of the residency so we caught up with the artists to ask them some questions and take a look at their works in progress. Take a look to see and read how they are going!
First off, we spoke to…


Yulia Lebedeva

What’s something you want to work on next? 


“It’s going to be a book, a lifestyle coffee table  book, about leisure and elevating leisure to an art form. I really believe that leisure is the future. We are doing less and less manual work, finding automated substitutions for it, the ultimate idea is to arrive at the place where you work less. It’ll be an accumulation of my visuals featuring all things leisure and hedonistic strives, exploring the personal commodities of my modern day muses. My subjects are always people that I know: it’s personal. I do see them as sublime goddesses, I really like the idea of elevating women and making them feel better about themselves. Even though there is a bit of decadence in the photos I think it’s done with humour — a good kind of decadence. I think it’s ok to enjoy life and I want people to feel at peace with themselves. Even though most of my work involves people, I don’t think it is direct portraits of them, it is rather situational photography that translates  my excitement and vision of that particular moment.”


Photo: Photograph from Yulia Lebedeva’s Goddess series. Follow @ylebedeva to learn more about their practice.


Juls Gabs

How would you describe the aesthetic of your work? 


“I would say it comes from the digital era: Google, Pinterest, Netflix mixed with the London Art Scene. The subjects are contemporary topics that are shaping our world: diversity, queer, equality, black lives matters… among others. The composition comes from traditional paintings, I am especially influenced by Romanticism and Pre-Raphaelite movements. However, my palette belongs to the digital world: pastels from Tumblr and fluorescent from Windows Paint. My digital experience does not stop at the colours, I create Virtual Reality environments in all of my paintings. This is a realm that not only allows me to expand my imagery and to stretch the concepts, but ultimately it contrasts this ideal painting with the world that we all live in.”


Photo: close-up from “Evasions of the Psyche” by Juls Gabs. Follow @julsgabs to see more of their practice.


Bex Massey

Have you used the residency to try something new in your work?


“Yes, I’m using the residency to look at expanding the depth of field in my paintings. Before I embarked on these three months my work had a much flatter aesthetic and would probably be best described as ‘Pop Art’. Likewise, due to the relatively short time frame I have also changed my process as this tenure would usually only establish the research phase of a given project. I am therefore using my Instagram story archive as my image library and have created an algorithm to select which date I tackle. I am also mimicking the Instagram story ratio via stretcher dimensions. This is the first time I have worked with such a narrow canvas, and it is certainly making the expanded landscape much trickier to assimilate. Exploring my ‘virtual’ connectivity since the outbreak of Covid 19 and National Lockdown’s has also been a shift in theme as my work usually discusses intersectional feminist issues. Although exploring our isolation and diminishing mental health since the pandemic feels like a pertinent departure at present.”


Photo: zoom-in shot of a work-in-progress by Bex Massey. Follow @masseybex to see more of their practice.


Ben Cullen Williams

Where do you find your inspiration and how do you stay motivated during the restricted period? 


“I find my inspiration from walking, looking, traveling, observing cities and the natural landscapes. I’m interested in reading technological and scientific studies, questioning the relationship between what I see, what I read and how they link. My compulsion is to just make, I’ve got to be constantly making things, a desire or need to be constantly making. Through making it helps me understand the world and understand aspects of the world in a conscious or subconscious way.”


Photo: prototype of a work-in-progress by Ben Cullen Williams. Follow @bencullenwilliams to learn more about their practice.


Ariane Hughes

Have you adapted to the theme of human connectivity in your work to respond to the residency?


“I guess I have because I’ve gone through the archive in my camera roll and chosen images of people in my life, or used images they have taken of me to develop my current work. I would say it’s more about  ‘Lost Connections’ with people in my life, its personal to me. Another element is the digital age, in relation to that I wanted to look at the digital image, across a few of the images I’ve made I’ve blurred the image to make it look like film stills, or to make it look like a moving image- the loading image. In recent year my work has always been in focus, this is softer impressionate approach.”


Photo: zoom-in shot of a work-in-progress by Ariane Hughes. Follow @arianehughes to learn more about their practice.

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Posted on Jun 14, 2021

Opening | Jack Laver & Jordan Hemingway: Strange Dreams

Thursday 24 June | 4 - 8 pm

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Roman Road in partnership with The Columbia is pleased to present Strange Dreams, an exhibition by artists Jack Laver and Jordan Hemingway. The exhibition will feature a selection of Laver’s latest paintings and Hemingway’s photography. To attend the Strange Dreams opening on June 24, please email rsvp@thecolumbia with your name, phone number and preferred time slot (4-6 pm or 6-8 pm).

Opening: Thursday 24 June, 4 – 8 PM

Exhibition: Friday 18 June – Saturday 10 July 2021

Location: The Columbia, 95-99 Lancaster Gate, London, W2 3NS


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Posted on Jun 14, 2021

Artist Residency | Roman Road x The Columbia

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The Columbia and Roman Road are pleased to announce the artists of the 2021 Art Residency Programme, who are taking part in the 3-month residency for visual artists, creatives, photographers and videographers. The overarching theme of this residency focuses on ideas of human connectivity and the permeability and convergence of creative thought. We seek individuals who explore notions of 21st-century human relationships and interactions through their processes and/or conceptual research. Please meet the artists below!


Ariane Heloise Hughes

Hughes’ paintings navigate the tenuous threshold of the subject/object dichotomy. Through her blending of contemporary and traditional imagery, amalgamation of figuration and setting, she challenges this rigid paradigm. Throughout her practice, the female nude is a recurring subject as it personifies the subject/object dualism within the Western Canon of Art. Ariane hopes to conceive of a new visual vernacular for desire. One that operates outside the norms of conventional beauty and ‘the gaze’.

Ariane Heloise Hughes, ‘You Can’t Have Your Cake’, 2021

Ben Cullen Williams

Cullen Williams is a London based artist who works between science and art, linking the human to the non-human and working across, performance, film, installation and sculpture.

Ben Cullen Williams, ‘Living Archive’ 2019.

Bex Massey

Massey’s practice incorporates figurative painting and installation. She uses collage, traditional making techniques and modes of display to discuss ideas surrounding value-the hierarchy of image, highbrow versus lowbrow and material worth. Reoccurring themes surrounding this ‘value’ are intersectional feminist issues, the post-digital terrain and British subcultures.

Bex Massey, ‘Pilot’, 2021.

Juls Gabs 

Digital and Crypto Artist, Jul Gabs explores new existences in the digital era. Her most recent work featured a virtual display of flamingos in Google Maps. During this residency, Juls Gabs will further explore the idea of digital loopholes, Virtual Reality and the comparison between the cryptocurrency market and the art market, particularly NFTs.

Juls Gabs, ‘Bolsa de Limones’ 2020. Digital painting.

Yulia Lebedeva

A still and moving image artist, Yulia Lebedeva is driven by colour and motion and captures the excitement of now. Lebedeva’s work is rhythmic, feminine and self-evolving. Taking inspiration from artists such as Hassan Hajjaj and Cindy Sherman, her images grow from an intimate setting of one’s personal commodities, capturing the utopian dream-like setting with a steady yet playful ambience. While being a member at the residency, she plans on exploring other ways of presenting her photographs by creating collages or creating a lifestyle book.

Yulia Lebedeva, ‘Sunny Side Up’, 2019.
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Posted on Jun 14, 2021

Daisy Dodd-Noble | Currently on at The Columbia

17 May - 17 August 2021

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Daisy Dodd-Noble first exhibition of large format works curated by our director, Marisa Bellani is now on display at The Columbia. Daisy Dodd-Noble’s presentation is accompanied by an essay about the relationship between her practice and nature written by Anna Souter. To access the digital catalogue with Souter’s essay please follow the link below:



Exhibition: 17 May – 17 August 2021

Location: The Columbia, 95-99 Lancaster Gate, London, W2 3NS

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Posted on Dec 8, 2020

OPEN CALL: 2021 Art Residency Programme at The Columbia

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The Columbia and Maris World are pleased to announce the launch of the Winter 2020/21 Residency Programme, offering 3-month residencies for visual artists, creatives, photographers and videographers.


The Winter 2020/21 programme is the second in a series of residencies at The Columbia. As part of the programme, we will be offering six creatives the opportunity to share a studio space and create new works that will be exhibited in a final showcase at The Columbia. During the programme, residents will have the opportunity to discuss and receive expert guidance on their new projects through group and individual sessions with Marisa Bellani, founder and principal consultant at Maris World and creative director of Roman Road.


For more information or details of how to apply, click below:


Deadline for applications: Monday 15th February 2021


Should you experiencing any problems downloading the application form, please email us at

The Columbia, 2020. © Carla Borel
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Posted on Nov 24, 2020

LIVE STREAMING: Jack Laver in conversation with Marisa Bellani

Tuesday 01 December | 6 PM GMT

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In this live streamed conversation from the artist’s studio, Jack Laver will be speaking to Marisa Bellani about his inspirations and influences, and the symbolism and abstraction in his latest works.


This talk is the second episode of Maris World’s new Artist Series and will be live streamed on YouTube.


For more information about the artist and available works, please email us.

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Posted on Nov 3, 2020

LIVE STREAMING: Yulia Iosilzon in conversation with Marisa Bellani

Thursday 12 November | 6 PM GMT

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Coinciding with Yulia Iosilzon’s presentation of new works at The Columbia, the artist will be in conversation with Marisa Bellani, creative director at Roman Road, on Thursday 12 November 2020 at 6 PM.


This talk is the first episode of Maris World’s Artist Series and will be live streamed on YouTube.


Yulia Iosilzon, display curated by Marisa Bellani, Artist Room, The Columbia, 21 September – 21 December 2020. Courtesy of Roman Road and The Columbia. © Martin Eito
Yulia Iosilzon, display curated by Marisa Bellani, Artist Room, The Columbia, 21 September – 21 December 2020. Courtesy of Roman Road and The Columbia. © Martin Eito
Yulia Iosilzon, display curated by Marisa Bellani, Artist Room, The Columbia, 21 September – 21 December 2020. Courtesy of Roman Road and The Columbia. © Martin Eito

Yulia Iosilzon’s new works will be on display in the Artist Room at The Columbia until 21 December 2020.


For more information about the artist and available works, please email us.


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