Wednesday, 29 October 2014


Ellis, Zavier 'Cultus Deorum', 2014 Hard ground etching on 300 gsm Somerset soft white velvet paper (Ed. 50) 29.7x21cm



Cultus Deorum

1 October  – 27 October 2014

Curated by Zavier Ellis, Director, CHARLIE SMITH LONDON

London, UK – On 1 October, the Saatchi Gallery will open Cultus Deorum, an exhibition of works by nine contemporary artists, in the Prints & Originals Gallery.

The artists featured in the exhibition are Florian Heinke, Sam Jackson, Reece Jones, Eric Manigaud, The Cult Of RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ, Alex Gene Morrison, Gavin Nolan, Dominic Shepherd and John Stark. Zavier Ellis has also made a curator’s etching.

The term cultus deorum was defined by the Roman philosopher Cicero as ‘the cultivation of the gods’. Pre-Christianity, these gods were pagan and the focus of many and varied cultish rituals. Prayer, sacrifice, offerings, symbols and ceremonial actions came to define any individual cult. Each artist in this exhibition explores the ‘cult drive’ with reference to their general practice.

Florian Heinke is influenced by traditional and digital media sources and often combines text and image to create an aesthetic suggestive of polemical posters or advertisements.

Sam Jackson makes psychological portraits that employ religious signs and symbols in the form of tattoos and graffiti.

Reece Jones investigates the whimsical, improbable, impossible or theoretically muddled in his unique charcoal drawings. In his recent work he references ‘evidence’ of mythological or supernatural beasts.

Eric Manigaud makes impeccable large scale photorealist pencil drawings that are representations of the consequences of political and social ideologies.

The Cult Of RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ is an avant-garde group working in performance, video and installation, exploring the history of the city and graffiti, whilst adopting ancient notions of the ritualistic.

Alex Gene Morrison employs motifs in his paintings, collages and animation drawn from contemporary notions of the primitive and references to the occult.

Gavin Nolan is known for his ongoing series of portraits and self-portraits. The artist draws upon religious cults including Judaism & Catholicism, political cults such as Nazism and the modern cult of celebrity.

Dominic Shepherd creates paintings inspired by his experience of living in Dorset woodland and his interests in historic and contemporary cultures and folk groups.

John Stark expresses his interests in philosophy, religion and the occult through an impeccable and labour intensive painting process.

Zavier Ellis is the Director of the gallery CHARLIE SMITH LONDON and an artist. The gallery was established in east London in 2009. It has rapidly gained a reputation for innovative exhibitions showcasing the work of emerging, talented and sought after artists.

For any press-related enquiries please email

or contact Bianca Gidwani at +44 (0)207 811 3076.


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