Andro Semeiko

Artist residency at Peer

January to April 2013

London-based and Georgian born Semeiko’s primary activity is as a painter, but his interest lies in the complex construction of narrative installations that call upon the language of satire and the absurd through his work with writers and performers.

Semeiko has collaboratively employed the wordsmithing skills of writer and curator Sally O’Reilly and Russian novelist and broadcaster Zinovy Zinik, to concoct an array of references from which this project has evolved. Semeiko has identified intriguing kernels of historical information from the local area, which have sown seeds of free-associative and swashbuckling fancy.

One starting point has been an episode in Hoxton’s history when, in 1597 Ben Jonson purportedly killed fellow-actor Gabriel Spenser during a duel in a field on which now stands a council housing estate to the rear of PEER. Another rich seam that Semeiko has mined comes from his historical research into the life of Sir Thomas Tresham, a fanatical catholic who was held under house arrest at around the time of the fatal encounter between Jonson and Spencer on the spot where PEER now stands.

Discussions between Semeiko, O’Reilly and Zinik began with these two events, and then evolved and morphed into musings that span triangles, substantiation, rubbish chutes, drunkenness and scaffolding. Collapsing past, present and fictional Hoxton, O’Reilly and Zinik have produced texts that are being adapted by Felix Mortimer of Retz theatre company into short vignettes to be enacted by Bill Bingham at the beginning and end of the open studio week. This exercise in elaboration, excavation, embellishment and exegesis will be further explored throughout the open studio week.

During the open studio week a number of special events were held at the gallery including a performance by Bill Bingham adapted by him from texts by Sally O'Reilly and Zinovy Zinik; a drawing workshop; and an in conversation between Andro Semeiko and and critic JJ Charlesworth.


Andro Semeiko was born in Ozurgeti, Georgia and lives and works in London. He studied Fine Art at the Utrecht School of the Arts and did an MA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College. He completed his Postgraduate Diploma at the Royal Academy of Arts in 2006. Recent solo exhibitions and projects include Le Grand Charmer, Phoenix Gallery, Exeter (2012); Lily of Blythenhale, an artist's book with texts by Daniel Harbour, Shelley von Strunckel and others, and a related exhibition at Acme Project Space, London (2011); Against Anti Intellectualism: Andro Semeiko, Calum Stirling, +44 141 Gallery, SWG3, Glasgow (2011); Unveiling: Rocket MT2010 an artists book with texts by Neil Mulholland and JJ Charlesworth (2010) and Unveiling, Berwick Gymnasium Art Gallery, Berwick-upon-Tweed (2010). Group exhibitions include Take Shelter in the World, Boston University Art Gallery ANNEX, Boston (2012); Collaborators 3, ROOM Artspace, London (2012); Nor Corridor, Standpoint Gallery, London (2010); Happy End, Guest Projects, Yinka Shonibare's Space, London (2010) and Expanded Painting, Prague Biennale 4, Prague (2009).

Artist book: 
Following Andro's residency at PEER he produced an artist's book with Sally O'Reilly and Zinovy Zinik. Download the book and read more about Andro's project.

This project has been generously supported by:

The Paul & Louise Cooke Endowment