24 March – 22 April  2023

Open Wednesday to Friday
Including Saturdays, 8th, 15th & 22nd April
or by appointment

We lived happily during the war brings together a group of artists to explore themes of war, notions of dislocated landscape, and supernatural fictional narratives. Curated by Denise Hawrysio, the exhibition features work by Michael Allgoewer, Jordan Baseman, Denise Hawrysio, Marc Hulson, Rebecca Scott, and Stanislav Turina.

The exhibition title is borrowed from Ukrainian poet Ilya Kaminsky, whose poem ‘We Lived Happily During The War’ voices the guilt and cognitive dissonance felt by the speaker while a distant war is raging. In the poem, as in this exhibition, love, joy, and humour mingle with grief and trauma.


About the artists

Michael Allgoewer is a Canadian artist whose work consists mainly of assemblage-based sculptural components, often combined in larger installations. Aside from conspicuous allusions to stigmata and the crowns of thorns, his work in this exhibition, Handout, is a poignant metaphor for sacrifice, suffering and existential pain.

Jordan Baseman’s short video Gigantic (2019) consists of a fast-moving landscape filmed from a speeding vehicle, with blurred treetops and foliage. Recorded on 16mm film, using in-camera animation techniques, the film is an anxiety-driven, sugar-overloaded, stuttering recollection. A day out gone wrong.

Denise Hawrysio, who is of Ukrainian descent, responds directly to the war. Juxtaposing images excised from old National Geographic magazines with contemporary war imagery, unexpected links are invariably forged, producing a primordial emotional tug between revulsion and fascination and probing the complacency of the gaze.

Informed by a longstanding engagement with experimental, speculative, and supernatural fiction, Marc Hulson’s paintings survey an enclosed pictorial world – a socio-symbolic realm in which a succession of figures, both human and non-human, play out uncertain roles.

Rebecca Scotts work in this show, The Meat, is a series of paintings emerging from the inherent conflicts surrounding notions of ‘the romantic’ and ‘the real’, and, most particularly, in the dichotomy of idealised nature and the realities of farming. The work takes reference from picture-postcards and supermarket catalogues, adding another layer of irony by seeing both meat and landscape as consumable products.

Stanislav Turina is a Ukrainian artist, writer, and curator who lives in Kyiv. His works in this exhibition, from the series Color Studies during War, are fragile drawings which depict a world of seemingly random objects, both obscure and full of pathos.

Allgoewer, Hawrysio, and Turina have related work for sale in “Someone Prays for You”, an online fundraiser from which all proceeds go directly to support Ukrainian civilian defenders. www.someonepraysforyou.com


We lived happily during the war is the third exhibition at Cross Lane Projects’ new gallery in Hoxton, London, which was founded by artists Rebecca Scott and Mark Woods. Visitors are invited into this uniquely intimate space to read, reflect, discuss, and view contemporary art in a salon-like setting. Located in a private residence on the road that bears its name, Vestry St presents a programme of curated exhibitions and events by leading contemporary artists, both local and international.

Gallery Hours

Open Wednesday – Friday, 12 – 5pm and Saturdays 8th, 15th & 22nd April
or by appointment.

6-8 Vestry St, London N1 7RE
Nearest tube: Old Street

WE LIVED HAPPILY DURING THE WAR. Image 1: Marc Hulson. Image 2: Gigantic, Jordan Baseman, 2019. Image 3: Sofa in Battlefield, Denise Hawrysio. All works copyright the artists.