In-habitation brings together a rich variety of media: digital, drawing, models and book art, all exploring the notion of built structure as a metaphor for the self and as a framework for belonging. Artists Helen Scalway, Claire Reed and Ali Clarke who have collaborated in thought and process over the last year, present thought provoking, engaging work on the themes of strength, fragility and belonging in ‘habitation’.
Ali Clarke’s concrete paintings and architectural sculptures embrace her journey through architecture and set design. They explore themes of enclosure, boundaries, decay and urban nature whilst playing with extremes of solidity versus the fragile and delicate.
Claire Reed specialises in edgy and powerful site-specific work using a wide range of media. She is currently exploring the theme of belonging in a context of change, using the interplay of word and image. Claire will be interweaving the digital and hand-drawn, using elements of book and typographic structures, to create a series of works in 2D and 3D.
Helen Scalway’s work is greatly influenced by her experience of working for some years as an artist within a university department of interior architecture. Her current work is based on the idea of the house or built dwelling place as expressing human identity. She explores the idea of ‘the habitation of the self’ through such elements as house facades,doors and openings as giving access to apparently outward looking spaces, but leading to walls, barriers, trapdoors, impossible stairways, guarding more inaccessible areas. She investigates this materially and metaphorically, often through drawing and book structures.
Using printmaking as a medium of exploration and process to inform image making, the work in this exhibition investigates how process is linked to the development of the idea. Through observing, collecting and recording the urban and natural, and where they interconnect, they have built their own vocabularies of shapes, marks and textures that relate to their personal observations. They share an engagement with drawing process as a means to an end. Avison and Willberg’s prints interpret the physical differences of printmaking process to focus on the elements that are often overlooked.
Avison’s drawings are informed by looking for and finding similarities across landscapes, large and small, urban and natural. Her drawing practice explores texture, shape and the patterns thrown up by repeated looking. The recent prints come out of many sketchbook drawings, and they also recycle and rework previous images, exploring both the internal catalogue of observation and memory, and new marks that come out of the physical process of making prints to invent new landscapes.
Willberg’s work plays with an assemblage of shapes and grids that have taken inspiration from discarded objects she has observed and recorded from the city streets. Through a range of mediums including intaglio, relief and screen printing these different objects have adopted new characters and are now identified by their shape and interaction with colour, rather than their previous function or use. Sitting together they play with form and textures sometimes recognisable to us but always on our peripheries.
“Borderlands: The Edges of Europe” is a collection of analogue photographs representing the people and places along the borders of the European Union, developed with the purpose of creating an archive of images narrating life at the edges of Europe.
Since 2012 Paola Leonardi has photographed along the land borders of the European Union, following methodically the boundaries traced on maps, and building a distinctive experience of the European frontier that includes unplanned encounters with its inhabitants. This series focuses on the connection between people and territory and the significance of trans-national and transcultural identities, exploring the relevance of European identity and its relationship with concepts of home and belonging, memory and territory and how these have been shaped by events.
This project concentrates on land borders, and the concept of geographical Europe is juxtaposed to that of political Europe/European Union.
Paola Leonardi (born Italy 1980) is a London based photographer and a lecturer in Photography at University Campus Suffolk and London Metropolitan University.
Since completing the MA Image and Communication at Goldsmiths College in 2006, Paola has worked both commercially as well as developing personal projects. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, taking part in personal and group exhibition in the US, Italy, Denmark, Armenia and Germany.
For more information on Paola’s work: www.leonardiphoto.com
Artist Eugene Macki will be in conversation with Emma Hunter to discuss his current exhibition ‘Among Others’ at the gallery. The discussion will focus on the paradox of dividing and connecting and draw attention to the sculptural qualities. The talk will also explore the interconnections between shape and form. The event aims to stimulate thought and reflection on various complex relationships.
Eugene Macki grew up in Hackney, East London. Macki holds an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Arts and has participated in exhibitions across the United Kingdom. He received a fellowship from Atelier Austmarka in Norway, and was invited to participate in a residency at the Muse Gallery in London.
Emma Hunter currently lives and works in Hackney, London. Hunter is a sculptor as well as a spatial designer and associate lecturer. In 2015 Hunter completed three ambitious large-scale permanent sculptural public artworks in Oldham and Greater Manchester.
Eugene Macki’s show presents recent works that focus on the paradox of dividing and connecting. His sculptures attempt to highlight the relationship between two or more things on the one hand, and the role of self on the other. Eugene once said: ‘I am interested in the subtle irony between a medium and its ability to reveal or disclose information – the aim is to create an open ended situation’.
Eugene Macki grew up in Hackney, East London. He holds an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Arts. He received a fellowship from Atelier Austmarka in Norway, and was invited to participate in a residency at the Muse Gallery in London. Recent exhibitions have included: Between Two Lines at The Crypt Gallery, Barbican Arts Group Trust annual exhibition, Soho Sculpture Prize with Morgan Lovell, The London Group centenary exhibition and The Royal Academy of Arts summer show.
For more information on Eugene’s works, please visit eugenemacki.com
An exhibition of paintings and assemblages by Sarah Arriagada and Silvia von Pock
Mutterboden brings together German painters Sarah Arriagada and Silvia von Pock and their shared interest in a playful, material and process-based approach to image making. Both artists take everyday household materials as their starting point, from cheerful textiles to discarded packaging and plastics, and create paintings that explore their visual, tactile and structural possibilities.
The German word Mutterboden (mother soil: engl. top soil) refers to the earth, the medium in which things germinate and flourish. In the context of this show it alludes to the mass of ‘stuff’, the visually fertile layers of cheap, colourful debris that surround us and from which these art works grow. Both artists have a love of textures and an openness to haptic discoveries that are allowed to shape their work, sometimes taking them outside the framework of canvas and stretcher and beyond the flat plane. But Arriagada and von Pock’s contrasting strategies produce paintings that throw each other into sharp relief.
Substituting domestic textiles for canvas, Arriagada continually layers and strips back paint, sometimes reversing the stretcher as she seeks a purified, distilled, image in the face of colourful excess. Von Pock’s impulse is to collage and encrust, building layers and massing materials until new visual effects are found in works that are structurally self-supporting. Shown together for the first time at The Stone Space, Arriagada and von Pock’s works generate a lively dialogue with and about seemingly worthless materials and what they offer the restless and resourceful eye.
Sarah Arriagada was born in Hamburg, studied fine art in Berlin and has exhibited in France, Germany and the UK. She lives and works in London. saraharriagada.com
Silvia von Pock studied fine art in Bremen and Berlin. She has curated and exhibited widely in Germany and lives and works in Hamburg. silviavonpock.de
Private view: 6-8pm Thursday 21 July
This show explores different perspectives on movement and transition by bringing together sculpture in wood by Alexandra Harley and drawings in ink and gesso on board by Alex McIntyre.
Alexandra and Alex met through the artist-led organisation – Free Painters and Sculptors – in 2013 and began to work towards a joint show. Their conversations are grounded in a mutual fascination with movement and transition explored from different perspectives. Alexandra’s sculpture references and capture moments of movement in space whilst Alex’s drawings distill the experience and recollection of journeys withing a landscape.
Dates for your diary:
From Earth to Enigma is an exhibition celebrating earth as a painting material and features paintings of the land as well as abstract works by the artist Karen Picton. Picton has discovered that earth can offer a fascinating diversity of colour and texture and her land paintings, made from the earth found in each place she paints, give a character of the land that is uniquely honest.
Earth as a material can reveal traces of human culture through an ongoing involvement with the land and it is the presence of human thought from the earth that this exhibition seeks to explore. Paintings shift between the land and abstract works from the artist’s interior landscape, while references to history and archeology reveal physical evidence of past lives. The exhibition brings together the familiarity of earth and the touch of human presence with art works that are on a discovery for the enigma of the mind in the land.
The private view for this show is on Friday 27 May, from 6.30 to 8.30pm.
There will be an opportunity to meet the artist in the gallery on Saturday 11 June (normal opening times).