Repair: Jessica Bryant at Green Arcola Gallery
23 January – 15 February 2013
Opening: 22 January 5-6.30pm
Arcola Theatre Foyer
24 Ashwin Street
London E8 3DL
A pioneer in bringing together theatre, social creativity and green technology, Arcola Theatre presents Green Arcola Gallery, a platform for visual artists engaging with sustainability. The theatre foyer will host a series of solo exhibitions by young and emerging artists who will be commissioned to create new work specially for Arcola. With this new programme, Arcola aims to extend its long-standing practice of working with artists to engage cultural audiences, and showcase the diverse ways contemporary visual arts address issues of science, sustainable design and climate change.
For this second exhibition, Green Arcola Gallery welcomes Jessica Bryant, whose work celebrates geologic forces and dimensions of time. Bryant collects materials that carry stories, memories and references to multiple strata of history. She has wandered around Sussex, along the cliffs that Turner and Constable immortalized, to gather chalk with which she creates installations. Geologically, chalk is built up from mineral decay. By de-territorializing the substance of this landscape and re-territorializing it in the space of the gallery, the artist confuses layers of time and attempts to resolve the tension between geological and human life. Minerals that she meticulously selects according to their geophysical, biological, historical, political, social and cultural surroundings become vessels transporting metaphysical questions of regeneration, cyclical return and the ‘earth alienation’ described by Hannah Arendt. Her telluric installations act as time markers, reinterpreting megalithic architecture and accentuating resilience of natural systems and erosion of human traces. They point towards a mystique of the landscape that reconnects artistic research with ancient practices of reading and inscribing the territory.
Her new installation for Green Arcola Gallery, Repair, reconstructs a dynamic mineralogical system and exposes the interconnectedness of its heterogeneous materials. On Japanese Kozo paper made by cooking the bark of a bush, white chalk from Rottingdean in East Sussex is mixed with red chalk from Hunstanton in Norfolk. Both places have a rich geological history. Onto this coalescence, words in local dialects mediate the relationships between materials and places, reflecting on their symbolic value and specific history. Imperceptibly throughout the duration of the exhibition, chalk surfaces are transforming, minerals are degrading, water is in a state of flux. Each component relates to the others and participates to a terraforming experiment. The narrative is not set in advance and the viewer is free to imagine the becoming of this abstract geosystem.
Jessica Bryant is currently completing a BA in Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art, where she was awarded the Environmental and Sustainability Award in 2013. He work has been exhibited at Matthews Yard, Tooting Market, The Science Museum, The Royal Academy of Arts.
Green Arcola Gallery is curated by Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro, with the support of the Green Arcola team.
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