ExtraOrdinary Quotidian - A Platform for Emerging Arts Show at Leyden Gallery
22nd January – 1st February 2014
ExtraOrdinary Quotidian, presents artists, Hilary Ellis, Holly Wisker, Alison South, Electra Costa & Evanthia Afstralou who work in a range of mediums that find their focus within the unspoken narratives that formulate our everyday encounters. Connected to commonality and endurance, the Ordinary, Quotidian and the Everyday signal notions of repetition and banality, the terms are also suggestive of a certain form of anonymity. However, they may also call to the simplicity of everyday pleasures and pursuits. Beyond simply splitting the Extra- from the Ordinary this exhibition aims to re-view these terms through artistic practice.
Holly Wisker’s series of drypoints, The Mould on the Bathroom Wall is More Productive, was driven by an enquiry into the anxiety of productivity as an artist working within the domestic space. Her concerns about her creative practice led to the searching question of what happens when nothing happens. Close examination of the domestic wall as a signifying surface has, since Perkins Gilman, in her novella The Yellow Wallpaper, clear implications for those enclosed within the domestic sphere. Yet, as Wisker implies, her images offer a duality beyond the feeling of the creeping and claustrophobic; the Mould can resemble the expansive and exhilarating, evoking a sense of limitlessness.
Alison South, lives and works in Spain. Her series of paintings called Desconocidos (strangers) finds its starting point in the found object. Photographs of unknown people; mostly casual, everyday snapshots rather than posed studio photography are the material point from which South’s enquiry begins. By re-working with these everyday unknown snapshots, South seeks to create open narratives that question our human relationships.
Evanthia Afstralou, recently graduated from Wimbledon School of arts, is absorbed in the practices and processes of everyday life; not knowing, but nevertheless believing that these minor moments have something to do with art. She looks at the details of daily routines such as teeth flossing or shoe-lacing and in doing so transports the quotidian as replete and extraordinary
Electra Costa’s work raises questions about the perception of innocence and of what is thought sinister. Dealing particularly with ways in which an image or object may already carry these perceptions for the viewer; she explores her ideas by evoking images of childhood. Fragility and innocence appear bound up and yet, by manipulating the image through contrast and colour, or by the erasure of certain parts, the viewer is left with a sense of unsettling ambiguity.
Hilary Ellis, long inspired by the work of Agnes Martin, creates a series of canvases that present a restricted and predominantly muted-palette, which hints at the ennui of ritualistic and repetitive creation. The use of thread and beads in her work is deliberately reminiscent of the labour-intensive toil of the sweat shop, whose employees’ existence is reduced to a series of stitches.
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