AboutWe are extremely happy to be showing the fascinating work of Alke Schmidt, in her first solo show with Signal Gallery, entitled âFeeding the Monster'. In the show, the artist will be presenting works that find a lively and witty way of exploring the corrosive web of global power networks. The show will comment on our understanding of gender, the exploitative effects of economic growth and the relationships between the developed and developing world.
In her practice, Alke Schmidt uses a range of rich colours and found materials to draws us into her world - alluring and challenging us in the same breath. Through her art, she is subtly showing us her strongly held view that in the western world everything comes back to consumption and the marketplace. The artist shows us connections between the oil energy that clogs and pollutes us, and the relentless hunger for cheap labour that keeps women in the majority of the world impoverished. This âfree-for-all' market, where everything is for sale women's bodies, the environment, decent work conditions - is explored in this exciting, highly relevant new show.
In her work, Alke Schmidt achieves a fine balance, presenting us with images that are beautiful and yet at the same time carry with them a pointed message. For example, the artist's choice of pop printed fabrics, including those designed for young girls, as painting surface gives the work humour that quickly turns dark. Elsewhere, her reworking of her choice of delicate eighteenth century flora and fauna prints (rescued from bargain boxes at an antiques market) provides the surface for incisive, intelligent critique of our oil economy. The formal tension between the craft skill involved in making these paintings and the uncompromising political content is vital here. Alke Schmidt's art practice is driven by her outrage at injustice as well as her love of making beautiful objects.
Since completing an MA in fine art at London Guildhall University, Alke Schmidt studied fine art at The City Lit and achieved a Master of Arts degree at the Guildhall, both in London. Since then, she has shown extensively across London and elsewhere in group and solo shows. She has been very active where she lives in East London, promoting the arts and fighting local causes through her art. This will be the third time her works have been seen in Signal Gallery.