The exhibition is an example of human-ecosystem collaboration, bringing together artists and a florist in residence for a series of workshops and events to create an environment where another kind of culture can flourish, together with Peckham and London communities at large. The exhibition and surrounding events aim to utilise public space to activate impulses, which stem from mobility/immobility, equipping participants with the tools to change their neighbourhoods, cities, and states.
The five artists Freya Douglas-Morris, Carson Fisk-Vittori, May Hands, Lucia Monge and Nicole Vinokur have been invited to respond to the exhibition through a range of media, and to the space through a series of site-specific projects and installations. The Peruvian artist Lucia Monge will organise the first ever Plantón Móvil, in collaboration with the gallery, in Peckham to mark the end of the exhibition in July 2016. Plantón Móvil has occurred yearly since 2010 in different communities throughout Lima and was commissioned for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2014. In Peckham, an area which has undergone vast changes in recent years, this initiative will be a commentary on social movement and movement as a less perceptible form of inhuman mobility at large, an organic mobility that operates perhaps on different scales from people to plants.
The paintings by Freya Douglas-Morris refer to ideas of travel, of crossing thresholds into another environment. She likes to gather and collect imagery and ideas; memory, editing, pattern and design all play a part, as does the illusion of a narrative. The exhibition will include works on paper, a mixture of watercolour, gouache, collage, ink and woodcuts. The movement of the water-based paints are quick and immediate, the collaged areas are created without too much preparation, torn and cut without a lot of mapping out. There is a tactility to the paper works which will be exhibited unframed, so that the quality of the painted, collaged and printed paper is as visible and apparent.
Carson Fisk-Vittori constructs environments integrating images, artifacts and flora to analyze the complex interactions between humans and the dynamic landscape. Disturbance Ecology brings together an ecosystem of hypothetical weather machines, landscaping scenarios, and animal repellants. The arrangements feature both deliberate and casual formations that satirize advertisements and lifestyle magazines. Fisk-Vittori reveals the devices through which we experience and manipulate our environment, and analyzes our attempts to commodify the natural world.
May Hands works with organic, found and synthetic materials, her fragile work records our daily urban transits and rituals of consumption. The appropriation of everyday urban leftovers has always characterised the content of the artist’s practice. The different elements in her work are given new life and constitute an anthropological discourse on the nature of contemporary society, as environmental awareness challenges the capitalist project.
Lucia Monge’s practice draws on our assumptions about the agency of “inanimate” things. Plants, soil, stones, these we barely think of as mobile entities but Monge draws our attention to them as potential companion species. The installation in the gallery, [Nos]otros, recalls movement as both popular social movement and movement as a less perceptible form in non-human mobility, an organic mobility that operates perhaps on different scales from species to species. Monge’s practice insists on an ethics of interspecies communication and cooperation.
Monge will also be staging a workshop and a Plantón Móvil in Peckham in July, ““Plantón” is the word in Spanish for a sapling. This project takes on both: the green to be planted and the peaceful protest. It started in Lima and is about giving the plants and trees the opportunity to walk down the streets of a city that is also theirs: like a small forest peacefully claiming its place and respect. People of all ages are invited to lend their mobility to these plants and in return, momentarily borrow some of their slowness.” At the end of each walk, the plants and trees will be planted in Copeland Park, Peckham. Plantón Móvil has occurred yearly since 2010 in different communities throughout Lima and was commissioned for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2014. Last year it made its international debut in Providence, Rhode Island, and this year in London.
Nicole Vinokur’s interdisciplinary practice oscillates between the rational and the mystical exploring rearrangement, imitation, historicity, fiction and the gaze. For this exhibition the artist will rework For the Millions, previously exhibited at Camden Arts Centre, which investigates the history of orchid hunting, absurd domestic cultivation and the relationship between values of rarity and ubiquity. The artist will create a site-specific installation in the gallery, an immersive environment of concealed excess containing orchids, grow lamps, mirrors and growing paraphernalia. The audience is invited to look into this interior through peephole lenses: each view composed, the orchid is staged as an erotic or desirable object, positioning the viewer as a voyeur. Referencing methods of illusion employed during the golden age of plant hunting where collectors would have a single specimen surrounded by mirrors to multiply their collection, the work considers an obsession with ‘taming’ plants, cloning, mass farming and artificial hybridization of ornamental crops as consumer’s taste change. Based upon today’s breeding efforts, the cultivars of the future will have a compact growth habit, variegated foliage, fragrance, and be ever flowering.