Kate MccGwire, Juliette Losq and Jayne Anita Smith join forces at Gallery 8 in London for Complicit.
With each artwork acting as a sensual and sensory invitation to explore other worlds, Complicit offers a place for a series of unique and unsettling encounters.
Renowned British sculptor Kate MccGwire, fresh from success at Glasstress at the Venice Biennale, and a June show at the RWA Bristol with Peter Randall-Page, brings her unique and truly original creations to Complicit.
An oscillation between beauty and tainted beauty lies at the heart of the show. The places where these seemingly opposite states overlap or blur are explored by each artist. The artists’ two and three-dimensional pieces are created through a variety of techniques and materials including paper, ink, graphite, watercolour, glass and a variety of bird feathers.
MccGwire brings together a ubiquitous feature of the urban environment with references to historical museum taxidermy display through her use of pigeon, crow, magpie and other feathers, signature materials and motifs within her practice. By placing common bird feathers under a glass vitrine, within a context more usually reserved for rare and exotic animal specimens, MccGwire questions the status of these creatures and our relationship to them. She transforms these feathers into sculptures with new, ambiguously swirling or concentric forms. At once shimmeringly beautiful and redolent of vermin, the works are both seductive and highly unsettling.
Similarly disconcerting qualities can be found within Juliette Losq’s two-dimensional and installation pieces. Highlighting neglected and abandoned semi-urban landscape clearings strewn with rubbish or covered in graffiti, her practice uncovers a beauty and a wildness within these familiar but liminal spaces. The works are devoid of all human figures but traces of their activity are left behind. The artist’s large shaped, rolled and torn paper-based installations interact with the architecture of the rooms they are displayed within in a highly theatrical way.
Jayne Anita Smith’s drawings and paintings, meanwhile, depict ambiguous environments populated by strange human figures in overt pain and in suffering. Sometimes these places seem to depict lush forests or aspects of domestic interiors, such as Rococo chandeliers or wall paper patterns formed from curls, drips and washes of ink. Naked and fully clothed figures wearing historical garments emerge from whirling forms derived from memories and found images. Their character and emotional expression are informed by the artist’s reactions to images of suffering in the media.
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Notes to Editors
Coates and Scarry are Chippy Coates and Richard Scarry, partners who curate and exhibit internationally groundbreaking shows. Recent exhibitions include Art from the New World at Bristol City Museum in 2010, Unnatural-Natural History at the Royal West of England Academy, shows in Hong Kong including Trailblazers and Honestly Dishonest (during Basel HK). A fixture on the international art fair circuit in London, including Art15, New York, Hong Kong at Art Central and Munich, since 2014 they have been exhibiting regularly at Gallery 8 in London.
Kate MccGwire holds an MA in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art in London and has exhibited prodigiously across the UK and the rest of the world, including exhibitions in New York, Brussels, Paris, Düsseldorf, China and South Korea. Notably, she has exhibited several times in conjunction with the National Trust, placing her sculptural works into historical contexts that offer new perspectives. The artist's 2004 M.A. degree show at the Royal College of Art in London sold to the Saatchi Gallery, and there have been many commissions of her work on behalf of the National Trust and Arts Council UK.
Juliette Losq won the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2005 and graduated from the Royal Academy Schools in 2010. Internationally she has exhibited in Paris, Seoul and New York. Selected for the prestigious John Moores Painting Prize 2014 shown at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, Losq was the winner of the Visitors’ Choice award. Losq is currently represented by the Fine Art Society.
Jayne Anita Smith was born in London, completed her BA (Hons) Fine Art at University College Falmouth and now lives and works in Penzance. She has exhibited across the UK and has been short listed for a number of prizes including the Mostyn Open and the Threadneedle Prize.