Following an 8 month long residency in what was once a WW2 bunker, Naomi Avsec is presenting a meandering landscape of strange beings and inhabitants. 100 feet beneath the busy pavements of Clapham lies a rabbit warren of colon-like tunnels. Far, far away, completely isolated and barely accessible, this unused space has become her she-cave. Every now and again the rumbling of the underground trains above create a breeze, reminding you that others exist.
Avsec uses a ‘make do and mend’ ethos and she has become a quasi kleptomaniac of the streets….borrowing all sorts of daily detritus for her burrow. No skip is passed by or ignored by this self imposed rag and bone woman. Building sites, front gardens and alleyways have become her goldmine of excavation, after all one woman’s rubbish is another’s treasure!
Inside this alien environment, a discarded and broken garden rake hangs from the low flat steel eves - shape-shifting into a goddess. This deity wears long black tentacles made of dusty electrical piping and leads to inflated surgical gloves. Shredded newspaper is amassed into straw bales or afro hair atop of a chair and boneless legs. Cardboard boxes covered in pools of ink, as if charred and burnt, become bricks blackened by the night. Groups of hanging amorphous plywood shapes evoke cloud spirits and stalactites amongst half asleep twinkling bat-faces. Discarded unstretched canvases become a hollow rock face and an erupting fiery volcano.
These hemispherical tunnels with their giant-sized nuts and bolts, resemble the hull of a cruise liner or spaceship, they are trapped in time and on a parallel universe. There is no indication of the weather outside and it is always night time here. It is a nocturnal collection of giant arteries, leading endlessly to other tunnels, dead ends of crypt-like rooms or dungeons. Ominous stairways blocked by crime-scene tape, lead upwards to jet black gloom and tenebrous cold air.
Avsec has become something of a hermetic surrealist, using the subconscious and the effect of the tunnel's atmosphere and automatism to shape her work. A collection of objects have been created through the exploitation of chance......a kind of archipelago of strange dwellers. Has a subterranean madness taken hold in this utterly unique space or have the spirits of the abandoned passageways cast their spell?
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COME AND VISIT DUST GARDEN over the weekend of the 8th & 9th September, please email Naomi at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do so as soon as possible as places are limited due to its unusual location and accessibility.
Naomi Avsec is a multi disciplinary artist spanning sculpture, found objects, painting, collage and installation. She also draws using a sewing machine. Extensive collaborations to date, include Paul Smith and Liberty. She has recently completed an MFA in Fine Art in 2016 at Wimbledon College of Art with a distinction. In 2017, Avsec won the prestigious Clifford Chance Sculpture Award, which led on to her exciting residency at Growing Underground.