A Fantastic Fermentation of Matter is the first solo exhibition by British artist Kim L Pace at Danielle Arnaud. It brings together several bodies of new work in ceramics, watercolour and digital print that explore Pace’s ongoing interest in magic, transformation and metamorphosis.
Pace’s works are characteristically inhabited by fictitious characters—invented by the artist—that draw upon mythology, art history, literature and contemporary subcultures. Recently the artist has been focusing on plant and animal life, anthropomorphising carrots, cacti and corn. At first sight these brightly coloured watercolours and richly textured ceramics evoke a happy harvest scene. This is undone however by the character’s wasted limbs and gaping mouths, that take Pace’s ongoing exploration of the grotesque to comic excess.
Pace has a long-standing interest in comics; she originated the touring exhibition Cult Fiction, Art & Comics for the Hayward Gallery, London in 2007. This interest is evident in the format of her ‘collages’, which typically comprise 8 frames or panels on A0 sized watercolour paper. Evoking a storyboard or comic book format, the different frames incorporate Pace’s own invented characters, appropriated material and abstract shapes. Rather than develop a coherent narrative however, the works withhold literal representation—the figures and objects contained within hint at connections that are open to endless interpretation.
Pace’s ongoing exploration into the divergence between the actual and the fictitious has led her to develop a distinctive way of working that merges analogue and digital processes. Beginning initially with pen and paper, her compositions coalesce on the computer—a space not unlike the comic where natural laws are suspended, and inanimate objects can come to life. She is interested in how the transformations her characters engender may offer a different understanding of our place in the world.
The exhibition title is taken from Bruno Schulz’s 1934 short story, Treatise on Tailors Dummies.
An accompanying essay by writer and curator Angela Kingston will be available as part of the exhibition.
Kim L Pace is an artist who divides her time between St Leonards and London, where she currently lectures in Contextual Practice at Wimbledon, The University of the Arts London. She worked in advertising briefly, prior to studying BA(hons) in Fine Art, Painting and MA Fine Art, Sculpture in the UK & Germany. Subsequently, she has been awarded four artist fellowships and many other awards, including from public bodies and several private trusts. She has also undertaken international artist residencies in the USA and Norway. Her work has been featured in the Guardian Guide, Frieze magazine, Art Monthly and The Boston Globe.
Kim exhibits nationally and internationally: her solo exhibitions include Ferens Art Gallery, Hull; Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield; Limerick City Art Gallery, Ireland; Bonington Gallery, Nottingham; Northern Territory Gallery for Contemporary Art, Australia; McLean County Arts Center, USA; Domobaal, London; APT, London; Berwick Gymnasium Gallery, Northumbria; Phoenix Gallery, Brighton; Solaris, St Leonards, East Sussex; Austrian Cultural Forum, London* & FSFA Boston, USA (*2 person).
In 2007 she curated the touring exhibition Cult Fiction - Art & Comics for Hayward Gallery, London, for which she was also commissioned to make new work. She is currently developing her first ‘visual’ novel; an extract of which is featured in ‘The Inking Woman’ 250 years of women comic artists, published by Myriad Editions, March 2018.
Angela Kingston is a contemporary visual arts curator and writer. She has curated exhibitions including 3am: Wonder, Paranoia and the Restless Night, touring from Bluecoat, Liverpool (2013-14), The First Humans, touring from Pump House, London (2015-16) and Is This Planet Earth? touring from Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham (2018-19).