AboutHales Gallery is pleased to present the first solo show of gallery newcomer Laura Oldfield Ford.
Oldfield Ford, originally from Halifax, West Yorkshire, completed a fine art Painting MA at The Royal College of Art in 2007 and has since become well known for her politically active and poetic engagement with London as a site of social antagonism.
The main focus of the show is more than one hundred ink drawings that Oldfield Ford has recently produced as part of an ongoing project chronicling the impact of regeneration on London called 2013, Drifting through the ruins.
The drawings form a broken narrative, focusing on part of east London currently being cleared for the 2012 Olympic site and documents the city as palimpsest, a site of perpetual writing and over-writing. Oldfield Ford has made many walks (or 'Drifts') through these abandoned areas and imagines them populated by the semiotic ghosts of failed utopias in the year 2013. 'The London I conjure up in these drawings is imbued with a sense of mourning. These are the liminal zones where the free party rave scene once illuminated the bleak swathes of marshland and industrial estates'.
Her work has developed from the cheaply produced Zine, entitled Savage Messiah and it's sister website www.savagemessiahzine.com, which has become a regular vehicle for her psychogeographic explorations of the metropolis. Each episode explores a different region of London, focusing particularly on those areas that are earmarked for significant structural change. The resulting text and pages of intricate drawings become a document to Oldfield Ford's experience. The completed issues one to ten will be available for viewing during the show, which form a subjective mapping of the city from Heathrow to Hackney Wick.
Something that would appear quite ordinary for most, provides Oldfield Ford with poetic contemplation and possibilities from which her drawings can develop. It is this balance between the politics of the 'kitchen sink', prevalent in so much of the best British Post War art and the physiological vibrations from the past and future city that Oldfield Ford skillfully taps into, that make this work so relevant right now.
Alongside the show of drawings and Zines, Oldfield Ford has planned a night of films exploring psychogeographic themes and the launch of her new Zine accompanied by a live broadcast from Resonance FM and a daytime walking tour around Stratford and the perimeter site of the Olympics, with members of the London Psychogeographical Association and We Are Bad collective. Please check our website for more details and to book a place.