littlewhitehead: Self-portrait Number 5

10 Jun 2016 – 9 Jul 2016

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00

Cost of entry


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The RYDER Projects

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • 5 min Bethnal Green Station and 10 min from Whitechapel Station
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The RYDER is pleased to present an exhibition by the collaborative duo littlewhitehead.


Comprised of Glaswegian artists Craig Little and Blake Whitehead, littlewhitehead’s work centres around a critique of modern society, the effects of which are made visible through our post-industrialist communities. This practice ultimately results in artworks of irreverence and dark humour, which mirror the personality and relationship of the artists themselves. Traditional societal norms become warped and challenged, such as the notions of masculinity and violence. In this exhibition, the inherent duality and iconoclasm of littlewhitehead as a collaborative force has been pushed to its logical extreme.

In the work ‘Mr Messy’, the artists present two mugs coincidentally gifted to them both on separate occasions, to one artist by his mother, the other by a family friend. When presented in the gallery space, these two objects take the form of a projected self-portrait. The exterior perspectives of the two artists as individual figures, as viewed by those closest to them, are represented symbolically in the two drinking vessels. The character of Mr. Messy relates to the artists themselves as a hyperbolic communication of their opposition to ‘tidy’ or homogenised modes of expression. However, the mug’s placement within the gallery space is in opposition to the archetypal Mr. Messy character. The minimalistic presentation of the work creates a dichotomy between meaning and space which seeks to provoke amusing self-analysis rather than define the artists in any concrete terms. 

littlewhitehead (b.1980 and 1985) are a duo comprised of Craig Little and Blake Whitehead. Both artists live and work in Glasgow (Scotland). They graduated from the Glasgow School of Art and have subsequently been exhibited widely internationally.  A selection of recent exhibitions include "Nothing Comes to Mind", Concordia; "Inner Refuge", Linden Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; "Unfinished Business", Marine Contemporary, Marine Contemporary, "Modern British Sculpture", Gimpel Fils, London; "Newspeak: British Art Now", Saatchi Gallery, London; "The Weak Sex", Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern; "Kulturhuset", Stockholm; and "Bloomberg New Contemporaries", London

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