AboutThe China Shop is pleased to present Lost in Space, a solo exhibition by Rachel Thorlby.
In Lost in Space, Thorlby uses motifs borrowed from classical and monumental sculpture, working with the fragmented body and exploring how this has evolved to signify a loss of permanent value. Initially, her process revisits the past through reproduced images of monuments and portraits of which some are selected then printed out to use as source imagery. Often undergoing a process of disintegration, these paper copies form the basis of Thorlby's exploration of how individuals have been represented throughout history. Throwaway materials are used to undermine the unshakeable solidity of past monuments and once forgotten images are revived by being remade into objects.
The makeshift appearance of Thorlby's work prompts us to contextualise historic monuments and their authority in a time when traditional materials such as bronze and marble have little meaning for most people. Here the sculptures and their supports appear to be assembled in a hurry, suggesting numerous possibilities of dismantling and reconfiguration and are formed from basic materials such as clay, wax, wood and polystyrene. The lack of preciousness in these materials works against the former magnificence of historical sculptures, placing the work somewhere between making and destroying, image and object, the living and the dead.
Rachel Thorlby (B. 1973) lives and works in London and graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2007. Recent group exhibitions include, Collaborators 3, Room, 2012, Caprice, Paolo Curti/Gambuzzi & Co, Milan, 2011, Arts Council England, 2012, and a solo exhibition, The Immortality Drive, Madder 139, London, 2010.
Rachel Thorlby is represented by Madder 139.