‘No-one (Freud announced) lives in the real world. We occupy a space of our own creation - a collage compounded of bits and pieces of actuality arranged into a design determined by our internal perceptions, our hopes, our fears, our anticipations.’ W. Galin.
No-one Lives in the Real World is an exhibition about incongruous spaces, absurd structures and fragile worlds featuring artists who share an affinity for the use of collage in their work – both the literal cutting out and sticking down or the re-assembling of elements from different times & contexts including art history, architecture, literature, nature & technology. Through the mediums of sculpture, drawing, painting, print, photography, video & installation we encounter conversations about imperfection, fragility and otherness.
Michaela Nettell's glass maquette (A Crystal Geometry, 2014) and accompanying paper collages are inspired by Cedric Price’s visionary design for the Snowdon Aviary at London Zoo. The works deconstruct and reconfigure the aviary's tetrahedral structure, imagining (im)possible variations on its form. Rosalind Davis’ reclaims the failed ideals of modernist space through a series of paradoxical paintings, which transpose several spaces into one image, creating disorienting, irrational, and subjective structures. Beginning with the rationalised objective geometries of architecture, Davis uses sewing thread to dissect boundaries into shattered geometric planes and shards, puncturing the overtly male domain of architecture with a feminised material process.
David Kefford liberates and subverts found images from the everyday environment and transforms these into scenarios that suggest elusive, emotional and psychological narratives. Kefford’s collaged drawings harbor and conceal both a vulnerable and malevolent presence - a quiet violence lies in wait. His work is often temporal, un-monumental and made in connection to and with his body. Annabel Tilley depicts bizarre and complex worlds. Symbols, patterns and natural history motifs merge into one another to form unusual rooms or peculiar, fantastical gardens. Tilley works from museum guides and art history manuals of English country houses, their collections and formal gardens, using multiple visual quotes to create unusual taxonomies – plant, hat, head, wig, nose, arm, leg, half-torso, tree. Sasha Bowles is showing work from her ongoing series: Taking Liberties with the Masters, where through playful interaction with existing bookplates and postcards the miniature works are both interventions but also pay homage to the grand tradition of the Old Master painting
Rachel Wilberforce’s practice explores contemporary subjectivity through the relationship between everyday and other spaces, specifically drawing on Foucault’s notion of heterotopia. ‘Perceptual [Apparatus]’ explores a series of physical archetypes: prison, factory and hospital. Her response to the three spaces’ shifting and juxtaposed identities and purposes is further heightened by the physical work itself, where double-floated prints literally shift space and content, depending on one’s vantage point. Evy Jokhova’s site-specific installation: Sketch for a Failure of Budgets is simultaneously a response to cheap conversion of space, and an investigation into the sacred geometry of architecture. Contrasting the legacy of Vitruvian principles and architecture created out of need, the installation references grandeur and futility, mathematical purity and megalomania, and the politics and aesthetics of stone in architecture and city planning.
Srinivas Surti, utilising tropes of modular construction, presents the idea of the poetic image as an abstraction located between image, object and architectural form. Rather than nostalgia for the picturesque, the viewer is invited to consider Svetlana Boym’s idea of Ruinophilia as a material and visceral experience of the irreversibility of time, where resemblances seem to be indiscernible. Timothy Shepard’s landscapes derive from the overlaying of perceptions, memory and impressions of a particular landscape or place. Hundreds of image fragments are reassembled to form a picture, interconnecting the actual and imagined. This plurality is reflective of how the mind perceives the landscape - both over time, and then in the subsequent creative memory.