Curation – Al DAW / VINNIE NYLON
ALEX AMERY + ROWDY + NORMAN ANDERSON + DAN CIMMERMANN
JO PEEL + BENJAMIN MURPHY + EAT KATE MOSS + DAVID BRAY DSCREET + SNORV + LOUIS SLATER + SWEET TOOF + TOM J NEWELL + VINNIE NYLON + WORD TO MOTHER + SEBASTIAN SCHAGER + ALEX EKINS + JEFF KNOPF
ELLANNAH SADKIN + MANISH HARIJAN + JIM MCELVANEY
FEM SORCELL + NORRIS:RAPHAEL + TOM THOM + C215 + ULRICH BAUMSTULL + BEVAN RICHARDSON + MILA K
April 18th – May 11th 2019
‘Over The Influence’ is the first part of a series of exhibitions at S+M which begin to examine the connections between drugs, the law and art making today; providing a showcase of progressive Street & Outsider Art from the fringes of society.
Like several post-industrial buildings, in a previous life Sidney & Matilda was reputed to be a former weed factory. Whether urban myth or fact, this provided a starting point for this exhibition which explores the links between drugs, art and outsider culture.
Artists were brought together for this exhibition through an inquiry in to their practice and the influence that the use of illegal substances may play in the creation of their artwork. Themes such as the illegality of drug taking, making work under the influence and being inspired by artists throughout history who actively sampled anything and everything in the pursuit of artistic perfection are explored. As surrealist Salvador Dali once said “everyone should eat hashish...but only once.”
There are few taboos still resident in our culture yet recreational drugs remain illegal and those 'using' are criminalised. With bans being lifted and huge commercial markets popping up in previously hard-wired, anti drug areas in the US, the UK government’s attitude to drugs still seems in a state of purgatory. The same contradictions can be seen with art created on the street, most works are ‘buffed’ (painted over), with their creators receiving heavy fines or severe prison sentences, whilst others are lauded and paid to create culturally approved artworks.
‘Over The Influence’ attempts to poke and provoke this white elephant through elevating the practices of artists who may be regarded as 'outside' of the system and bringing work usually viewed in a fleeting moment, if at all, into the gallery. This work reflects the attitude of this group of edgy and progressive artists where the simple act of working, experimenting and risk taking forms the backbone to their constantly evolving output.
Embracing an ethos of the genuine outsider, this show features the work of a wide range of contributors including, among others, a skateboarder, a tattoo artist, a former drug smuggler, an ex-fireman, graffiti writers, an anonymous artist, a calligrapher, a cancer survivor, a traveller and a wood worker.
At odds with the contemporary art market these artists have blazed their own trail, creating their own fan and collector base in a way not seen since the Pop Art explosion of the 1960s, yet in a much more authentic fashion. These artists didn't attend art school; their practice developed from more unconventional and almost primitive means.
Discarding the context of ‘high’ and ‘low’ art, of ‘inside’ or ‘outside’, these terms begin to become irrelevant with the boundary between illustration and fine art literally vibrating from pillar to post, and from wall to canvas, via stickers, stencils, found objects and materials.
Given the inherent, authentic nature of this group’s output and the obvious abandonment of structure, they could be seen to be over the influence, rather than under it.
Show opens Thursday 18nd April, exhibition continues until May 11th.
Gallery opening times:
12 noon – 6PM Wednesday to Saturday with late openings on Fridays until 8PM.
Viewings also available by appointment, visitors please contact the gallery to arrange.