Realm of Ruin

20 Sep 2017 – 24 Sep 2017

Regular hours

13:00 – 22:00
13:00 – 22:00
13:00 – 22:00
13:00 – 22:00
13:00 – 22:00

Cost of entry

Exhibition is free
Dinner is ticketed. £15 (dinner) or £25 (dinner + special edition Bryony Rose dessert spoon). RSVP to o.a.bright@icloud.com to secure your seat.

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Back Room Gallery

London, United Kingdom

Event map

Enter the ceramic Realm of Ruin and explore decay’s subversive power over patriarchal
histories. Bryony Rose’s miniature land confronts contemporary culture’s obsession with the past.


Realm of Ruin challenges contemporary culture’s increasing nostalgia. From the language
of politicians calling to ‘Make America Great Again’ to the quirky aesthetic of cinema set in
‘Lala Land’ and ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ our nostalgia for a non-specific ‘past’ is everywhere. Although this escapism is comforting it problematically romanticises oppressive patriarchal
systems and ingrains the singular canon of history. Furthermore the past’s mythologisation appears to be tolerated in today’s age of unprecedented freedoms on the condition that escapist thoughts exist outside of reality: this is mere placation. Such fantasies inspire comfort in regressive ideologies and have (already had) serious political influence. Our neo-romantic fantasies are the next political frontier.

Bryony Rose has created a magical land for the visitor to simultaneously escape reality and challenge their deradicalised fantasies. Realm of Ruin is set in the non-specific past and draws on fantasy genre’s picturesque imagery of castles, carts, weapons and tools. Built on a miniature scale in ceramic and decorated in glazes and oxides, the land is fragile, playful and tactile - referencing the comforts of nostalgia. However the realm is overgrown with joyful ceramic vegetation and appears to have been abandoned by its inhabitants: this is a land where nature and democracy have triumphed over patriarchal fantasies. Inspired by Dario Gamboni, Rose argues that an object’s decay is the aesthetic vessel for the picturesque. By accepting the ruin’s inherent ‘ruination’ as a symbol of democratic victory she replaces all bittersweet nostalgia for patriarchy with socialist and feminist celebration. Blossoms and vines breathe new life into redundant emblems of patriarchy: a radical solution to neo-romantic escapism.

Bryony Rose (1993) lives and works between Dumfries and Glasgow, Scotland. She
graduated from the Glasgow School of Art (Painting and Printmaking) in 2015. She cofounded
the contemporary folk art collective BART WALTZ in 2014. Recent exhibitions
include You’re Too Kind TYVM Summer Residency, David Dale Gallery, Glasgow (2017),
Carillon Glasgow Open House Festival, Glasgow (2017) and Royal Scottish Academy’s
New Contemporaries, National Galleries, Edinburgh (2016). This is her debut solo-show.


There will be a themed dinner party on 21st to celebrate Bryony Rose’s debut show.  Three spawling courses will be served in the gallery space surrounded by Rose’s ceramic world. Each dish will be inspired by the shows themes of nostalgia, destruction and growth; as such the menu will focus on upcycled ingredients. Anyone can book a seat. Seats are limited so booking in advance is essential.  A full ticket price will include a special edition Bryony Rose ceramic spoon.

21st September, 7pm

Backroom Gallery, Holdrons Arcade, 135a Rye Lane, SE15 4ST

£15 (dinner) / £25 (dinner + spoon)

RSVP with any dietary requirements to book: o.a.bright@icloud.com.


Olivia Bright


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