AboutWe are proud to introduce âRetain:Reclaim', the first of five pop-up exhibitions to be curated within Stour Valley Arts' âCornershop'. âRetain:Reclaim' is the realisation of a visual research project that explores the versatile relationship between nature and man. Man has for centuries attempted to suppress nature due to the obsessive need to order chaos. âRetain:Reclaim' aims to challenge this desire to contain nature and the perception of its success; it endorses the organic growth and shows the unpredictable and somewhat vengeful âreclaim' of nature. This exhibit showcases work from three scientific-research based artists' that display contrasting methods that endeavour to retain nature.
'While the rationalisation, organisation and intellectual dissection of the natural world is an activity that humankind has engaged in for centuries, it is important to remember that nature still retains the capacity to undo our orderly constructs and reclaim the landscape for its own.' R.O'Reilly 2014
Supporting the curatorial dialogue, a catalogue of new essays by the curators and a responsive project by Rowena O' Reilly, explore the common themes and concepts found in the works of Kate Linforth, Chris Drury and Rich Cutler accompanies the exhibition free to take away.
An artist talk by Kate Linforth will be hosted at the âCornershop' venue during the exhibition launch at 1pm on Saturday 22nd February. She will be discussing her scientific influences that feed into the beautiful sculptural works on display, followed by a Q&A session.
Rich Cutler has degrees in both chemistry and photography; this dual leitmotif underpins his visual
research. He is compelled by images of time, symbolism, and relationships between the historical
and the present within science and the arts. Cutler's photography is a documentation of man's
desire to arrange the world, specifically focusing on the practice of taxonomy. His photographs are
an archive of creatures that have died twice first poisoned in killing jars, then turned by time into
ruins. Dust and disintegration are the hallmarks of these fragmented collections. What remains are
cul-de-sacs: their stored knowledge dissipated, their context lost.
Chris Drury is a land artist working with nature and natural materials. His work makes connections between different phenomena in the world, specifically between nature and culture. Drury has completed a series of scientific-collaborated mapping work, inspired by his fascination with the versatile and multifaceted nature of mushrooms. Like the environment, mushrooms can simultaneously support life, cure or cause disease and destroy human existence.
Kate Linforth is an experimental research artist who bids to represent nature by creating works that communicate and retain the qualities found within a natural landscape. Kate creates sculptural work using materials that reflect the fragility within the environment and replicate the growth of spores and fungi. Although her sculptural work focuses on the growth and dispersion within nature, one may argue that by using solid materials that this growth is captured and contained, it is therefore important to remember that to do so these materials needed to be man-made. By studying cells Kate looks both at the fragility and threat of nature. These unseen spores that can travel airborne and cannot be intercepted present a potential danger to man. Yet it seems a fitting metaphor for human existence as man strives to reach across all continents.
Address; Corner shop, Unit 3, Park Mall, Ashford, Kent TN24
Exhibition Curated by Xanthus Andrews, Anastasia Bromovsky, Ali Farmer,Louise Green,
Agnes Jobbagy, Esme Johnson, Maria Jones, Rowena O' Reilly, Charmaine Perrin and Giovana Picone