Exhibition

Undergrowth

21 Mar 2008 – 26 Apr 2008

Event times

wed - Sun 12-18pm

Cost of entry

Free

Lorem Ipsum Gallery

London, United Kingdom

Address

Travel Information

  • Tube: Bethnal Green

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Undergrowth

About

Lorem Ipsum Gallery is pleased to present Undergrowth, an imaginative and dramatic exploration of low vegetation, human desire and fading perceptions featuring installation artist John Higgins, photographer Marie-France Kittler and sculptor Agnieszka Stone. These artists all share an interest in growth's transformative and ephemeral nature.

In his installations John Higgins seeks to extend or exaggerate physical properties of the materials that he uses in order to uproot seemingly static and immovable traits of his subject matter. Fascinated by the natural sciences and their rigorous categorisation of species, Higgins' work confronts the ultimately idealised notions of comprehensive classifications and all encompassing theories. For his piece Illustrated Guide To British Flora he has assigned himself the laborious task of cutting out all of the illustrated growth in a 600 page biology book of the same title, leaving a sprawling abundance of plants, shrubs and flowers still rooted (so to speak) on their designated pages. As a result the hundreds of illustrations appear to be growing out of, or escaping from, the book's systematic speciological progression, leaving it open on every page, impossible to read or untangle.

An interest in the psychological aspect of place has led Marie-France Kittler to explore the forest as a well-known example of this. She is especially interested in the way light falls on the three-dimensionality of undergrowth through the mesh of foliage revealing some elements while concealing others, pertaining to the idea of a subjective reality. Shot in the studio, her photographs intend to represent the forest, where 'representation' is knowingly used in its allusion to the theatre. Here, the forest becomes the stage and the plants the cast of a play. In Cast 5 the depicted bush is constantly and everywhere on the point of disappearance and it is only the light that binds it to the image. Similarly in Cast 10 a small pale section of blossoming Rhododendron foliage becomes abstracted into another world. However, all that is seen, all that exists, is all that is shown to us (or lit). In Cast 9 an island of purple heather in the midst of an all-encompassing formless blackness would not exist if not perceived. Without light, without enlightenment, one sees nothing, neither truth nor lie.

Polish/Swedish sculptor Agnieszka Stone explores possible consequences of the inevitable instability of everything that surrounds us and the workings of the human imagination in relation to this. Stone is intrigued by powerful ancient symbols and by an inherent human desire to believe and to be hopeful regardless of how dire the outlook. In The Orchids, 2005, Stone has carefully filed, sanded and painted a set of baby lamb vertebrae to mimic beautiful orchid flower heads in bloom. Arranged in the shape of a cross they resemble a sacrificial ritual of mysterious origin. The temporal beauty of the orchid flower head at once bears witness to nature's eternal restoration processes but also to its quick self-destruction. The Orchids do not seek to resolve, unravel or even clarify anything for us, rather the piece remains stubbornly mysterious and ultra delicate. It appears to resonate in our psyche as something we may not easily identify with and yet it anchors us in a seemingly bottomless pool of so many previous eras' various belief systems and powerful myths.

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