For her solo exhibition at the Zabludowicz Collection, titled The Root, Ackroyd has produced a sculptural installation that responds directly to the architecture of the gallery space, covering and inverting its surfaces in a manner that suggests a turning inside out.
Three graphite-grey Jesmonite sculptures cover the interior windows, evoking battered and charred shutters. Calling these works Carriers, Ackroyd has pasted the top head sections with black and white images of the rough texture of London streets, some cut from newspapers, and some photographed by the artist herself in the vicinity of her studio. These images are photocopied and layered to combine familiar urban textures with more personal responses to an environment. On the gallery floor is a second main component of the show: a patterned carpet reminiscent of a traditional pub. In the centre of this carpet sits a sculpture of a metal manhole cover, recessed into the surface.
Ackroyd’s practice involves digging down into existing objects and memories and reconfiguring them in to something new. Her installations offer dream-like fictional landscapes informed by tough realities. Through shifting scales and moods, from the arrestingly bold and absurd to the subtle and intimate, the work pursues a feminist exploration of the psychology of space and the ownership of bodies.