Simone Mudde experiments with colour separation photography – a process where monochrome images are exposed using coloured filters and subsequently layered in the darkroom. The technique, developed in the early 20th century, demands perfect composition and accurate exposure. Mudde plays with this process by allowing alignment issues or glitches of colour to form narratives, and such errors are used to identify the passing of time, the latency of movement, and to further abstract what is perceived by the lens and the eye. Enhancing the colour separation analogue method with digital manipulation, she creates new compositions to further confound how we might read images. Exploring the qualities of the photographic process and stretching its boundaries, Mudde encourages us to consider the labour and methodologies in producing the work.
Ali Glover’s site based interventions consider how architectural infrastructures can shift aspects of behaviour and psychological patterns. The installation for Commonage acts as an intermediary or side space, like that of a page margin, where idle thoughts get passed from the periphery into the main. He is interested in how forms of language (architectural, image or sonic) used in those in-between moments can lead to something from being overlooked to visible. Glover makes reference to particular aspects of the space by borrowing familiar or institutional elements such as the floor tiles, security lights and exposed stud walls. Articulated through field recordings of hauntings in urban environments, he collapses moments from these actualities into cerebral spaces or daydreams.
For Commonage, Sayan Chanda has reimagined the space as a sanctum sanctorum in which ceramics and textiles are conjured into otherworldly entities and ageless votive offerings. His works serve as totems, portals and talismans that allude to personal histories and inner monologues. Through the laboured methods of weaving, stitching, dying of fibres and the hand forming and firing of clay, these works have spiritual evocations. The exhibition is Chanda’s first solo exhibition in London and includes two aspects of his practice. Textiles, from the ‘Bohurupee’ and ‘Bhuta’ series, are created using weaving methods and reference Bengali folk masks. They at once conceal and suggest thresholds to alternate beings. Referred to as ‘Shapeshifters’ the ceramics have biomorphic and timeless qualities – ancient relics or futuristic amulets. Chanda has envisioned a contemplative, ritualistic and somewhat foreboding environment that echoes the hymns from multiple tongues.
There is deliberate lightness of touch and joyful inventiveness in Adam McGowan’s paintings, which, with an interplay of elements suggest extended time and gradual movements. The works invite a focused view on the opacity and hue of surface, the grain and bowing of the wooden structures and the ratio between composition and void. For Commonage, McGowan has created a new body of structural paintings that are in dialogue with the particular architecture of the space. Informed by an array of interconnected and disparate touch points, these include, found photographs, collected texts, diagrams, the built environment and experimental music. The title, ‘Inoyama’, borrowed from the musicians of the same name, is a portmanteau – a blending of sounds and combining of meanings. This might be one way to approach the works, as a merging of subtle elements that don’t always have a fixed orientation.
Group exhibition with Kate Fahey, Adam Gibney & Jonathan Mayhew at The LAB, Dublin
……These artists all consider how we experience embodiment differently and how orientations and individual positions can affect relations between human and non-human thought. Each of them explore the (a)symmetry between the virtual and material by questioning how technologies can transform individual personhood and perception. ‘em-bracing’ highlights how our corporeal selves, voices and identities are perpetually in flux within the complexities of an accelerating and ever-evolving landscape of technological encounters. (Extract from Text)
Install Image: Louis Haugh
Craft Tech Symposium of Workshops, Talk and Artist Responses with New Contemporaries, Camberwell College of Art and South London Gallery
This symposium investigates the relationships between craft and technology. Many contemporary artists utilise craft practices, often in a reappraisal of traditional methods, and combine them with technological, industrial and digital processes. Craft-tech reflects on how technology is used in craft processes to enhance or replace hand-based techniques; to create synergies between practices and media; to question ideas around production; and to explore the place of craft in contemporary visual arts.
Image: Lilah Fowler, ‘Code Clay, Data Dirt’, 2019, installation view, Firstsite, Colchester. Photography Ollie Harrop.
“Ornament is a force that unites and transforms conflicting worldly elements … discloses cycles and tends to be located in the margin between different kinds of things…” Kent Bloomer: Nature as Ornament
Responding to the intimate architecture of Commonage’s basement project space, Hannah Lim invites us to uncover an installation that plays in the margins of both hidden and fantastical narratives, imbued with mythological and autobiographical symbols. Lim reclaims and reimagines design elements associated with Orientalism and the complicated European aesthetic trend to assimilate South East Asian motifs, aesthetics and styling. She makes reference to these colonial connotations and her cultural heritage through a contemporary lens, a knowing palate and intricate craft. These works have monstrous, anthropomorphic and metaphorical qualities that are a hybrid of both the functional and ornamental
In a series of landscape paintings, Qureshi uses digital collage to intercept the circular proliferation of images and make a game of how we consume or comprehend their shifting signifiers. Collaborating with neural networks, for some of the source material, Qureshi is attempting to picture the future (good, bad, fucked) using scraps and remnants of half-familiar material. In Hinduism, The Kali Yuga is believed to be the fourth and current stage in the world cycle and often devoid of clarity. One of the driving investigations of Qureshi’s work is “how do you give a picture the impression of reality?’ But this is the Kali Yuga and images are real – or reality is a parade of images. Everything is as real or fake as it claims to be, and so imaginary apocalypses really happen. The rest of this work was a courting of synchronicities”.
For Commonage, Nat Faulkner has created work that explores our innate relationship to time. Oxidising, decaying, layering, mirroring, these images recall still life or romantic landscapes that evoke ephemerality and transitory states. A walnut spine, like an elongated figure, stems downwards into an inverted weathervane, uprooting our sense of orientation – south bearing northward, the four cardinal courses of navigation remain stationary. Dried carnations retain their upright structure becoming wilting sepia memoirs through this act of preservation. Assemblages from glass, wood, paper and other found elements are like strata or apertures to fragmented views of time.
In the subterranean space, Fahey’s installation explores the fluidity and underneath-ness of both membranes and sensations. The architecture mimics corporeality, becoming permeable: leaking, seeping, oozing, dripping, weeping…experiments in viscous physicality. Biomorphic forms twist and coil, we are mirrored in their tendrilous movements. A knitted conduit, that both amplifies and muffles, slinks towards us, our bodies might bend to share an interaction. The coolness of a contorting pipe and the looping of digital technologies are softened and warmed with biology.