On the Edge: from transgression to frontier
19 October - 14 December
Gordon Senior, Adam King, Antonia Beard, Fliss Cary, Joanne Soroka, Alison Counsell, Jayne Ivimey
Gordon Senior will show a collection of his Tools of Uncertain Use - a witty collection of sense and nonsense - possibly useful, puzzling and thought-provoking about what we save, how we make things and what gets discarded.
Antonia Beard will make a environmental installation developing from her work for Houghton Festival in August.
Joanne Soroka will also be showing a work which has occupied her attention for a number of years - a Muslim prayer rug, which she has painstakingly repaired and remade, as an act of tribute to its makers and an attempt at addressing some of the troubling issues of Islamophobia and making reparations both physically and metaphorically.
Alison is contributing a body of work that reflects on the landscapes she walks daily with her dogs, at the edges of Sheffield. Not only do they make use of the resources she has found lying about, but they are fashioned with metals into beautiful metaphors about a hybrid existence, between categories of the natural world and industrial skills, between decoration and utility.
19 October - 14 December 2019:
On the Edge: from transgression to frontier
including work by Gordon Senior, Adam King, Antonia Beard, Fliss Cary, Joanne Soroka, Alison Counsell, Jayne Ivimey
Edges can be fascinating as places where ecosystems collide. Being edgy is to be a frontier, at the avant-garde. It can also be a place of danger, teetering over a precipice. Or there can be an edge of anticipation, a state of encouter. Several installations will form the core of this exhibition, each one raising a different edge issue.
Gordon Senior moved to Central California in 2002 where he was chair and professor of Fine Art at California State University Stanislaus. He returned to live and work in North Norfolk in 2017. His sculptural work reflects the cultural differences experienced, and addresses our common loss of relationship with the land.
Senior is preoccupied with the creatures we share the earth with. There is a sense that humans once belonged to the earth, but have progressively been losing this belonging, turning into urbanised, displaced landscape tourists.
Antonia is a London based artist with a background in textile design. Her textiles background has had a huge impact on her philosophy to art making.
She spent time in Cambodia studying ancient textile techniques at the IKTT - the Institute of Khmer Traditional Textiles. Learning from Kikuo Morimoto and the artisans of the forest village, she understood how traditional textiles embody the landscape of a place, in a process that is deeply linked to the natural habit and cultural interaction. This perspective has fused with her passion for the sweaty, urban dance-floors of London and her upbringing in agricultural Berkshire, to create work that is rooted in the process of experience and material narratives.
Norfolk based artist Adam King’s installation for the edges and stairwells of the building, is all about edges of towns, suburbs, and sprawl, and the challenges of incoming traffic and housing which increasingly permeate open country. Adam will work in residence over the summer building little structures and scenarios from paper, card and paint.
Joanne Soroka will show tapestries and rugs touching on subjects of cultural and environmental edges - between different peoples, different religions and beliefs and different locations - and also different makers.
Joanne’s tapestries are often shaped, like continents or islands. They sometimes come in clusters and layers, rather than singular pieces. In ‘Migration’, there are the two distinct surfaces, the tufted area and the flat-woven one. This formal choice can suggest both isolation and connectivity, with the sometimes-interconnected areas saying that we are all linked. There is the possibility of migration, moving from one land mass to another, whether willingly or because of adverse circumstances. But there is hope as well, since no human is an island.
Joanne Soroka writes about Prayer Rug: ‘I thought about repairing my rugs, and thereby, metaphorically healing or making reparations to the Muslim community. After many false starts, I remembered the Japanese technique of kintsugi, a way of mending ceramics by using gold to join the broken pieces together. Rather than hiding the fracture, it shows the history of the object, with the breakage undisguised. I decided to use gold linen thread to mend the rugs, rather than trying to do a conventional repair. It would be impossible in any case to restore the rugs to their original state. The mending is in an open weave, distinguishing it from the tighter weave of the original rug. I would also not repair every hole or tear, to show that nothing is perfect, as Islamic rugs deliberately never are, and to metaphorically address the fact that much hurt remains. Besides the gold thread, there will be an additional interweaving of some of the original colours of the rug, in a ghostly repair of some areas.
Alison Counsell is an artist who specialises in metalwork and jewellery, often combining materials in innovative ways to bring out the characteristics of materials and to create vessel-like forms. Trained at Camberwell and the Royal College of Art, she has been a senior lecturer in jewellery and metalwork at Sheffield Hallam for many years. She has won numerous awards and her work is widely collected and represented in public and private collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Millennium Gallery, Sheffield, National Library, Australia.
Based on the edges of Norwich, Fliss Cary, like Alison Counsell in Sheffield is inspired by her daily walks with her dog to view this liminal landscape. Her walks take her past a power station, fields with cows, a meandering river, a flyover covered in graffitti. It is a typical town edge seeping into the countryside. The gradual disappearance of the traces of wild nature are troubling. Already there are plans for a solar farm. She asks, how much more will disappear into this growing infrastructure which supports the town? What is happening to the birds?