Last week, Wimbledon Space saw the opening of Stand and See, an exhibition showcasing work by the eight artists selected for the 2013–14 AA2A scheme, which gives practitioners the opportunity to undertake a period of research or realise a project, using workshops and supporting facilities in the Fine Art departments at Camberwell and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts.
Fresh and experimental, the work on show was made in and in response to the artist’s time in the colleges . The artists showing were Charlotte Brown, Lesley Bunch, Harriet Corey-Wright, Jonathan Kelham, Alice McLean, Milly Peck, Natasha Rees, Douglas White.
Showing a mixed media installation of sculpture and print work, Milly Peck’s practice encompasses drawing, print making, collage and sculpture. She is interested in the ways in which switching clumsily between the manual and the mechanical can exaggerate the little human errors which occur in the freehand process of drawing and how these are absorbed into the work: “On both paper and in the sculptures, patterns or painterly effects, applied in layers to different surfaces, draw attention to a stubborn flatness in the work. This is accentuated by the awkward systems that attempt to support the sculptures.”
Also showing mixed media work in the exhibition, for Harriet Cory-Wright the AA2A scheme actually provided a return to UAL . Since graduating from Camberwell College of Arts with a BA in Illustration, she has worked as a researcher, printmaker and curator. Her interests include autolithographic publications, feminist revisions of early 20th century design narratives and performative pedagogy. More recently, Harriet has been involved in curatorial, educational and research-based projects with MMU and the RCA.
Jonathan Kelham’s exhibited print and video works are part of his ongoing project, Leaders of Men, and they explore utopian philosophy and specific, romanticised notions of Englishness. Of the AA2A scheme, Jonathan said that “The residency specifically provided three prospects; the first opportunity to create 3Dimentional works, refinement of animation and a participatory project, which included studio and workshop-based student interaction at MA Show at Brixton East Gallery.”
Alice McLean has recently been exploring the valuable materials that exist all around us and go largely undetected. To create her work, Deconstruction Series, she took and documented samples from the sweepings of jewellers’ studios and the streets of London where precious metals have gradually eroded off jewellery, shoes and clothing over time. This study acted as a catalyst for Alice’s current body of work which presents “visual metaphors depicted in object form that seek to highlight the inevitable and gradual loss of precious material that goes unnoticed in a world constantly seeking more”.
During her time on the AA2A scheme at Wimbledon, Natasha Rees produced a series of casts from graphite and rubber, wood based works, a 4 colour screen print and an 8 metre digital collage print. She said: “Broadly speaking, I’m interested in the repetitions, fetishes and ordering of power and how these play out through communicative cultures. Bringing together seemingly contradictory elements, for me, imposes questions of how broader information resonates, and reconciles-if at all.”
Lesley Bunch is intrigued by our predisposition to label, collect, organise, or objectify as a means to draw boundaries in our lives and create a sense of control over our surroundings. Her paintings and photographs playfully present a collection of the intangible or that which is essentially uncollectible: shadows, the self, the body. She said: “Whilst resident at WCA I have expanded my Shadow Series, borrowing casting objects from others that are invested with emotion, memory, and sense of identity, thus becoming cherished and ‘persistent'”.
Charlotte Brown’s work is object based. She uses traditional techniques to address innate human experiences and her practice is informed by a reading of Freud’s writing and often comes back to his ideas of the primal and base human condition; dramas of repression, family relationships and childhood fears and desires. The work presented as part of Stand and See are some of several recent works which form a series that explores heirlooms and that talks about genetic inheritance and burdens of family expectation and consists of two sewing boxes cast in lead. Of this work she said: “I enjoy processes that are essentially reproductive: casting, printing and photocopying; I liked the way that these echo a reproducing of family through generations. Recently I have been making work in lead: I like its non-precious, industrial and toxic connotations… The techniques I choose are subversively and knowingly used, and things are deliberately and painstakingly made. I employ found objects that have undertones of the bodily, of use, of everyday intimacy, as fetishes and relics. Previous work has been small and intimate in scale, but working at Wimbledon has allowed me to work on larger scale pieces.”
Stand and See is on show until 16 May and two events will be taking place alongside the exhibition: the Stand & See: Shadow Workshop with Charlotte Brown and Lesley Bunch will explore the psychology, myth and aesthetics of shadows, while the Stand & See: Artists’ Talks will see each of the artists talking about their practices ‘PechaKucha-style’, 20 images x 20 seconds.
Find out more about the Wimbledon Space programme on their gallery pages.