The Concept Space is pleased to present ‘TERRAFORMS’, a collaborative exhibition between Kristian Day and The Concept Space featuring Blue Firth, Anna Hughes, Rafal Topolewski, Josephine Baker, Joel Wyllie, Frank Kent, Charile Duck, Molly Palmer, Adam Shield and The Leaf Library
The real world is only one of the many possibilities that can be moved back and forth; the game would remain incomplete if one were to accept reality as a finished product. That is why objects are stretched and shortened, make-believe objects are sprinkled among the existing ones, and miraculous apparitions are created without hesitation.
Siegfried Kracauer, Calico-World (1926)
Glittering worlds of crystal, drifting pastel dreamscapes, chiaroscuro nightmares, vibrating perspectives. The use of concrete, wax, willow, amethyst, rose quartz, snowflake obsidian, shells, copper, pine, polycarbonate, Perspex, canvas, chalk, charcoal, pencil, tea, calico, pigment, plywood. Terraforms brings together a group of artists and performers whose works conjure off-kilter spaces and sounds that suggest arcane kingdoms and parallel realities. Throughout the exhibition familiar reference points help to orientate us to our surroundings – architectural forms, glimpses of the natural world – a leaf here, a staircase there. But look closely and the stairs are inverted, the leaf just an outline. These figurative touchstones are in the process of disappearing becoming ghostly apparitions half seen through a smudged surface, some blurred pigment, seeping through oil soaked paper. Images and half completed sculptural forms are there but not there, here but not quite here. They speak of spaces under construction, of archaeological remnants from forgotten cultures, of the transfer of one world into another, of spaces once inhabited, of spaces waiting to be occupied.
What we thought was fixed reveals itself to be unstable. All that is solid melts into air. Climate change and resource depletion provoke colonial fantasies of lighting out for new territories, of shaping new worlds in the image of the old.
Blue Firth (b. 1980) is a recent alumni from the Royal Academy Schools and exhibits widely in the UK and abroad including major site specific commissions with Contemporary Art Society for the Canal and River Trust; with Nottingham Contemporary at Newstead Abbey and at CAC Vilnius in Lithuania as part of her practice with Tomas Chaffe as ViaVaudeville! She has also participated in exhibitions at Copenhagen Place and at the Royal Academy of Arts Architecture Space in London and Johann König Gallery in Berlin.
Anna Hughes (b.1982, London, UK) lives and works in London. She studied at the RA Schools (2013–2016) and Goldsmiths(2001–2004). Recent solo exhibitions include: Warm Hot Intergalactic Space Medium, Copenhagen Place, London, 2011; A Division in Time, Bianca Galleri, Palermo, Italy, 2011. Recent group shows include: UA Elements of Religion, Artlicks Weekend, London 2016;RA Schools Degree Show, Burlington House, London 2016; Interim Projects, Burlington House, London 2015; Biothanatos, DIG, London, 2014; Elements of Religion, Bold Tendencies, London, 2013. Glenfiddich Artists in Residence, Dufftown, Scotland, 2013.
Rafal Topolewski? (b. 1983, Grudziadz, Poland) Lives and works in London. Rafal studied Architecture at the Wroclaw University before studying Fine Art at Manchester Metropolitan University and then at the Royal Academy Schools, London. He has exhibited at The International 3, (Manchester), The Royal Standard (Liverpool), Malgras Naudet (Manchester) London Art Fair with the Catlin Guide, at Art Gwangju with Castlefield Gallery, CAVE art-fair and with The International 3 at Art 13. Topolewski was one of the four finalists of The Saatchi Gallery and Channel 4’s New Sensations Prize 2012, and was invited by The Zabludowicz Collection to take part in Testing Ground: Master Class. His work is held in a number of private collections and in The Saatchi Collection.
Josephine Baker (born 1990, London) works through sculpture, installation, drawing, printmaking and poetry. Using readily-available and standardised materials, Baker composes physical metaphors for how the natural earth is represented in an anthropocentric world. From shelters to barricades, objects of ceremony to objects of domestic use, the makeshift structures she builds create habitats of precarity and separation, that sometimes also appear to strive to offer protection from both natural and man-made disaster. Inside these landscapes, fantastical or elemental forms are brought into direct conversation with architectural functionality and diagrammatic pragmatism, as if conflicting worldviews were being asked to understand their differences. Baker completed her postgraduate at the Royal Academy Schools in 2017. Since then she has been living and working in Rome, undertaking the year-long Sainsbury Scholarship in Painting and Sculpture at the British School at Rome.
Joel Wyllie, b. 1986, London, UK Lives and works in London. Graduated from The Royal Academy Schools in 2015. Recent exhibitions include ‘Modest Villa Immense Versailles’, Kinman gallery (2016) ‘Averard Hotel’, Slate Projects, London (2016) ‘Joel Wyllie & Victoria Adam’, Kennington Residency, London (2015) ‘Gordon’s Room’, Royal Academy Schools (2015).
Frank Kent (b. 1987, London, UK) Lives and works in London. Graduated from The Royal Academy Schools, London, in 2016. Exhibitions include: ‘New Works’ solo, FOLD Gallery, London (2017), ‘Life Room Seats’ commission, Royal Academy Schools, London (2014), ‘Movable Wall System’ commission, Backlit, Nottingham (2013), ‘Art in Your Park’, University of Nottingham, Nottingham (2013), Castle Open, Nottingham Castle, Nottingham (2011), London Art Fair, Business Design Centre, London (2011). Awards include: Castle Open, Grand Prize Winner, Nottingham Castle, Nottingham (2011), Salon des Refusés, Long Gallery prize Winner, Surface Gallery, Nottingham (2011).
Charlie Duck? (b. 1985, Kent, UK) lives and works in London. Studied at the University of Brighton and the Royal College of Art. Select solo exhibitions include Schlep, Outpost, Norwich (2016); Pesky Doncker, Foolish Barnet, Hutt Collective, Primary, Nottingham (2016); and These Sticks, Coleman Projects, London (2015). Select group exhibitions include Last Chance to Paradise,Collar, Manchester (2017); Five Finger Discount, Bronze Dog, Göteborg, Sweden (2016); 30° Celsius, ASC Gallery, London (2016); Looking at people, looking at art, Division of Labour, London (2016) and Suspended Fruit, Centre For Recent Drawing, London (2016).
Molly Palmer graduated from Royal Academy Schools in 2016, where she won the Gold Medal. Recent exhibitions and screenings include Sirens, The Surround Sound Artists Project curated by David Gryn for Art Basel Miami Beach, New World Centre, Miami Electric Blue, film program curated by Maria do Carmo de Pontes, Galeria Vermelho, São Paulo, Brazil, Not of This Earth, film program curated by Herb Shellenberger, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo NY, Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, RA Schools Show 2016, Royal Academy, London, Talk So I can See You, curated by Pil & Galia for the Czech Cultural Foundation, London, Mono 5, curated by Rafal Zajko at The Courtyard Theatre, Hoxton, Bikini Wax, Mexico City and MUPU,Oaxaca, Premiums, Royal Academy, London and The Fade, touring solo show at CCA, Glasgow, Enclave, London and Torna, Istanbul.
Adam Shield (b. 1988, Newcastle Upon Tyne) is a London based artist. He studied at the RA Schools (2014-2017) and Newcastle University (2007-2011). Recent exhibitions include; Chumming, The Pipe Factory, Glasgow International, 2018, Hands Roots,Hawkins, London 2018, Drop Shot, Fetes College, Edinburgh 2017, Bearing Liability, Strange Cargo Gallery, Folkestone, 2017, RA Schools Degree Show, Burlington House, London 2017, Premiums: Interim Projects, Sackler Galleries, Royal Academy of Art, London 2016, Let’s Get Inside Everything, Milma, London, 2016, RIFF, Baltic 39, Newcastle Upon Tyne, 2014.
The Leaf Library make multi-layered, two chord drone pop, channelling the warm fuzz of Yo La Tengo, the spacious repetition of Talk Talk, and Movietone’s seaside melancholy to beautiful effect. The London band released their debut album Daylight Versions in 2015, described by Uncut as “a charming debut, with songs soaked in atmospheres that conjure thoughts of hazy mists and setting suns”, and the Guardian called “a melancholy wonder”. Since then the band have released Nightlight Versions, an ambient drone companion piece to Daylight Versions that The Quietus called “a resounding success”, and an album of remixes (Versions, of course) featuring re-workings by Cavern of Anti-Matter (Tim from Stereolab), and others. They have also released On an Ocean Of Greatness; a single track, 77 minute album celebrating the 21st birthday of the Where It’s At Is Where You Are label.