This figure-like sculpture has changed and will continue to deplete as it ages. The once soft wood has now become hardened and brittle, the wool has become undone, and the skeleton collapsed under its own weight. It is a poignant depiction of aging, everything natural must come to a physical end. But we can at least enjoy the beauty and intricacy of it while its here.
Kamran makes often makes work using his surroundings, he scavenges for wood outside where he works, and uses discarded wool from his family home. He didn’t intend for the work to initially come out as a figure, but he built it up piece by piece and this is where it led him. As he changes his surroundings, so will the materials he uses in his work.
Artwork: Dissolution of Power
The artist makes sculptures with the same materials she uses in the lab, using bacterial growth as a medium and surface for silk screen printing legal documents and bureaucratic imagery. As the bacterial media is being constantly “cultured” by the environment and the growth medium is designed to host life, bacterial colonies eventually bloom, leading to the symbolic decomposition of the state.
Artwork: Fade Away
The artist ‘draws’ with thread. She builds thread reliefs, spatial drawings and creates installations with found objects that she combines with thread. For Fade Away she used a special yarn that dissolves on contact with water. With a touch of humour, it reflects on the transcience and the art market, and will disappear over the course of the exhibition.
Artwork: THE GRABBER
Formed in 2020, THE GRABBER follows an ongoing collaboration between artist Davide Lakshmanasamy and charlatan Jake Francis ; a fairground friendship that spans back to 2016 in their conception of THE CLUNKER – an arts based vending machine with ‘loose morals’.
A concoction of craftsman and cretin, THE GRABBER and its ill-judged owners encapsulate one of the core dilemmas of contemporary art and its practices – a lukewarm combination of real technical skills, and befuddled half-baked ideas.
Destructive in nature and reliant on the existing to make its conceptual points known, THE GRABBER represents the discomfort of many creatives working today ; the inability or unwillingness to craft something original in favour of casting aspersions towards the established objects of others. Kitsch and crass, THE GRABBER is not big nor clever, and it invites its unfortunate viewer to join in the folly that it has created.
Artwork: POPcorn Polaroid
POPcorn Polaroid is not a polaroid but uses the polaroid’s promise to develop a photograph in minutes but reverses the process. The video installation features a polaroid-sized screen showing an experimental film the artist shot called Blackout. The film slowly fades out over 60mins – so slowly that you barely notice it – until it is totally ‘blacked out’. This is, of course, the reverse of what a polaroid photo does.
Fading away, it is a draws focus on transience and how this concept is problematic to the art market. If you pay for something it is supposed to stay but what happens if you don’t, is it free to go?
Pearl-tongue is a live-work to camera that explores difficult interfamilial relationships through a family heirloom of imitation pearls given to the artist by their grandmother. The film explores an intensely personal transformation through the vernacular and memory of an object, while questioning the internalised misogyny handed down from maternal generations.
Shot as a live performance by JJRolfe in London, 2015.
Artwork: Take What You Need
This work is reproducible and destroys itself in its own performance- people take parts of it as they interact with it. Its success can be measured by the logic of virality rather than ‘ownership’. No one owns the work. It is a happening. This work also holds within it a network, as well as the possibility of creating connections. Each strip can be thought of as a node.
The work evokes the pre-internet space of the city, one that has been co-opted by social media platforms, allowing people to think they can constantly and immediately ‘take what they need’. These platforms have become an excuse for circumventing situations of confrontation within the political and social reality in which we live. For the artists, they see this overuse feels ironic or even slapstick.
Each strip begs the question of what one needs, what one wants and places it in the context of other human realities – in your own neighbourhood or halfway across the planet.
Seen in the light of Frieze Art Fair in London, this work attempts to make contradictions apparent without accusing the user but by allowing one to confront the sheer irony of the system that places us where we are.
Artwork: La Roya
For this work, the artist has used existing objects that have been repurposed to create an absurd statement on an extremely important issue. With rusting leaves made from recycled tin cans and specifically set in a fire bucket, it is a comment on the effects of increasing global temperatures on crops around the world, in particular, coffee plants.
Overt time, the piece will slowly rust away to leave only the plastic bucket that the artist will reuse again. To help the piece along its journey, viewers are welcome to water the plant.
A rill is a shallow channel cut into soil or sediment by the action of flowing water. The cob sculpture, made of mud collected from the banks of the River Avon, will be altered by the water flowing from the above bottle over the course of the exhibition, in a crude imitation of the processes of river erosion using readily available consumer waste products. The kinetic action of the water will result in a complete transformation of the original cob sculpture.
Artwork: Liminal Space
Liminal Space is an AR multimedia work. The anonymous being of the image is ready to be explored through mixed media from surface to screen. The work aims to initiate conversations around future imaginary and new narratives in non-canonical archives, involving rhizomatic references through using digital technologies.
The work represents a location that is a transition between two states of being: dying and being born. Liminal Space explores these two concepts in both physical and digital spaces. While the physical artwork degrades day after day, the audience is invited to explore what may arise in the digital realm.
Artwork: The Future’s Bright
Intended to throw into question the value of the commodity of the phone, the work will be both performative and destructive. If we can’t live without our phones why is the cost of repairing them so prohibitive that a new one is economically, socially and morally acceptable?
A mobile phone with a smashed screen is entombed in a sarcophagus of clear resin. The phone is fully charged and turned on before being sealed. Viewers are welcome to call the phone and send it messages. The phone will eventually lose charge and turn off one last time. Unable to be fixed, charged or answered, the phone will finally leave purgatory and be redundant.
Artwork: Me, You
With this piece, Renate questions our role in reducing consumption of goods and how this impacts environmentally. More specifically, she questions her own role as a ceramicist and the dichotomy of producing ceramic pieces to exist in the world, while the natural world is in a state of exhaustion.
Ceramics have been found dating back thousands of years; this instils in us the belief that through our objects, we can exist forever and that everything we touch today, may still be around for generations.
Glass and ceramic materials are just a fraction of the waste we produce, and we can already see the impact of our choices. We need to find a balance between what we produce and what we really need.
Two pots sit side by side.
While one is vitrified as a consequence of temperature, making it imperishable, the other crumbles back to its natural state. That is the choice we are presented with every day as consumers. Me, you. Our choices are central.
Artwork: Fumes & Wretch (Will Eat Themselves)
Fumes the Dog & Wretch the Cat are characters initially created to imbue Rob’s logo with a bit of comic agency.
In this commentary on western society’s cannibalistic symbiosis with consumerism, the characters have been rendered using dry pet food.
This is interactive installation created for Anti-Frieze, and we encourage your furry companions to stop and have a nibble while you enjoy the art work.
***This piece has been made with Purina Go-Cat & Pedigree Biscrok Gravy Bones, using an edible adhesive made from catering grade gelatine and sugar. We have already tested it on a puppy and so far, he has survived.
Artwork: Salt in the Wound
Preserving the cracks because they make you who you are. Corroding the pain to help you heal. Artist Zoe Toolan has been nurturing salt crystals for a number of weeks; during the exhibition they will bloom, flourish and grow and then slowly return to a simple pile of salt. The crystals make beauty out of the ordinary and prove you don’t need millions to make something glow. Yet, these can’t be sold, saved, traded or passed down, they continue their journey in a circular motion.
Artwork: Wood, Lard and Marmite
When I created the original concept for this work, it was to deal with themes of sexuality, insecurity and contradiction. I was communicating the dilemma of being stuck in the closet and working through my own feelings about being queer.
Revisiting the piece, or a version of, 22 years later, I have grown as an artist, but the issue of contradiction still exists within my work, albeit in a different manner. With this piece, I am looking outwards and observing a world of over production and overconsumption. It’s important that this work is time based, it cannot be bought.. You were there or you weren’t. Not that it’s special to be there but my work wants you to be present and open to an unfurling universe.
Zoe has one foot in the conceptual, one foot in the visual and one foot in the everything in-between. Her live, social practise centres around education and as she brings people together for learning, drawing and laughter, she tries to part-figure the confusion of time and the links between it and our understanding. Anything she creates has an inherent sense of unpredictability and ephemerality; as is life.
Beth Troakes is freelance curator and director of Gallery Lock In. She has curated exhibitions nationally and internationally and has worked with partners in Italy, South Korea and China.
She has also worked with many award-winning international theatre companies and performers as a producer and strives to support artists and performers who are unsigned and unrepresented.
After graduating from a Masters in Art History, she started ongoing project ‘Lock In’, a live exploration into the social, psychological and physical boundaries of the body.