Window Gallery: CARE
About the Event
Studio artists at Phoenix Art Space have been invited to consider the theme of care for a group exhibition in the Window Gallery. What does care mean within the context of a global pandemic? How do we care for ourselves, our communities and our environment at a time of adversity and rising inequality? Featured artists are Denise Harrison, Veronica Slater, Denise Felkin, Jane Campling, Rachel Cohen, Kiki Stickl and Sophie Hulf. Artworks in this exhibition have been selected by Beth Burgess, Executive Producer of the Brighton Festival.
This exhibition will be online from 1 May. From 20 May – 6 June, the galleries at Phoenix Art Space will be open Thursday – Sunday, 13.00 – 17.00. Visitors must pre-book a free, timed slot in advance of their visit. Only a limited number of people are allowed into our building so it’s essential that all visitors book. Check back here in May for a booking link.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Veronica Slater presents a series of works titled Solace. They comprise of mixed media montages, each measuring 15cm x 10cm. It’s a series that begun in lockdown and seeks to find ‘chinks of light’ in glimpses of what might be remembered or imagined to provide Solace. It’s an internalised scape nurturing hope, comfort and familiarity at a dislocated juncture.
Rachel Cohen presents a diptych titled Watering. It shows the artist watering plants in two huge greenhouses. It is important that the ‘work’ that Rachel does in this performance is futile. She is enacting (not actually gardening!). She is also interested in water (and light) as the most essential elements of life – and the way that humans harness these natural resources as commodities and manage the natural world. These performances were made at Stanmer in 2018 when they temporarily closed down the council nurseries. Rachel watered repeatedly over several months though nothing ‘useful’ was being grown there.
Denise Felkin recently learned from a guru who studies silence, that you should replace the word quarantine with retreat. “I listen to meditation compositions on spiritual growth to get me to sleep, and health and motivation when I wake up. When I open my curtains each morning, I am rewarded with the beautiful light from my east-facing window. I try not to think about the future, I live in the present and take each day as it comes. I feel gratitude for my daily walks, that I live near the sea, for fresh air, the wind on my face, green spaces, nature, fresh food, clean water and a safe place to be.”
Jane Campling’s recent paintings are inspired by the rhythms of shape and line of the South Downs, observed in daily walks through the landscape. She has been particularly drawn to the interlocking pathways made by the journeys of people and animals over time, the contrast of light and dark as shadows pass over the hills, and the way cycles of weather change the forms and space. This experience of constantly changing but enduring landscape has resonated with her: the fluctuations in the emotional and physical experience of each day, its uncertainties and yet the reliable pattern of time.
Kiki Stickl’s works are a meditation about nature, its power and healing forces. Her drawings are a tender act of observation, made with a silver point pencil. They are portraits of leaves of a Gingko tree; the oldest deciduous tree in the whole world that is also used as a medicinal plant. Gingko has been shown to improve memory function, enhance motivation and it is an anti stress remedy. 27 years ago Kiki planted two Gingko seedlings in the grounds of our studio near Munich, Germany, where she spent the first lockdown. These trees have now grown to approximately 10 meters height, for her they are a symbol for strength and endurance.
Denise Harrison’s work is concerned with the natural environment, especially conservation. Denise has looked at conservation spaces that she has come across on walks during lockdown – local spaces. Her paintings highlight the care that is needed and is taking place to nurture, protect and restore natural habitats for future generations and the survival of plants, animals and people. For this exhibition Denise has created two new works from local walks using organic materials such as cotton canvas and oil paint.
Title image: Sophie Hulf