Window Gallery: CARE
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.
Some of the artworks in the exhibition are for sale, visit the online shop.
Watch a video walkthrough of the exhibition below. From 20 -30 May, the Window Gallery will be open Thursday – Sunday, 13.00 – 17.00. Visitors can see CARE in the Window Gallery anytime during our opening hours without a booking. Free admission. Viewing slots for the Main Gallery are fully booked, however we are still welcoming walk-ins anytime during our opening hours. As the capacity in the Main Gallery will be limited, walk-in visitors should be prepared to queue during busier periods.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Sophie Hulf is a painter and communicator, interested in the body and how we feel within it. “My work explores biology, psychology, closeness and connection, and how these elements interact. Through metaphor and process, I question perceptions of the body with a playfulness that seeks to open conversation. Texture and line are fundamental to my work and often contrasting elements within it; removed from anatomical rules the body provides a language with which to play, distort, and find common ground.”
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 video titled Watering. It shows the artist watering plants in a huge greenhouse. It is important that the ‘work’ that Rachel does in this performance is futile. She is enacting (not actually gardening). She is 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 the council nursery was closed to make way for the walled garden restoration. Rachel watered repeatedly over several months though nothing ‘useful’ was being grown there.
Denise Felkin 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, planted 27 years ago in the grounds of her studio near Munich, Germany, where she spent the first lockdown. Gingko is the oldest deciduous tree in the whole world, also used as a medicinal plant. Drawing with a Silverpoint pencil doesn’t allow to erase or correct anything. The lines get ever darker only by re-tracing again and again – this constant repetition of the same lines turns the drawing itself to a meditation about time and space.
Denise Harrison is interested in the conservation spaces, eco systems and places of sustainability, especially hidden or forgotten spaces that she stumbles across on walks around Stanmer Park and the Downs. The landscape as a construct of nature is the main subject of her paintings. “This painting Tyred Out is in response to the pandemic and spending even more time out on walks. It is a conservation space at Stanmer Park which is off the beaten track. The pond had partially dried out, revealing the tyres which held down the tarpaulin. I make sketches, take photos, research, and just spend time in every space that I paint and then take this back to my studio where I create the painting using oils or acrylics. I love the physicality of paint, it allows me to explore the landscape further through mark making, chance happenings and colour.”
Title image: Sophie Hulf, Symbiotic