We are happy to announce a solo exhibition by Susan Stockwell titled 'Europa' at our Brussels space.
Private View: 5th of March 2024, 6-8 PM
The exhibition includes a body of work that is concerned with the connections between our global condition and the legacies of colonialism. The exhibition reflects the artist’s time living in France in the past years and questions recent historical events in Europe and beyond, including wars, Brexit, mass migration and climate change.
The installation Hot Air evokes the night sky, hot air balloons and a miniature universe. Meticulously crafted and subtly revealing, Hot Air highlights the links between imperial behaviours, global warming and our fragile world. Notwithstanding its underlying deeper meaning the work is intended to be uplifting and evoke a sense of play and wonder. It consists of 10 hanging map globes, anchored with diverse objects as balloon baskets, suspended at varying heights and distances. The objects include a basket of coal, a plastic bottle, an iPhone, a toy gun and a tractor.
Coffee Quilt was inspired by time spent working in America where Susan became aware of the strong quilting traditions. Quilting historically creates connections between women and in her own case, her connection with her quilt-making grandmother. Quilting and recycling go hand in hand, it is a metaphor for upcycling, for stitching together and bonding of lives and for sewing as a therapeutic, reflective process. Susan became fascinated by the vast range of paper products available in the US. For Coffee Quilt Susan chose to stain the standard waxed portion cups with coffee alluding to the effects of consumerism and post-colonial trade.
Susan’s interest in the politics of feminism and the body has led to a series of dress sculptures, concerned with mapping female territory, power and ecology. They also contain hope, optimism, beauty, sensuality and a sense of fragility. Territory Dress, 2018, was commissioned by and is on permanent display in Our Colonial Inheritance at the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam and Colonial Dress 2010 is in the collection of the House of European History, Brussels. The most recent dress, Europa, 2023 is on shown with the gallery at TEFAF, Maastricht (9-14th March). Made from maps and cloth, Europa is a time traveller, standing in a sea of water and carrying a rucksack that bears the weight of an unpredictable future. Europa is beautiful and full of foreboding at the same time.
Susan Stockwell works internationally across sculpture, installation, drawing and film. Her practice is concerned with feminism, ecology, materiality and the legacies of colonialism. Stockwell's work employs the material culture of everyday domestic and manufacturing products, including maps, money, upcycled computer components and coffee, which she transforms into compelling artworks. In seeking to reconnect an object’s past, its related history and materiality with contemporary issues, she underscores these materials’ urgent interconnection to collective memories and ecological shortfalls; aspects that now challenge inequality and injustice.