Patrick Heide Contemporary Art is pleased to announce the exhibition Haptic Codes. featuring the work of two internationally acclaimed artists: Susan Stockwell from the UK and Varvara Keidan Shavrova from Russia/Ireland.
Haptic Codes addresses personal histories, languages and borders, set against the backdrop of the digital divide, economic precarity, political instability, conflict and ecological collapse. The haptic tactile characteristics of the artworks include the environmental; the technological and the handmade; the domestic and the global. Keidan Shavrova and Stockwell appropriate the physical materiality and techniques traditionally associated with women’s work in their idiosyncratic and diverging languages.
Their work has also been influenced by their experience of large totalitarian regimes, as opposed to western democracies, with a view to the humanitarian impact and cost of geo-politics, trade, expansionism and political corruption.
Textiles, stitching, sewing, embroidery and threading are juxtaposed with imagery of surveillance, technology, environmentalism, and activism. The artists' conversations have evolved and shifted since 2020 in parallel to the global pandemic to result in an exhibition that demands a slower, more intimate viewing amid urgent pandemic, political and ecological concerns.
The refocusing on the tactile role of art that addresses current issues is critical for Stockwell and Keidan Shavrova. Especially at the time when the world has been starved of the physical and the emotional impact that the direct experience of art in the public realm offers.
Varvara Keidan Shavrova is a visual artist, curator, educator, and researcher. Born in the USSR, she lives and works between London and Dublin. She studied at the Moscow State University of Printing Arts, received her MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London, and has been awarded Arts & Humanities Research Council Studentship by London Arts & Humanities Partnership, to conduct her practice-based PhD at the Royal College of Art in London.
‘In my research I re-examine the conjunction between art, technology and the State in relation to the modernist avant-garde and develop new models for ‘poetic technologies’ that can present a critical dimension towards surveillance capitalism’
Varvara Keidan Shavrova has exhibited internationally, including Across Chinese Cities: Beijing at the Venice Biennale of Architecture curated by Rem Koolhaas (2014, group), The Opera at Gallery of Photography Ireland (2012, solo) and at Espacio Cultural El Tanque, Tenerife (2011, solo), Untouched at Beijing Art Museum of Imperial City (2008, group and solo) and at The City Museum, Galway Arts Festival (2009, solo), Borders at Moscow Museum of Modern Art (2007-08, solo) and Between Borders at Morono Kiang gallery, Los Angeles (2009, solo), Galway Arts Festival (2015, solo), Inna’s Dream (2021, solo) Imperial War Museum Duxford, Cambridge and Unruly Tendencies (2022, group) at the Southwark Park Galleries.
Varvara’s project for Haptic Codes has been generously supported by Culture Ireland award and Arts Council Ireland bursary.
Susan Stockwell is working across sculpture, installation, and film. Her art employs the material culture of everyday domestic and manufacturing products, such as recycled computer components, maps, and money, transforming these seemingly banal products into compelling artworks. In seeking to reconnect an object’s past, its related history and materiality with contemporary issues, her practice underscores these materials’ interconnection to collective memories, desires, and ecological shortfalls; aspects that evoke, expose and challenge inequality and injustice.
‘Accumulation, transformation, detritus, debris, everyday materials are all recurrent themes in Susan’s work. Meticulously hand crafted, the benign sublime beauty in her work belies the devastating effects of our culture and role in shaping it.’
Stockwell is well known for her site-specific installations that have been exhibited widely, including Museum of London 2021/22, Royal Shakespeare Company (2015), TATE Modern (2013), the Katonah Museum of Art, New York (2012) and the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) London (2010, 2005, 2001).
Her work is held in international collections including The House of European History, Brussels, Tropenmuseum Amsterdam, NL, Black Rock Investments (courtesy TAG Fine Arts), Yale Centre for British Art, USA, the University of Bedfordshire and V&A Museum London.
Stockwell gained an MA in sculpture from the Royal College of Art, London in 1993.