Patrick Heide Contemporary Art is pleased to present “Silver Thread of Empire”, an exhibition featuring new works by Susan Stockwell.
To complement and extend aspects of the show the gallery and the artist have, as in other past exhibitions, chosen to include a young artist, Camberwell graduate Izzy McEvoy.
The exhibition title is taken from a quote by Winston Churchill referring to the River Thames as the silver artery of the Empire, connecting the homeland to the Empire throughout British history.
Susan Stockwell’s art is primarily concerned with transformation. The London based artist traces urban and socio-geographical developments as well as routes of trade and global commerce, exploring especially the perspective of colonial history in “Silver Thread of Empire”.
Drawing on the everyday domestic and industrial, disposable products, Stockwell creates works on paper or larger installations and sculpture, opposing and combining material sensuality with geo-political critique.
Old money is sewn together to form maps, blankets are embroidered with thread showing the road arteries of Manchester or entrance tickets are collaged together to make symbolic compositions. All materials undergo a metamorphosis into completely new objects that defy any standardized categories but convey a clear yet subtle message.
The largest installation will be Sail Away, consisting of simple paper money boats and travel tickets. Concerned with a sense of fragility, both in life and in the world’s ecology, economy and political constructs, the pieces are delicate and ranging in size, shown here as a flotilla, thus referencing seafaring empires and world trade.
Another sculptural work, BedBook, shows an old bed frame stuffed with Mills and Boons romantic novels ironically commenting on the Victorian dream and its harsh reality.
Stockwell gained an MA from the Royal College of Art, London in 1993. She has exhibited in galleries and museums all over the world, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, The Katonah Museum, New York and The National Museum of China, Beijing. She has been awarded scholarships, grants and commissions such as a Visiting Arts Taiwan-England Artists Fellowship, an Arts and Humanities Research Council Grant and has recently completed a large public commission for the University of Bedfordshire in the UK. She has taught extensively and taken part in residencies and projects in Europe, America, Australia and Asia.
Izzy McEvoy’s work is composed primarily of fabrics - found, bought, new and old. The Camberwell graduate produces works from monochromes to 3D sculptures and installations.
In the rack-hanging piece Banana Stall, McEvoy aims to re-contextualize the material and create a whole that simultaneously acknowledges and transcends the original material and process, also a connection to Stockwell’s transformative pieces.
Though partly rooted in minimal and abstract art, McEvoy’s works resist total simplicity due to the nature of the materials.
The slippage between image and object has become a key concern in McEvoy’s practice as in her installation Borrowed, where selected fabrics are stretched over different shapes of wood frames that are leaning against the wall in a seemingly casual composition.
Izzy McEvoy lives and works in London and has shown in exhibitions across the UK and in Bulgaria.