Alice Wilson: Island, JGM Gallery, London
Alice Wilson uses construction timber, plaster, photography and paint to explore how we experience and access ‘landscape’, and to question what our expectations of the of the natural world are. While ‘Island’, her installation at JGM Gallery, looks specifically at how we negotiate landscape, the works in the show also function as an allegory of our relationship to educational, political and social structures. Within this, a series known as Barrier System Paintings, created from material left over from large-scale sculptures, colour tests and off-cuts, make reference to Wilson’s own educational and social experiences, acknowledging her education in painting and her romanticised experience of landscape as a potential barrier to being able to think outside of these terms.
Until 2 November 2019. www.jgmgallery.com
Kudzanai-Violet Hwami: (15,952km) via Trans-Sahara Hwy N1, Gasworks, London
London-based artist (and Gasworks’ studio holder) Kudzanai-Violet Hwami was born in Zimbabwe and left her homeland at the age of nine amidst political turmoil. Drawing on personal experiences of geographical dislocation and displacement, her paintings combine visual fragments from online images, haunting family photographs and other sources to draw together past and present into bold ‘afro-futuristic visions’. ‘(15,952km) via Trans-Sahara Hwy N1’ reflects the artist’s desire to reconnect with her country of origin, with the title literally mapping the distance and route between her home town in Zimbabwe and London. The works in the show combine found images with pictures taken during a recent visit to Dzimbanhete, an artist-run space on the outskirts of Harare, where Hwami spent time living with a traditional healer and seeking spiritual connection, but instead found herself unable to fully embed herself in the context she calls home.
Until 15 December 2019. www.gasworks.org.uk
Amalia Pica: Private & Confidential, The New Art Gallery, Walsall
British/Argentinean artist Amalia Pica explores the material culture of bureaucracy in this exhibition that reflects both the artist’s personal experience of obtaining British citizenship and the wider context surrounding the UK’s exit from the European Union. While Pica is known for her installations and sculptural works which explore forms of communication and realms of civic participation, for ‘Private & Confidential’ she has repurposed materials and motifs such as shredded paper, rubber stamps, office furniture and stationery to produce works that playfully parody and subvert bureaucratic systems.
Until 2 February 2020. thenewartgallerywalsall.org.uk
Sprung Spring, g39, Cardiff
Taking as its starting point a work by Marcos Chaves which was first presented by g39 in 2005 as part of a project sited in shipping containers in public spaces around Cardiff, ‘Sprung Spring’ features works by six artists who embrace the idea of failure, exposure and humour in their work. Chaves’ audio installation Dying of Laughter featured the sound of laughter seemingly coming from inside a locked shipping container and when it was first exhibited led to public confusion and real concerns that there was someone actually stuck inside. Alongside Dying of Laughter are works by Nightshift International, Philippa Brown, Tim Bromage, Rebecca Gould and George Manson that seek to recall the awkward tensions created by Chaves’ work. The exhibition forms part a series of shows celebrating the artist-led gallery’s 21st anniversary.
Until 12 October 2019. www.g39.org
Exeter Contemporary Open 2019, Exeter Phoenix, Exeter
This showcase of emerging and established contemporary visual artists from across the UK returns with a shortlist of 15 artists selected by a panel that included critic and curator Sacha Craddock, artist and 2006 Turner Prize nominee Mark Titchner and Phoenix Gallery curator Matt Burrows. Winner of the £1,000 overall prize is Dinu Li for his moving-image work Nation Family, while a £500 additional award has been won by Mahali O’Hare for her series of paintings featuring ceramic vases decorated with landscape motifs. Also included in the show are Iain Andrews, Amanda Benson, Sara Berman, Jack Bodimeade, Harriet Bowman, Patrick Brandon, Michael Calver, Grant Foster, Alia Hamaoui, Jeb Haward, Harley Kuyck-Cohen, John Lawrence and Molly Thomson.
Until 10 November 2019. www.exeterphoenix.org.uk
1. Alice Wilson, BS43, construction timber, plaster, paint, and photographic transfer, 30.5x 29×4.5cm, 2019.
2. Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, ‘(15,952km) via Trans-Sahara Hwy N1’, 2019. Installation view, Gasworks. Commissioned by: Gasworks; Courtesy: the artist and Tyburn Gallery; Photo: Andy Keate
3. Amalia Pica, Joy in Paperwork: The Archive, installation view, 2016. Copyright: Gwangju Biennale Foundation; Courtesy: the artist and Herald St, London; Photo: Doyun Kim
4. ‘Sprung Spring’, installation view at G39. Photo: Anthony Shapland
5. Dinu Li, Nation Family.
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