New Art Highlights
28 March - 3 April
New Art Highlights of the week includes: Elly Clarke, Susan Banks, Arabel Lebrusan and Philip Watkins.
Proxy Bodies (2), 8th April 2022 - 30th April 2022 by Elly Clarke
Location: Chicago Art Dept
Proxy Bodies is an ongoing collaborative exhibition initiated by UK-based artist Elly Clarke at Hamilton MAS in Felixstowe in 2021. Through photography, performance, embroidery, drawing, painting and video, Proxy Bodies explores ideas and lived realities of having and keeping a body going in an uber-connected, politically & ecologically unstable world. Since the first iteration of this exhibition in September last year, the notion - and reality - of proxy bodies has shifted yet again, due to the Ukraine war and ongoing ecological & humanitarian crises in Europe and beyond.
Featuring work by artists from the first iteration:
Dominique Savitri Bonarjee
and two new Chicago-based artists invited by Galina Shevchenko:
Episode 2 of Proxy Bodies is curated by Galina Shevchenko, with hands on installation help from Clareese Hill. We are grateful to all who have helped Proxy Bodies (2) arrive at this place - including Elly Clarke’s PhD funders CHASE Doctoral Training Programme, for supporting the origins of this show.
The exhibition runs 8-30th April with an opening event 6-10pm on 8th April and an artist talk (online & offline) at the end of the run.
Gadfly One, 2020 by Susan Banks
Gadfly One is the first tiny “sample” for the hint of the Gorgoneion centre of subsequent paintings in a series.
It alludes to a threshold, a liminal space, an apotropaic sign, and the Gorgoneion imagery found in and recorded in Mosaic.
Oil on Canvas.
Blunt Blades Exhibition, 31st March 2022 - 30th October 2022 by Arabel Lebrusan
Location: The Higgins Museum Bedford
This provocative exhibition by artist Arabel Lebrusan consists of new works made from police-confiscated knives; which have been transformed into sculptures, drawings, a social engaging publication, jewellery and other media. Friendship - Fear- Fate, one of the central artworks, is a sound piece where three females talk about experiencing self-harm, knife attacks, and domestic abuse. Spurred when Lebrusan received three crates of knives from Bedfordshire Police in 2013, the works continue the artist’s exploration of material culture through reconfiguration, contextualisation, and collaboration.
Channeling the poetic charge and metaphoric resonance of the police confiscated knives and artifacts, the artist transformed the tools — commonly associated with violence — into rings, sculptures, and drawings. Foreign to the knives’ original shapes, the knives no longer cut; Lebrusan’s manipulation of materials is an extended reflection on fear and violence in British society. At a time when knife crime in the UK is the highest it has been for over a decade, Lebrusan’s alchemy is a vision of agency and compassionate humanity, the ways humans have agency to dissociate from histories and circumstances that reduce us. Provocatively, Blunt Blades reframes the dominant narrative of knives: Knives don’t kill people. People kill people.
As curator and writer Fatos Üstek writes in the exhibition essay, ‘Blunt Blades is an exhibition that poses questions and calls for social awareness, charged with artistic inquiry. Here the method of displacement is employed at its best — objects and contexts fuse into one another while the confluence of the past and the present brings forward a cold awareness, like the surface of stainless steel.’
Bed, 2022 by Philip Watkins
Oil on Canvas.