21st November – 2nd December 2012
Going Backwards Towards brings together four artists working with the materiality of the photographic medium to explore ideas of memory, nostalgia and the unconscious. Alexandra Davenport, Hekla Flókadóttir, India Guthrie and Silje Lovise Gjertsen all work into and beyond the surface of the image, exploring process as a means of excavating the latent desires and memories within each artist’s practice. Addressing notions of craft and the hand-made in relationship to femininity and sisterhood, the works embrace the physicality of the artwork and the artist’s bodily interaction therewith in the processing of making. Defying the speed of image reproduction and consumption within our digital age, the works echo one another formally whilst intertwining narratives and memories to generate new understandings.
Alexandra Davenport’s series of black and white ballet slippers printed on a mottled, leathered surface, recall a mother’s attachment to her daughter’s long outgrown garments, archiving the past to safeguard the future. Davenport works with ideas of the personal archive and a passing on of craft from mother to daughter over generations. Other works include images from family albums of grandmother, mother and the artist herself stitched into to obliterate and highlight aspects of the image. Her practice examines a reclaiming of the feminine through preserving traditional methods of production.
Hekla Flókadóttir’s work explores the relationship between man and it’s environment, often in a dreamlike and nostalgic way. Her surreal like painted canvases and collages invite the viewer into her fantasy world. Flókadóttir’s work explores her relationship to the mother, the organic and reclaimed femininity. Using both photographs and drawings to project her dreamlike state, she uses delicate papers and soft shades to incorporate the female body into the landscape.
India Guthrie’s abstract drawings and paintings scrolled and layered upon one another show process and prepatory material as final works, a never-ending examination of form and materials. Skin tones and cool blues and pinks depict organic shapes that escape the drawings in wax models and sculptures.
Silje Lovise Gjertsen’s distant dreamlike portraits explore the subconscious state of mind; inducing feelings of dreaming, nostalgia, imagination and memory. Her portraits study herself and members of the collective to create an extensive study of this out of mind/body state. Using long exposures, she forces her sitters into a trance-like state — enchanting them into their subconscious. Gjertsen creates a “fetus inside a womb” like effect, exploring this temporary space – a world outside of reality. Her enchanting, vignette portraits hold an ethereal and prolonged presence of the sitter.
Alexandra Davenport is a British-born visual artist, who lives and works in London. With a previous performance background as a classically trained dancer, her practice primarily explores choreographic and performative elements of the body.
Silje Lovise Gjertsen is a Norwegian artist currently based in London. Her work explores questions of identity, family and nature; often with a closer look at the subconscious state of mind, dreaming, nostalgia, imagination and memory. Her practice emphasises experimentation with different techniques and materials in the darkroom.
India Guthrie is an English artist based in London. Working primarily with drawing, India’s practice explores abstraction and form.
Hekla Flókadóttir is an Icelandic London based artist, whose childhood in the Icelandic countryside surrounded by nature has had a huge impact on her practice – imaginary/ surreal, process. This collaboration was formed through the artists working together at London College of Communication.