Historical Futures at Apricot Gallery, London, brings together the works of Blair Cahill, Cheryl Papasian, Necole Schmitz and Alex J Wood that incorporate traditional, often craft-based media to examine the contemporary world. Their practices utilise skills such as embroidery, lost wax bronze casting and ceramics – all of which have historical connotations and, in their time-consuming production, reference the passing of time.
The exhibition examines the way in which labour and historical weight affects how much we value art objects – and the relevance of this in an age where production times have been slashed and the immediate availability of commodities is highly sought after. Blair Cahill’s intricately embroidered panelling and delicate steel structures reference poetic narrative, and explore elements of colour and light. These latter works are more closely related to her recent Digital Fabrication Residency which allowed for an exploration of the boundaries of sculpture, tradition and technology.
Recently shortlisted for The Clifford Chance Sculpture Award and The Mark Tanner Sculpture Award, Alex J Wood combines paper and bronze for eccentric pieces, which play with our assumptions in terms of physical weight and monetary worth, aesthetically influenced by time spent working in Japan and Beijing. In 2013 he was resident artist at Tokyo Wonder Site in Japan, where he exhibited in Down the Dori. His unique installation is made up of paper models and bronze casts that create unconventional narratives.
Meanwhile London sculptor Cheryl Papasian’s hand-sculpted and cast bronze, aluminium and ceramic geodes and ores offer a polar opposite to at the mass-produced every day. The works, which include both high and low sculptural materials, look at the ways in which we treat objects depending on their production times and making process.
Necole Schmitz uses sculpture, installation and performance to look at how the use of space affects interactions between artist and viewer. Schmitz, a London-based artist, hand-builds curved, sculptural ceramic vessels and archaic weapon-like works and incorporates traditional marine knotting techniques.
Historical Futures, 2-9 May, Apricot Gallery, The Rag Factory, 16-18 Heneage Street (off Brick Lane), London E1 5LJ. Find out more at www.hfutures.wordpress.com
1. Alex J Wood.