FROM MYTH TO EARTH
SOL BAILEY BARKER / GABRIELLA SONABEND
The Koppel Project Hive, 26 Holborn Viaduct, London EC1A 2AT
8 September 2016 – 11 November 2016
In 2014 artists Sol Bailey Barker and Gabriella Sonabend travelled to Colombia to spend six months exploring its landscapes and researching and responding to its histories, mythologies and contemporary state. Travelling across the vast landscapes of the country, walking the land; Sol created 15 sculptures, which reflected his historical research whilst engaging with the physical and ephemeral nature of place. These sculptural gestures were created using: axe, chisels and fire. The sculptures were photographed and then left in situ, serving as monuments to particular events and myths some of, which are fleeting moments amongst a long history of upheaval.
Gabriella wrote a parallel narrative for each landscape, offering alternative windows into these worlds. Both Sol and Gabriella’s works draw on interviews, research and observation. Two of Gabriella’s stories have been published in the 2016 Nomadic Press Journal: SATE”
Following this period in Colombia and a further year of research into Colombian history and the contemporary Latino Diaspora of London; Bailey Barker and Sonabend are delighted to present From Myth to Earth a new immersive installation at The Koppel Project Hive. Dealing with notions of dispossession and shifting identity this project ricochets between colonial history, family stories, myths and observations of lives both in Colombia and London, presented through sculpture, painting, audio narrative, video and soundscapes.
With the support of The Koppel Project and the Arts Council of England, Bailey Barker and Sonabend installed the monumental sculptures ‘Forms Shaped Through Time’ at Holborn Circus curated Mitologia De La Tierra a parallel exhibition of 6 Colombian artists at The Koppel Project (93 Baker Street) from 15th September – 19th November 2016.
Many thanks to Arts Council of England, The Embassy of Colombia to the UK, Metro Imaging and MJ Creative for supporting this project, Lugar A Dudas Gallery in Cali for providing a workspace to begin this project and a support network in Colombia and The Rose Foundation for supporting the affiliated workshops. Special thanks to Ivan Castillo and Crista Castellanos for introducing the artists to the wealth of Colombian culture.
SOL BAILEY BARKER
Sol Bailey Barker MRBS is a British artist whose multimedia work ties together historical and sociological research with an inquiry into the power and symbolism of materials. His work has been exhibited internationally and his monumental sculptures are situated in both private and public collections including Riverhill Himalayan Gardens in Kent. Recently Bailey Barker was artist in residence at Lugar a Dudas in Cali, Colombia and Portico Di Romagna in Italy.
Bailey Barker recently exhibited ‘Wyrd Then: Weird Now’ at The Koppel Project, featuring a large new body of sculptural and video works. This September two of his monumental sculptures ‘Forms Shaped Through Time’ will be installed at Holborn Circus in Central London, this installation runs in parallel with the exhibitions ‘From Myth To Earth’ and ‘Mitologia de la Tierra’.
Bailey Barker’s work has been featured in FAD Magazine, Avenir Magazine, Nomadic Press and PANTA. He has given talks at Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, The Royal Society of Sculptors and The Koppel Project. Bailey Barker has spent the past two years working with Gabriella Sonabend on ‘From Myth To Earth’ researching Colombian history, landscapes and folklore, working with Latino communities in London. His work has a strong social emphasis and often involves leading workshops and discussions.
Gabriella Sonabend is a multidisciplinary artist, curator and writer, working with painting, video, sound installation and written narrative. Sonabend studied at The Slade School of Fine Art, the Bezalel Academy of Art and SOAS. After graduating she curated numerous exhibitions including ‘In The Way of Being’ and co-created and wrote ‘Safe House’ a collaboration with Jeremy Herbert commissioned for the Young Vic Theatre.
Gabriella’s writing has been published by the Young Vic in London and the Nomadic Press (Oakland). Her visual artwork has been exhibited in Colombia, Peru, London, Oxford, Jerusalem, China, Italy and India. Sonabend was recently long-listed for the Aesthetica Art Prize for her video ‘A window into Bogota’, her video ‘Thirty Over Ten’ was awarded the Art Nova 100 Prize at The Arte Laguna Prize in Venice, shortlisted for the Wells Art Prize and was subsequently exhibited in Beijing. Sonabend has been artist-in-residence at numerous international institutions including ‘Lugar a Dudas’ in Cali and ‘The Kriti Gallery’ in Varanasi.
With an emphasis on storytelling and social engagement, Sonabend frequently works with small communities unearthing lost stories and traditions and finding ways to re-examine and talk about the complexity of identity. Sonabend is currently working with the Latino community of Haringey developing creative workshops exploring notions of and addressing states of dispossession. Sonabend frequently collaborates with Sol Bailey Barker, the artists have spent the past two years working on their Colombian research project ‘From Myth To Earth’.