UTOPIA THROUGH NOSTALGIA
10 January – 8 February 2019
The Koppel Project Hive
Private View: 9th January 2019, 6-8pm
Image Detail: Sea Witch, 2018, Richard Porter
The Koppel Project is pleased to present Utopia Through Nostalgia, a group exhibition featuring a body of work by nine emerging artists addressing ideas of time and the diminishing realities of existence.
In this group exhibition, ‘utopia’ becomes the imaginative reconstruction of a lost past. Entwined with memory and fantasy, it creates a past made from distorted narratives. Time advances, with its unforgiving power to decay, moving forward but never stopping. While it has the ability to blur the past, it can leave us yearning for a life already lived.
Utopia Through Nostalgia presents a collection of experiences inspired by memories of all ages. The exhibition is achieved through the compilation of artwork in a variety of media all of which capture the traces of time. This ranges from the figurative reproductions of imagery in painting to abstract compositions to the different textures in the surfaces of sculptures and installations.
Each artist aims to depict their nostalgic reminiscence of people, objects, locations, experiences, and feelings that relate to the rose-coloured memories of their past. Nostalgia is always romanticised: the past exists through a continually revised narrative of remembering and therefore threatens the present reality. Pining for an impossibly pure experience, nostalgia wears a distinctly fanciful mask that turns towards a future-past, which has only a utopian projection.
The Koppel Project Hive is situated within the City of London where the accelerated surroundings restrict one’s time to reflect and slow down. Utopia Through Nostalgia encourages viewers to indulge in a ‘pause’ in time while making them conscious of its physicality, grounded by familiar environmental sounds emanating from a site specific sound installation. In conjunction with the artworks, this configuration of space invites viewers into a calm haven from our over-saturated day-to-day lives.
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Lydia Blakeley is currently completing her MA at Goldsmiths. She graduated with a bachelor of Fine Art from Leeds College of Art. Lydia is interested in paint to reflect the present, which is saturated with snapshots of hyper-reality, by using the medium as a response to popular culture. She attempts to blur the past and present, suspending the image in time, making the past more immediate and accessible. Through the painting process, she introduces new layers of meaning, presenting new narratives and new interpretations of our actuality.
Molly Brocklehurst is a painter who explores ideas of memory, time and nostalgia. By reconstructing images through painting, she wants the familiar to seem unfamiliar. She aims to trigger a feeling or memory within the viewer by using old evocative imagery to cross the boundary between nostalgia and the anticipation of the unknown. The paintings become strange fictions that blur the boundary between document and storytelling. Molly is currently completing her MFA at Wimbledon College of Art, University of Arts London. She holds a first-class BA (hons) in fine art and a foundation diploma from Leeds College of Art. She was nominated for the Aon Art Award Prize (2016) and has lately been shortlisted for the Dentons Art Prize (2018).
Doug Haywood is a London based sound artist, working in sculpture and installation, often in collaboration with international artists and filmmakers. With a cinematic, empirical and often playful approach, Doug typically uses sound to present experiences that challenge how we perceive the world and it’s cues, influenced by the changing landscape of contemporary popular culture. Doug’s work encompasses an extensive folio of gallery exhibitions, award winning films, theatre, installation, fashion shows and exclusive private corporate events.
Nicholas Macneil is a London based artist and recent graduate form Wimbledon College of Art studying MA painting. He makes paintings with oil paint on found pieces of wood and hardboard by constructing and cropping them whilst painting them simultaneously. There are several different processes in his work such as layering, masking, wiping, and washes as well as areas of flat colour. In some, He embed, wedge in, and snap stuck on pieces of the wood which are sometimes painted on already, or left bare. These techniques feed into ideas he tries to tackle such as space, planes, edges, and the relationships between them.
Brazilian artist Mariana Mauricio, originally from Rio de Janeiro, is based in London, where she is currently completing an MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths University London. She graduated with a bachelor in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins. She is interested in exploring intrinsic definitions of use and meaning that are attributed to day to day objects. Her art-making process often involves collecting and repurposing found objects or images. As well as scavenging the streets for throw away items of interest, she scours through family and company archives and makes regular trips to flea markets in search of very particular images and photographs that relate to her thematic interests.
Norman Mine is an Italian visual artist originally from Naples. He spent most of his life in Rome and he now lives and works in London.The transition between these cities, with their own inherent identities and subversive social setups, have influenced his perception of his persona and belonging. This enduring process informs his awareness of certain political and social constructs and structures existing within the development of identification, by its paradox and implication. Norman graduated from Goldsmiths University in 2018 with an MFA in Fine Art.
Richard Porter (b. 1988) is a London based artist, currently completing his second year of the Goldsmiths MFA. Richard’s practice is multi- layered, combining found objects, sculpture, painting and performance, to connect with lived emotion and realities. His work is deeply political, whether overt or subliminal.
CHIEH AN TANG
Chieh An Tang (B. 1988 in Taipei, Taiwan) is an artist who works with multimedia, sculpture and installation. She is interested in the preservation of time also believes growth and decay are consequential processes of reality and all things in life have their own time scale, therefore, it is only inevitable that each object has its own amount of time on this world. Tang currently is completing her MFA at Wimbledon College of Art. She majored in ceramics at the Da-Yeh University, Taiwan and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2010. She was a florist for six years before she came to London. Throughout her work, she is trying to unfold her imagination using fragile and delicate material to recreate physics and the invisibility of human emotions.
Luisa Rodriguez (B. 1992 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras) is a multidisciplinary artist working between painting, sculptural installations, and design. Her most recent works seeks to highlight underlooked and forgotten elements within the urban environment and their relationship to ideas of replacement, value and inequity. She graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from her hometown and made studies abroad of Fine Arts in the Santa Fe, NM and Madrid. In 2016, she was granted a scholarship to complete a Post Graduate Diploma in Florence before starting her MFA Fine Arts at Wimbledon College of Arts in 2017.
The Koppel Project Hive is happy to host Entertainment Review, a special evening as part of the current exhibition Utopia Through Nostalgia. Co-ordinated by featured artist Doug Haywood, he alongside the remaining exhibiting artists were invited to suggest nostalgic film clips that reflect upon the positive notion of a Utopian World. The resulting collection presents a journey through time and memory. A enlightening place where aspirational ideals are sold and promoted through familiar (and unfamiliar) popular TV and Film culture.
The essential element of audio, is notably removed, leaving only the edited image to speak for itself, muted without the original intended soundtrack. Significantly shifting the content and context, this creates surprising new narratives. Often revealing, outdated and amusing, the clips rely upon the viewers’ imagination and memory for interpretation of the presented ‘entertaining’ images. These are inspiring scenes for a Better Life, a Better You, a Shiny Improved Richer Faster World Class Lifestyle to Dream for… or Buy… or Win……Potentially! (Once the game’s fully loaded). The chance to review an archive of on-screen media through several generations, historically deemed as Utopian Entertainment.