There and Everywhere
Like the numerous luggage labels from different locations pasted onto battered suitcases, artists’ journeys now take centre stage on the cultural landscape. In his manifesto of altermodernity Nicolas Bourriaud proclaims that in our era of globalisation, artists have become nomads ‘wandering in time, space and mediums’. And that their work now ‘arises out of negotiations between different agents from different cultures and geographical locations.’
The impetus for There and Everywhere began with painter David Webb’s focus on his grandmother’s journey made by sea in 1955 from Tanzania to London. This personal history, and his experiences of residencies overseas have led to his making work about travel and ancestry, which he interestingly describes as ‘a turn inwards’.
Reflecting on these themes Webb selected Helen Couchman and Liz Harrison to show alongside him in There and Everywhere. Each artist brings a distinct perspective to the project revealing surprising and unexpected connections between their painting, photography and video installation, so that the general somehow becomes the specific.
Liz Harrison’s practice spans a broad range of media, incorporating site-specific installation, lens-based projection, illusion and image. She is based in London and recently co-curated Concrete Dreams at APT, London (2008) and had a solo exhibition Perch at Five Years, London (2009).
Helen Couchman is a British artist currently based in Beijing. Her most recent solo show was at Gallerie Perif in Beijing where she showed a series of woodblock prints. In 2008 her photo portraits of migrant workers building the Beijing Olympic buildings were published in a book, Workers (gong ren).
David Webb is a painter based in London. His most recent solo exhibition was at SE 1 Gallery in London where he showed work made during a residency at Yaddo, in upstate New York. He showed at Transition Gallery in The Painting Room (2008) and was selected for Jerwood Contemporary Painters in 2009.
Transition Gallery Unit 25a Regent Studios, 8 Andrews Road, London E8 4QN
Update: 09/11/09 … Standing out for me are Couchman’s photographs so delicate and yet powerful. Corinna Spencer