An ebb and flow of sculptures and drawings

- November 2014

An ebb and flow of sculptures and drawings have appeared and disappeared on the floors and walls of the studio since Aid & Abet started their Residency at North West Cambridge Development. Assembled and disassembled, inscribed and erased, the works disappear as quickly as they appear in a process of constant engagement with the site, reflecting the pace of change that the surrounding landscape is undergoing.

Every week there is a new configuration of found objects in David Kefford's sculptures made from discarded items he has found during walks across the site. These sculptures almost seem to tremble with a sense of human vulnerability and sensitivity whilst also alluding to the constant presence of the development's processes and machinery churning at the landscape. A dirty torn plastic glove is tied with a bit of string hanging off a gnarled branch, the sculpture evokes a range of images from birds to male body parts. There is a dramatic play with scale and pathos here, along with a dry sense of humour. Precariously placed on the floor, the sculptures' vulnerability is enhanced.

Sarah Evans' drawing similarly focuses on the overlooked, the weeds that continue to thrive across the site or a pile of displaced broken concrete slabs. Her drawing of the dry structure of a thistle reminds me of Lois Weinberger's film, Datura, 1996. Although it's fourteen years since I have seen this film, looking at the drawing I can suddenly clearly recall the abrasive sounds of the film's soundtrack of a brittle plant being relentlessly snipped into pieces. One windy day I see Sarah standing very still in front of the huge willow tree opposite the studios, near the artists' cottages. She is filming the swaying dance of the tree's branches in the high wind.

Both David and Sarah find beauty in the everyday, recording 'the rhythm and flow of existing natural forces versus the predetermined plans for a new development'. They reveal a drama in the minutiae of natural objects or discarded man-made objects, a poetic journey that captures a narrative of human relations to landscape. It's a quiet but compelling narrative and I'm totally hooked.

Maeve Polkinhorn

Artist Residency Programme Coordinator for North West Cambridge Development

 

See aidandabetprojects.tumblr.com for the latest from Aid & Abet's Residency at North West Cambridge Development

 

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ARTISTS

Aid & Abet

Aid & Abet was founded in 2010 by artists Sarah Evans, David Kefford and CJ Mahony. Since 2011 Aid & Abet has delivered a varied programme of exhibitions and events from a project space in Cambridge alongside a series of offsite projects across the UK that have enabled artists to experiment, take risks as well as collaborate and exchange.

Bedwyr Williams

Encompassing performance, sculpture, painting and video, Bedwyr Williams’s practice is characterised by his unique humour and gentle self-depreciation, both informed in part, by his upbringing in Wales.

Fernando García-Dory

Fernando García-Dory´s collaborative projects involve using art as a means to try to precipitate social change, often addressing attitudes towards food production, community and tradition.

Hannah Rickards

Hannah Rickards work deals with perception and its description; with how one can translate an encounter - be that with a sound, an object, a space or an image.

Joshua Portway and Lise Autogena

Autogena and Portway have worked together since the early 1990’s, developing large scale performances, multimedia installations and site-specific work, usually in collaboration with organisations and experts across many specialised fields.

Melanie Manchot

Melanie Manchot is a London based visual artist who works with photography, film and video as a performative and participatory practice. Her projects often explore specific sites, public spaces or particular communities in order to locate notions of individual and collective identities. The mutability of subjectivity as well as the agency of the camera in creating a set of relations are key interests within Manchot's on-going enquiry into personhood and its representations.

Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie

Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie met while studying at Edinburgh College of Art and have collaborated as artists since 1995. In 2001 they formed the multi-disciplinary organisation Somewhere that produces ambitious and challenging projects directly engaging with audiences as well as producing films.

Ruth Ewan

Ewan’s work takes many forms including events, installation and printed matter. Her practice explores histories of radical, political and utopian thought, bringing to light specific ideas in order to question how we might live today.

Tania Kovats

Tania Kovats' practice encompasses sculpture, installation, drawing and time-based works exploring our experience and understanding of landscape.

CURRENT RESIDENCIES

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

Melanie Manchot

July 2016 to June 2017

North West Cambridge Development Project Team

Ruth Ewan

May 2015 to April 2016

Sainsbury Laboratory

Joshua Portway and Lise Autogena

May 2015 to April 2016

University of Cambridge Museums

Bedwyr Williams

April 2014 to March 2015

Sustainable Development

Fernando García-Dory

April 2014 to March 2015

Land Economy

Aid & Abet

April 2014 to March 2015

Earth Sciences

Hannah Rickards

May 2013 to April 2014

Archaeology

Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie

May 2013 to April 2014

Astronomy

Tania Kovats

May 2013 to April 2014

PAST RESIDENCIES

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