Down The Garden Path
Safehouse 1, 139 Copeland Road, London, SE15 3SN
Wednesday 26th – Sunday 30th July, 10am – 6pm daily
Private View: Friday 28th July 6pm – 9pm
Featuring : Margarita Loze, Issy Grew, Poppy Wellings, Luke Pekins, Emma Phillips, Zeynep Sagir, Jenny Mckimm and Lottie-Keating Jungreuthmayer,
Curated by Emma Phillips
A young couple laze embraced amid tall grass. A plastic slide creeks in the sun. Nearby, a fallen bird slowly withers amongst the flowers, and uncanny creatures seem to move in the corner of your eye. This garden is alive and teeming with contradictions. It is both blooming, and decaying, wild and domestic, enchanting, and mundane - otherworldly, yet familiar.
Opening on the 26th of July at Safehouse 1, the well-loved Victorian ruin based outside Peckham’s Copeland estate, eight emerging artists working in painting, photography, ceramics, animation, and everything in between, showcase works that question our unique, and ever changing relationship with our environments.
Walking through this exhibition, there is a sense of moving through the seasons - from Issy Grew’s light and playful snapshots of sunny childhood nostalgia, to the heady bloom of rich colours and wild, flourishing strangeness in Luke Perkins’ abstract sculptural work, and Poppy Welling’ lush, atmospheric paintings. Emerging from this fever, monochromatic works in photography and drawing by Jenny Mckimm and Emma Phillips send a cool autumnal breeze through the house, punctuating the show with moments of eerie melancholy, with folk horror influences.
Surreal stop motion animation and textile work by Margarita Loze bring us into another world entirely, situating us in imagined landscapes, populated by colourful creatures, that dance through dreamlike sequences, informed by world mythology and personal/collective memory. Zeynep Sagir similarly enchants viewers, tapping into human psychologies using her extensive research on the language of colour, resulting in electric, hypnotic paintings. Meanwhile, street photography by Lottie Keating-Jungreuthmayer brings us back down to earth, with a global perspective on collective experience, capturing candid moments of everyday life, that encourage us to pause and reflect on our similarities, regardless of our place in the world.
For all of its twists and turns, and varieties of form and aesthetic, – common threads are found in sentiments of shared experience and memory, collective nostalgia, childhood innocence and play, and world-building; all grounded in relation to the land, nature, and life cycles.
This exhibition breathes life into ruin - the fragile backdrop to these vibrant works serving as an omnipresent reminder of the impermanence of these objects, and more importantly, of the ecologies they represent. This paradox begs the question – what does it mean to make art in a time of ecological crisis? As the walls of this shared home begin to crumble, this cohort of young artists extends a gentle hand, to lead us ever so optimistically, down the garden path.