Sunday, 8 November 2020
xxxx Home Sweet Home xxxx
Online show - live on Instagram 16 November 2020
Home Sweet home is an online exhibition featuring an eclectic mix of artists whose practice naturally engages with the theme of The Domestic.
This subject matter was chosen due to the extra time everyone is spending at home as well as
the repetitive language and actions we are being fed daily via the media/government; "Stay Home", "Lockdown" “Save Lives” etc and how this enters our consciousness as artists/human beings.
The phrase "Home Sweet Home" traditionally illustrates the feeling of relief of returning home after some time away but particularly at the moment it can be interpreted as both warm and bitter sweet emotionally. So much time at home can change the meaning of such a ubiquitous wholesome phrase that is used in many different contexts from song titles to recipe books and samplers in cross stitch.
This change in conciousness is reflected in the uncanny and unnerving aesthetic that the Rented by the Hour platform, exhibitions and projects provides. The artists work in this show is inexplicably bound with their personal interior lives, the domestic becoming an essential element of creating meaning within the works. The works have an autobiographical, private and intimate element, with artists making and exhibiting work in their own homes and personal living spaces. The artworks, with the home setting as a backdrop and as an integral part of the concepts can convey an array of emotional states, internal and outward conversations and observations.
Some of the works have elements of the performative, ritualistic and narrative whilst others focus on banality, humour, the sublime, obsession and parenthood. The artists involved talk about how they are feeling about the current lockdowns and the general expressions of fear in society, what they are thinking whilst making work at home and reflecting on the compulsive desire and urgency to continue to create despite limited access to studios or equipment and a normal living routine.
Home Sweet Home -Contributing artists - Olivia Hicks, Laura Clarke, Bea Haines, Martha Todd, Emma Critchley, Steve Littman, Christina Rich, Ashley Rich, Dick Jewell, Jonny Briggs, Zoe Simon, James Winter, Agi Haines
Wednesday, 29 July 2020
Rented by the hour is an ongoing collaborative curatorial research programme always searching
for the next appropriate architectural space.
The focus of the exhibitions and events is to exhibit in unusual buildings with complex histories
that can be rented by the hour, away from traditional white wall gallery spaces.These exhibitions
are site specific and the building itself works as an integral part of the artworks.We are aiming
for the idea of an architectural “gesamkunstwerk”.
Several exhibitions over the years have been set in a very tired run down hotel in central
London (Clearlake Hotel in South Kensington) that now is being repurposed by a developer. The
hotel housed several separate apartments and had a chequered history having in the past been
used as a brothel, a place to deal drugs from and generally a very low budget place to stay
frequented by a very large variety of people.
The interiors were very shabby and dated. Walking through this labyrinth environment of the
apartments what struck us as artists was how the building felt like a heaving, fragile, unstable
and decaying body. The auratic feel of the individual apartments were heightened by the peeling
wallpaper, tired and greasy kitchens, leaking taps and humming bathrooms. The building had its
own noises and a weakening appearence, much like a human body breaking down as it ages
over its lifespan. We imagined each apartment could almost represent a different part of the
human body, for example the nervous system,the cerebral cortex etc, but the individual artworks
evoked less literal responses to the building. We wanted to create an immersive experience
where the art interventions dissected the interiors looking inward and then mirrored and
reflected the architecture back at the viewer, creating new narratives and imagined stories. By
treating the hotel as a decaying organism we had the freedom to create sensory, oral, abstract
and psycho social environments to create a unique experience for the viewer. We wanted to
raise questions of who slept in those beds, sat in each chair etc and make the artworks respond
to some of the activities that may or may not have happened in such a transient space.
As Bernard Tschumi writes “buildings only truly come alive on the point of collapse.”
Olivia Hicks, July 2020
Curators: Olivia Hicks, Laura Clarke and Beatrice Haines