Texture of Place
3-26 April 2017
Galeria Strefa Erasmusa, Strzemiński Academy of Art Łódź
Deborah Gardner and Andrea Thoma
‘Texture of Place’ is an exhibition of UK based artists Deborah Gardner and Andrea Thoma that explores juxtapositions of visual idioms to reflect on the immediacy and distance of place in view of material presence, projection, narrative and abstraction. Ideas of the local feature in both artists’ work and are also responding to the rich textile history of Lodz and Leeds. The exhibition responds to specific cultural contexts, spatial parameters (the exhibition space/s) and geo-political settings (Central Europe). The exhibition in Lodz will travel to Berlin in 2019.
Gardner’s sculptures engage with how we collapse the cosmological to a human scale. The work points to an experience of the physical world and architecture of matter, structures of networkability or propagation. Thoma’s paintings are reflections on folded space and movement of colour as light; her video works and photographs explore transparency, reflection and density of form informed by landscape, board games and interiors. The practice of both artists involves a consideration of place, proximity and distance.
The exhibition at the newly built Galeria Strefa Erasmusa, Strzemiński Academy of Art Łódź gave Gardner and Thoma an opportunity to make a site-specific response in a very large, beautifully developed, ambitious exhibition space with excellent lighting and technical facilities. The gallery was built with the intention of promoting new ideas, mobility and internationalism between artists, students and visiting public and has a near constant stream of visiting viewers during opening hours.
The work journeys to both imaginary and physical places, from the micro to the macro world. Textures range from the surface of water to the magnified image of the cratered surface of the far side of the moon and from the dizzying views of high-rise architecture to the miniaturised construction of a Yorkshire textile industrial landscape. Within a juxtaposition of sculpture, photography, painting and video ‘Textures of Place’ became tangible through particular lines of thought and their concurrent materialisation. These involved cell and plant structures, movement of colour and light, spheres and planets, reflective surfaces, geographical textures, relations between sculptural form and painted/printed/projected or photographed images, aspects of scale, concrete materiality and imaginary potential.