Review: Contemporary Art Exhibit ‘Novelty’ - Asylum London
Contemporary art is a creative discipline that many find hard to engage with, enjoy or interpret for themselves. Which is understandable considering it considers a world of visual communication built on a thinking process structured to push the boundaries and limitations of how we create, perceive and respond to art as we know it today.
Novelty, an exhibition open for just a handful of days aims to challenge an artists need to present something new to the world. Something she hasn't seen before, by responding uniquely through composition and execution by pushing materials and their properties to the limits. The exhibition, held in the beauitful old, and decaying Caroline Gardens Chapel, an Asylum London building in Peckham, co-curated by London based contemporary artists Josh Berry and Rachel Eliza Guthrie, is set out to explore the value of new, unseen and original works, through a range of sculptures, installations and prints.
Any exhibition which engages with the viewer, and asks questions of them, can cross over the barriers of difficult disciplines. Novelty, in concept, curation and execution is a small but refreshing step into the accessibility of such a discipline. To carefully select a collection of works, fuse them with a concept, presented in the context of a venue which portrays both their strengths is a tough battle. This is something that Novelty does very well and her curators should be proud of.
Notes on artists and their works from Novelty co-curators Josh Berry and Rachel Eliza Guthrie:
'Collectively, the artists look at the reconstitution of materials for art. Josh Berry’s photograph Untitled and Kostas Synodis’s sculpture Nine question the value of recycling ideas, and reproducing objects. Cheryl Field and Matt Gee’s work both muddy the boundary between the synthetic and the authentic and look to the discovery of knowledge and material as a subject matter for their sculptural outcomes. Likewise, Beatriz Acevedo’s Two Random Shafts is made by a quasi-industrial process, but suggests the sensitivity of the hand-made through the use of a flesh-coloured glaze. In contrast, Daryl Brown’s pieces exhibit a pseudo-craftsman’s attitude to art making as he labours materials, pushing them to their limits, as a means of transformation.'
- Photography Credit: Rachel Guthrie