Miriam Austin - Rob Chavasse - Tom Lovelace - Freddy Dewe Mathews - David Murphy
1st August 2015 — 27th September 2015
The New Art Centre, Roche Court, Salisbury
In line with the New Art Centre's important history of supporting forward-thinking young artists, each artist represented in the group exhibition GROUNDWORK is at a significant point in their early careers. Miriam Austin, Rob Chavasse, Freddy Dewe Mathews, Tom Lovelace and David Murphy are London-based and of the same generation, providing an illuminating showcase of current concerns in emerging contemporary practices.
Exhibited is a broad selection of media: sculpture, film, drawing and photography, with each artist making new work for the gardens of Roche Court, alongside further new and existing works shown in the indoor galleries.
Taking their work out of the city and presenting it within the Wiltshire countryside was perhaps a daunting task for these urban artists, but it has proven to be an exciting and fruitful opportunity for them. The particular location of the New Art Centre, with its beautiful parkland setting and ancient earthworks within the adjacent woods, and the culture surrounding nearby Stonehenge was hard to ignore. Despite the varied application, the heavy reminder of the passing of time was something that each artist responded to; looking at the ways that this can be measured, recorded and experienced. Each artist has embraced this opportunity, performing and intervening in the characteristics of an English garden, and the rituals of the changing seasons.
With an undeniable reference to Land Art, these artists strive to communicate a human experience of nature in the 21st century. There is a clear interest in the natural environment, which is tempered by an awareness of topical concerns that subvert straightforward associations between land, nature and indeed, urbanisation. The artists are interested in nature in relation to interventions, grappling with the reality that human life is inextricably linked to the purity of the outdoors.