Preview: Thursday 15 September (5-9pm)
Exhibition: 16 - 25 September 2022
As we reach
out our edges
the flat plain before us
to show us anew.
In the corners
is where we find
rooms, in fact-
where we can unfurl
in the patches
Stevie Lou Field
This exhibition brings together the recent works of six interdisciplinary artists that play with the theme of extension. Extension is demonstrated through the act of extending and the state of that which has been extended. It is an expansion that can increase space, time, influence and function. Extension also allows for transformation and elevation through an exploration between tensions. One way that this exhibition explores this tension is the integrated layer of a virtual landscape, created through an Instagram effect filter.
The works included intend to redefine and challenge typical framing restrictions and expand beyond their physical reality. The virtual realm acts as a central tree that interconnects the pieces through its roots, seeding and sustaining its surrounding landscape.
Juls Gabs and Kamila Szymkiewicz’ installation provides a virtual component that augments the reality of the given space, where hidden layers of the artworks interact playfully with each other. Gabriela Giroletti’s work Still Waters has an elongated configuration that contrasts her usual compositions which appear to lengthen her strokes and markings. Chris Rabbit’s work stretches the properties of the canvas and plays with its sculptural potentialities. Andras Nagy- Sandor’s work is adaptable to each new space allowing for expansion and experimentation with scale through site specific placement and the unfurling of limbs. Stevie Lou Field’s collaboration as curator can be seen as an extension of her practice which is typically more performance focused. Her poetry that stretches across the windows encourages an expanded view for the reader as the words engage with both the external and internal landscape.
*Exhibition Text by Stevie Lou Field, Curator & Performer
Gabriela Giroletti Still Waters 2022, Oil on canvas, 137x21 cm
(b.1982 Brazil) currently lives in London
With her work, Gabriela explores the relationship between the painted image (the meaning, the immaterial, the metaphor, the mind) and the material presence in the painting (the corporeal, the touch, the physical presence, the body). Deliberately ambiguous, the paintings fluctuate between their crude materiality and their metaphysical aspect, encouraging the viewer to formulate peculiar connections with our tangible surroundings as well as with individual and unique lived experiences.
Gabriela received an MFA in Painting from The Slade School of Fine Art in 2018 and a BA in Fine Art from Middlesex University in 2015. Giroletti has several awards including the Desiree Painting Prize in 2018. In the same year, she was the runner up for the Chadwell Award and was shortlisted for the Elephant x Griffin Prize and the Young Contemporary Talent Purchase Prize by the Ingram Collection of Modern British Art. Giroletti is a 2019 Bloomberg New Contemporaries artist and in 2019/2020 she held a position of Research Associate at the Slade School of Fine Art. Gabriela currently has a solo exhibition at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery in London.
Gabriela Giroletti painting and profile at her studio in Thames side Woolwich
Gabriela Giroletti's Interview
Simple and complex, landscape and body, micro and macro - Gabriela Giroletti on what shapes her practice Q&A with Gabriela Giroletti Text Kamila Szymkiewicz September 2022 >> Tell me a bit about yourself and how would you define your career and work? GG: I have been living and working in London since 2012. I have lived equal parts of my adulthood in Brazil (where I am from) and here. I did all my art education here in London. Back home I did all sorts of different jobs, including flight dispatcher, events organiser, travel agent…the list is long. I feel my art career is the sum of all these different experiences I had. I like to use lived experience and everyday moments as starting points for my work. My work is a combination of feeling and physicality. It’s about the experience of being in nature - not how it looks like - but how it feels like. I translate these impressions in a language that is purely visual and I hope I can create a new experience with my work. Painting is a great metaphor for life in my opinion. I like the idea of ambiguity and open meaning, therefore I make work that is at the same time simple and complex, landscape and body, micro and macro, painting and drawing, accidental and intentional, etc. That way the viewer can use their own life experience to find meanings that can be quite subjective. >> For the most recent group exhibition entitled “Ex_xtension” you created “Still Waters”. Tell me a bit more about this piece. GG: My work deals with the crude materiality of painting as well as an idea of being present in nature. The final image is a suggestion, not an illustration. Titles can lead or mislead the viewer. I like to leave my titles open to interpretation, but some works demand the title to be more descriptive. It is the case with Still Waters, where I have swapped the usual format of a rectangle or square for a elongated surface and the work instantly started evoquing a water scene. >> Many of your paintings (if you can call them paintings) do not sit within the sharp edges of a canvas. There are elements escaping the painting frame and interacting with the space outside of it. What motivated your choice of expanding beyond the canvas surface? And what interests you the most? GG: This idea of exploring the limits of the canvas is fairly new. I feel like I have been exploring texture and volume in my work for many years and this was another way of expanding pictorial space, exploring the space that surrounds the painting and adding that to the work. They are paintings that have a sculptural edge. The work always "grew" on top of the rectangle and I'm trying to find ways of subverting that while keeping the painting on painting "parameters". I call them in and out paintings as they need those bits outside to be complete. Also picking up on the idea of duality and the in betweenness. It is a painting and an object, it's hung on the wall and it draws you in to observe certain details you wouldn't otherwise. >> ”Ex_xTension” has a very interesting element to it - a hidden Augmented Reality layer. Audience is invited to scan a QR code from the floor of a gallery space to access a virtual layer that augments the reality of the exhibition space allowing viewers to explore how the works relate to each other, and to highlight this sense of multiplicity and interconnectivity. What motivated your choice of expanding beyond your traditional medium to Augmented Reality? And how does your physical artwork unfold in the virtual world? GG: Augmented Reality is far removed from my studio practice and knowledge. My work relies much on the material and tactile world in order to happen. I think that is what incited my curiosity, the fact that AR can act as a bridge between the “real world” to the “virtual world”. >> Augmented Reality allows us to see beyond what is existing in the physical space and to expand our imagination. The exhibition can be experienced on multiple layers by its viewers - there is the interaction with the physical piece and the AR work. Why is it important to you to add that extra layer of experience? And what would you like the viewer to take from the exhibition? GG: Augmented Reality presents us with a whole new space to experience things. I had experience showing physical work through Virtual Reality in the past, but I found that “artificial environment" to be quite distancing, whereas AG provides the real-world environment layer that VR lacks. AR became the spine of the show, where all our work converged. >> The world of Augmented Reality and virtual art is still in its infancy. Where do you see the future of the industry (if you can call it an industry) going? And how do you see yourself adapting to that future? GG: My work is very non-technological but having a virtual presence means that my work can be experienced when you are not in front of it. The interconnectivity that this type of technology brings is shortening distances and integrating people. In terms of my practice (a very orthodox painting practice I must say), I do not see myself exploring this realm in order to make work. Hopefully this new reality will coexist happily with the tangible world, like in this exhibition.
Chris Rabbit's Interview
“What about the stuff that doesn’t fit” - exploring the boundaries between painting and sculpture Q&A with Chris Rabbit Text Kamila Szymkiewicz September 2022 >> Tell me a bit about yourself and how would you define your career and work? CR: I would describe myself as predominantly a painter, but recently I have been exploring the boundaries between painting and sculpture. Pushing the sculptural potentiality of painting and by extension the painted object. >> For the most recent exhibition "Ex_xTension" you created a work entitled "What about the stuff that doesn’t fit?". Tell me a bit more about this piece. CR: The work “What about the stuff that doesn’t fit '' is from a tangential body of work that was born from my explorations into ways of turning flat painted images into objects. This idea had led me to experiment with the motif of the shelf. I saw the shelf as a platform, to which we elevate objects in our personal and professional spaces and therefore as a way for me to add another spatial dimension to painting, objectifying if you like. The additional underlying theme or themes that I am often trying to communicate are ones of identity and an investigation into or scrutiny of the self. Within these themes I have been looking at: body image, masculinity, sexuality but mainly self acceptance. The work “what about the stuff that doesn’t fit '' specifically was both an experiment in the expansion of painting into sculptural spaces and an abstract representation of how we attempt to make the self (both physical and internal) fit within socially constructed boundaries. The excess of painted canvas represents the self spreading and folding off the stretcher and gathering in the shelf below as the stuff that doesn’t fit. >> Your practice currently explores the elevation of painted images to find their sculptural potentiality. A painting can become a sculpture changing the way we perceive and interact with the work. Does a painting become a sculpture in your practice or is a sculptural element complimenting the painting? And what influenced your shift towards exploration of 2d image finding its 3d sculptural potentiality? I think I found my way into this borderland between painting and sculpture as a consequence of trying to highlight paintings as objects. I wanted to elevate the sculptural quality of paintings and move them away from being valued exclusively as images. We are confronted with thousands of flat images everyday through social media, advertising or commercial media, I wanted to encourage the treatment of paintings or drawings as artefacts, as objects not just another image presented to the audience amongst the thousands. So to answer the question I would say the painting was always sculptural (an object or artefact) to me, my job was to find was to highlight that. >> "Ex_xTension” has a very interesting element to it - a hidden Augmented Reality layer. Audience is invited to scan a QR code from the floor of a gallery space to access a virtual layer that augments the reality of the exhibition space allowing viewers to explore how the works relate to each other, and to highlight this sense of multiplicity and interconnectivity. What motivated your choice of expanding beyond your traditional medium to Augmented Reality? And how does your physical artwork unfold in the virtual world? CR: The AR filter is as I see it a natural off shot from my exploration into the special qualities of my paintings as sculpture. To augment means to make greater, larger or more intense, it is also a synonym of extend. The AR filter that has been created pulls themes and elements from all the artists in show and allows the works to live in an additional dimension, taking up greater space as a more intense act of artistic fusion. >> Augmented Reality allows us to see beyond what is existing in the physical space and to expand our imagination. The exhibition can be experienced on multiple layers by its viewers - there is the interaction with the physical piece and the AR work. Why is it important to you to add that extra layer of experience? And what would you like the viewer to take from the exhibition? We are now creating on the outstretched tentacles of tradition, expanding works through space in all its forms. Contemporary Art exists in constant friction with its boundaries, it is always stretching out pressing forward like time's arrow. The incorporation of AR is the natural evolution of Arts nature. >> The world of Augmented Reality and virtual art is still in its infancy. Where do you see the future of the industry (if you can call it an industry) going? And how do you see yourself adapting to that future? CR: Although in its infancy the technology is already reaching forward into liminal space and unknown potential. One of Arts primary purposes is to communicate, whether that be an idea, place, object or emotion. AR and VR would give creators the ability to communicate these things with expanding scope. It is another tool helping to remove the limits for artists developing audience experience.
Chris Rabbit pieces and. profile at his studio in Lewisham
(b.1992 UK) currently lives in London
Chris Rabbit is a London based artist predominantly working in painting and mixed media. His practice currently explores the elevation of painted images to find their sculptural potentiality.
Through painting, he interplays the dynamics between abstract markings and an array of representational imagery, often derived from cultural and historical references. He is particularly interested in how one informs the other and how the abstract receives meaning when paired with the recognisable.
Chris Rabbit completed a BA in Fine Art from Middlesex University in 2014. After graduating, he studied classical painting techniques and printmaking in Florence which revolutionised his practice going forward. Chris has also been heavily involved in the creation of sets/props and ephemera for numerous performance artists and theatre-makers. He has taken part in multiple groups shows including; Rubix at Copeland Gallery (April 2018) and Themselves warehouse festival in Peckham (April 2019).
Since 2017, Chris has been working full time as a Senior Artist Assistant for a prominent British artist.
This year, Chris is putting more focus on his developing practice and the emergence of his artistic career.
Juls Gabs & Kamila Szymkiewiczinstallation and profile photo
JULS GABS & KAMILA SZYMKIEWICZ
(Juls b.1989 Spain / Kamila b.1994 Poland) currently living in London
Juls Gabs is a London based artist with a multidisciplinary approach that includes Crypto Experience, Painting, Augmented Reality, Social Media art, and NFT. Her practice is working toward Celebrating Diversity & Telling the story of migration. Creating paintings with hidden QR codes that when you scan them transport you to a VR deeper version of the painting's concept. The paintings propose alternative urban landscapes that coexist with nature, raising awareness of the impact of climate change and taking action to support carbon reduction.
Kamila Szymkiewicz is a London based artist, designer, curator and creative director. In her practice, she combines the fields of art, design, fashion, architecture and technology. Contemporary culture together with conceptual theories make up her interdisciplinary practice. Working primarily across the mediums of film, photography, sculpture and cyberspace, Kamila's work is a response to today's modern world and social changes.
In 2019, Kamila received a BA degree in Fine Art at The School of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University. She received the Owen Rowley Prize for her installation work 'Digital Fragments in Physical Space' in 2019 - same year she published her academic research which explores the notion of identity in contemporary image and sound. Her most recent project “Reimagine Newham” was sponsored by Westfield Stratford City and made its way to a billboard on Goldhawk Road, West London - thanks to a partnership with Buildhollywood.
Juls & Kamila's Interview
Encrypted in my childhooh memory - Juls Gabs & Kamila Szymkiewicz Q&A with Juls Gabs & Kamila Szymkiewicz Text Steph Lou Field September 2022 >> Tell me about your practice. JG. I am a painter and digital artist working in mediums like Augmented Reality, Google Maps, Web art, Phygital and NFTs. My practice is working toward Celebrating Diversity & Telling the story of migration, as well as combining dreamy landscapes where the natural and urban coexist together trying to propose alternative futures and raising awareness of carbon emission. KS. I am an artist, designer, curator and creative director often combining the fields of art, design, fashion, architecture and technology in my practice. My work is a response to today's modern world and social changes. I am interested in contemporary culture, conceptual theories, process and time, materiality and dematerialisation. >> What led to this collaboration? JG. I would say it was a very organic process, we sat down talking about works and ideas, and they simply clicked! so we decided to create this work together and test the space for more collaborations in the future. KS. It was very organic, indeed. We had a brunch one day, during which we talked about our ideas, projects and theories. By the end of the meeting we were sure we wanted to merge our ideas, skills and knowledge to create something as a collaborative piece. A week later, we were on Zoom calls taking things further. It was easy to connect - Jula is interested in blurring the boundaries between physical and digital with great painting skills.I have been having ideas for works which explore how technology impacts society but also our sensory experience of space and environment. JG. I love collaborating with other artists, galleries, spaces or visitors. In my career I have learned more by these partnerships than any educational institution or course I’ve been enrolled in. >> How do you feel about combining art and technology? JG. That’s my passion. My practice produces bridges between Physical and Digital, or how it is called now: PHYGITAL. I feel the future is unstoppably merging into digital forms and exploring these fields that are still so raw gives me a lot of incredibly exciting possibilities. Still, I define myself as a painter as I do not have coding or technical knowledge, I simply found new mediums to paint on. KS. Art using emerging technology has been around for a while on the contemporary art scene, but 2020 has fostered a new madness for digital art which is starting to be recognised within the mainstream, like for instance NFTs, VR, AR and Metaverse. Digital forms offer lots of exciting possibilities and art is about experimenting, exploring, playing. I think by using technology in art, we can explore new ways of communicating ideas, often reach wider audiences or reach unknown potential. However, what I like the most about combining art and technology is the idea of expanding beyond physical space - the concept of space,time, materiality and dematerialisation which comes with the use of emerging technologies. >> What does the word ‘extension’ mean to you? JG. For me, it is a matter of upgrading. Take what is expected and expand it through prospects they didn’t even imagine.. And its rebelion too! You really have to be uncomfortable with limitations (of the canvas or the frame…) to risk its borders and discover how to paint at your scope. KS. I really like this definition, Julia. Similarly, for me ‘extension’ is about pushing the limits of something, it’s the action or process of adding something to an already existing something in order to enlarge it or to even stretch or expand something to a certain degree even make it abnormal. >> In your opinion, how can art benefit from the integration of technology e.g. A.R? JG. Well that is a very good question. Digital is a democratic form that can be used for anything. Having access to a smartphone opens the gate to new techniques available for art and learning. Many of those are completely free, and allow you to explore your possibilities independently of your background. Kamila just did a very interesting project about AR in Newham, right Kamila? KS. Yes, it was Reimagine Newham - a social project with direct engagement with local audiences to deal with pressing socio-political issues and to search for the good and make it matter. We used Augmented Reality to communicate ideas. AR is a medium that allows for seeing things differently - to re-imagine, to recreate, to reinterpret imaginatively. As part of the project we hosted a curated series of community and Augmented Reality workshops delivered in collaboration with Ricebox Studio and University of East London. The project brought people together to share stories, discuss issues, celebrate the good, exchange ideas and resulted in blurring boundaries between the unknown “other” and close-by neighbours. The project ended with an AR exhibition around the borough of Newham in East London and Shepherd’s Bush in West London. I like to think that this project made art accessible to a wider and diverse audience through a breakdown of social and geographical boundaries, offering a free exhibition that keeps up with its time and allows for organic encounters. Taking art - in the form of AR - outside of intimidating gallery walls to various public spaces around the borough of Newham and in West London, it showcased technological advances in art production and fostered community and inclusivity.
Andras Nagy-Sandor's Interview
Andras Nagy-Sandor on “Armour of light” & how the mural characters unfolds in different spaces Q&A with Andras Nagy-Sandor text Kamila Szymkiewicz September 2022 >> Tell me a bit about yourself and how would you define your career and work? AN-S: I am an artist working mainly within the field of painting, at times moving beyond its boundaries as a way to re-contextualize the narratives I am working with. My paintings fluctuate between explicitly figurative moments and abstracted shapes, brushstrokes that envelope the narrative elements as an armor. >> For “Ex_xTension” you created “Armour of light”. Tell me a bit more about this piece. AN-S: "Armour of Light" is a mural with shaped oil paintings on top. These shapes were inspired by car headlight designs and body armour. This is the second iteration of the piece. The mural changes with each show, the armour fragments cover different body parts as well, consequently shifting the narrative as well. This makes it an ongoing project, which continues to grow as I make more and more armour fragments. It will be exciting to see how the mural characters and the fragments' relationship unfolds in different spaces and how their function changes over time. >> Your works are full of gestures, edges, shapes, colours, patterns, paint, materials with interactions between body parts creating narrative. How do gestures, shapes, patterns, edges, paint and materials support your subject matter and narrative you create? What interests you the most? And where do you take your inspiration from? AN-S: Although I work with an intuitive approach, a form of embodied sense making that results in quite abstract and gestural marks, I tend to look for ways to transform these into containers that can hold something within, support it, like a structure of sorts, or an exoskeleton. That is where narrative comes in, which deals with ideas of masculinity, my aspirations and failures in relation to it as well as the roles available to me through it. I bring in characters and ideas from Hungarian folk tales as well as Western and Eastern comic books/mangas, which helps me connect seemingly disparate thoughts, experiences and emotions. >> “Ex_xTension” has a very interesting element to it - a hidden Augmented Reality layer. Audience is invited to scan a QR code from the floor of a gallery space to access a virtual layer that augments the reality of the exhibition space allowing viewers to explore how the works relate to each other, and to highlight this sense of multiplicity and interconnectivity. What motivated your choice of expanding beyond your traditional medium to Augmented Reality? And how does your physical artwork unfold in the virtual world? AN-S: AR is a new territory to me and what attracted me to it is the possibility of a new way to build an environment as opposed to what I am used to. I do a lot of worldbuilding through my characters, material and shapes rather than describing environments, so it seems logical and exciting to question that. Other than my various web presences, articles and interviews, I have not experienced my work in the virtual world. >> Augmented Reality allows us to see beyond what is existing in the physical space and to expand our imagination. The exhibition can be experienced on multiple layers by its viewers - there is the interaction with the physical piece and the AR work. Why is it important to you to add that extra layer of experience? And what would you like the viewer to take from the exhibition? AN-S: Pushing the limits of our practices, extending ourselves through friendships is at the heart of the show and the AR helps contain this by creating a meeting point. I would like viewers to see the process of how experimentation can lead to such connections. >> The world of Augmented Reality and virtual art is still in its infancy. Where do you see the future of the industry (if you can call it an industry) going? And how do you see yourself adapting to that future? AN-S: Since the pandemic, AR and other similar technologies have gained a newfound importance. I think the excitement in these might quiet down, but will not disappear and physical art and immaterial art will coexist. Some people will prefer one over the other, but hopefully both directions can be sustained and can overlap in the future. Currently, technology does not play a big part in my practice, but I plan on working with sculpture and installation down the line and I might introduce it then.
(b.1993 Hungary) currently lives in London
The main focus of Andras' practice is unpicking the aspirations and ambivalences within his masculinity through the symbolism of armours as a link between painterly, emotional and conceptual dichotomies. The aesthetic of Andras' armours are narrative, in some cases pseudo-folkloric, however they do not need to be read as armours as they are the results of an intuitive design process, an embodied sensemaking approach that is based on Andras' imagination and memories. They are gestures, edges, shapes, colours, patterns, paint, materials with a conscience enveloping figurative moments, interactions between body parts, characters, groups, anthropomorphic multiheaded beings that float between cultures and identities, folklore and sci-fi.
Andras has recently had his first solo exhibition at Fest; Tisztit Gallery in Budapest, Hungary and is the co-runner of ongoing initiative "project hu", which created a collaborative residency, artist talks and a touring exhibition over the past four years.
Andras Nagy-Sandor works and profile photo
STEVIE LOU FIELD
(b.1991 UK) currently lives in London
Stevie Lou Field is a London based Goan-Portuguese and English performance & installation curator/artist and poet.
Central to Stevie’s work is the exploration and deconstruction of lore. This includes ancient/ contemporary mythologies, belief systems, superstitions, & sacred/ secular rituals.
Stevie’s focus is predominantly on experimental, audience-centric performance and she is constantly exploring new styles that often end up influencing her methodology. She uses these themes as a lens through which to reflect on her inner world and her experiences to inspire her poetry. Stevie is also currently working on her first anthology of poems called; “Miniature Labyrinths”.
Stevie graduated in 2019 from a two year MA in Performance, Design & Practice from Central Saint Martins. In 2018, she led a large site-specific project on a placement to Athens, at the disused train station, Stathmos Athinon Peloponnisou. During her time in Athens, she was involved in devising performance fragments for Yanis Varoufakis’ Athenian launch of his pan-European political movement; Diem 25.
Prior to her Masters, Stevie has been involved in the curation of student work and as a performance director. She has gained professional experience in performance, puppetry and most recently cabaret.
She graduated in 2014 with a 3 year BA at Rose Bruford College in European Theatre Arts and shortly after that, went on to study the masks of Commedia dell'Arte in Florence. She has performed in Sweden, Estonia, Italy and Greece.
Stevie has also gained experience assisting on live performance work. Most recently, at Tate Modern, where she has assisted the curators with the activation of Lee Mingwei’s Our Labyrinth (May- June 2022), Trisha Brown’s SET/RESET (March 2022) for the Dance Reflections Festival and also SET/RESET/UNSET (April- August 2022) and in 2019 assisted with the activation of Allora and Calzadilla’s Balance of Power.
Stevie Lou Field poems and profile photo
Stevie Lou Field's Interview
Q&A with Stevie Lou Field text Kamila Szymkiewicz September 2022 >> Tell me a bit about yourself and how would you define your career and work? SLF: My practice is primarily focused on audience centric performance that typically looks at the exploration and deconstruction of lore. This includes ancient/ contemporary mythologies, belief systems, superstitions, & sacred/ secular rituals. These themes also inspire my poetry practice and I am currently writing my first anthology of poems called; “Miniature Labyrinths”. >> For “Extension” you created “Selected Poems”. Tell me a bit more about these pieces. SLF: I have used the theme of extension to influence the writing for some of the poetry but I have also used extension as lens examining my previously written work. The themes oscillate between literal, metaphorical and, symbolic extension. >> ”Extension” has a hidden Augmented Reality layer. What motivated your choice of expanding beyond your traditional medium to Augmented Reality? Why is it important to you to add that extra layer of experience? And how does your physical artwork unfold in the virtual world? What would you like the audience to take away from your contribution? SLF: Since the beginning of the pandemic in particular, we have been made increasingly aware of the importance and necessity of connecting via the virtual realms. Post-lockdown it feels relevant to include this layer to the exhibition as it acknowledges the virtual space as directly connected to the physical artistic space, without viewing them disparate, as it has been and still is, a vital space for the consuming and sharing of art and ideas. Select lines and words from the poems interact with each other and the space in both the physical and virtual realms through the use of augmented reality. I would like the audience to experience fragments of my inner workings through the physical and virtual extension of my words into the environment of the exhibition. >> The world of Augmented Reality and virtual art is still in its infancy. Where do you see the future of the industry (if you can call it an industry) going? And how do you see yourself adapting to that future? SLF: I am sure there will be great advances in the future of augmented reality and how we experience art, performance and poetry. I am not sure that my work will be overly influenced by the virtual realm. I crave liveness and tangibility. However, I would be interested in exploring the ritual potentialities of augmented reality. For example; Can we find elements of sacrality in a digital realm?