Leaving My Old Life Behind

Kenneth Anger, Sophie Macpherson, Colin Self and Clare Stephenson
27th July – 12th August 2012

Leaving My Old Life Behind is a remix of the group exhibition ‘The House of Yvonne’ that was presented at The Hidden Noise, Glasgow earlier this year.  Part inspired by their recent collaborative performances, Macpherson and Stephenson have developed an installation that responds to Gallop’s exquisitely crafted retail environment, and for the opening night of Deptford X there will be a live element.

Sophie Macpherson, whose work for this project draws on personal records to investigate subtle communications informing our notions of identity, presents displayed original garments designed by Barbara Hulanicki for Biba, where Macpherson’s mother worked during the 1960ʼs, as well as text-based works that explore the disparity between conscious communication and spontaneous interaction.

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In her collage works, Clare Stephensonʼs androgynous grotesques present the collapse between work and life spheres in personified form. In a new departure, she will also exhibit textile-based works, whose digital cut-and-paste designs will infuse the gallery setting with that ultimate symbol of aspiring decadence: the martini glass.

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Lastly, Colin Self’s exquisite coloured-pencil drawings of women from the 1960s reveal a disquieting isolation and passivity of his subjects. Self was fascinated by the ‘sham’ nature of art, entertainment and consumerism in the shadow of Cold War fear: ‘In weapons, warfare, broken laws and other causes of degeneration; entertainments ,acts and escapisms which people then seem forced to invent to counteract the former.’

Leaving My Old Life Behind connects the practices of visual art, design, music and craft, through both the works and their references to a broader spectrum of experience.  Gallop’s frontage to their busy studio is a unique space – neither shop nor gallery, and provides the artists with an elaborate framework to create their site-specific works.

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Sophie Macpherson’s video ‘Deep Dancing’ was recently screened as part of ‘Her Noise: Feminisms and the Sonic’ at Tate Modern. Exhibitions include: ‘Apropos the kissing of a hand’ at VANE, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, ‘If Not Now’, Broadway 1602, New York; ‘Working Things Out’ Spike Island, Bristol; a two-person show at Laura Bartlett, London and ‘Open Field’, CCA, Glasgow.

Colin Self is often celebrated as one of the most original and prolific British Pop Artists of the 1960s. Whilst often standing apart from the contemporary art world and market, his work continues to resonate with the concerns of the present daty and the artists practicing within it. He was the subject of a solo retrospective exhibition at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester in 2008 and has work in a high number of collections including Tate and MOMA, New York.

Clare Stephenson’s solo exhibitions include ‘She-who-is-the-Maker-of-Objects’, Linn Lühn in Düsseldorf, 2011 and ‘She-who-Presents’ at Spike Island in Bristol, 2009. In 2011 her work was featured in the exhibitions ‘Madame Realism’ at Marres, Maastricht and ‘Compass: Drawings from the Museum of Modern Art New York’ at Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin.

This exhibition has been kindly supported by Arts Council England and Gallup.

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