“MELT” – a Hypha Studios x Creative Land Trust exhibition
Artist and artwork information
Images courtesy Adelaide Damoah
Photographed by Todd White Art Photography www.toddwhite.co.uk
Multi-disciplinary artist Adelaide Damoah stands at the confluence of painting and performance, her artistry resonating within the tapestry of themes encompassing colonialism, ecology, identity, feminism, and radical joy. In her current artistic practice, Damoah employs an array of mediums and techniques, including storytelling through performance and filmmaking, utilising artificial intelligence, various image transfer methods, body printing, and painting. These elements converge to weave a narrative that delves deep into her own familial history, ultimately extending to a profound exploration of imperialistic and capitalistic expansion and the enduring ecological ramifications it bears. ‘Fernande’ is part of a series titled ‘Muse Model or Mistress?’. With these works, Damoah responds to a play called „Picasso‘s Women,“ a series of monologues from the perspective of the most important women in Picasso‘s life. Damoah responds intuitively using her body memory to create works that remember these women‘s stories.
This crowning in the domestic reflects on current times in a dark and humorous light during the pandemic. The coronation portrays a smothered figure in a lounge chair surrounded by open alcohol bottles and clutter. Aaron Peever’s work is captivating in its honest representation. The subject matter portrayed is intriguing with its focus on leisure-times. Sociologically, this is a way to view variances of economic backgrounds. Thus, Peever’s work provides insight into lifestyle and economics through its exploration of alcohol culture. His muted colour palette works with the slightly aberrant subject matter to expand on current issues surrounding alcohol culture and isolation.
Carina Samantha Santos
Santos translates gestural expression into landscapes, in different forms, such as paintings, poured sculpture, textile work, and digital occupations.Her works is a commentary on closing geographic and metaphorical distance, and the ways in which this space, “here,” becomes elusive, constantly evading fixity. Santos’ research interrogates the relationship of the body and sensible space, linguistics and translation, and how colonisation fits into these modes of thinking. She interested in the inflection of space to the body, and my own movement from her homeland. There is a deep sense of heritage and home, but migration has caused a tenuous relationship with this connection.
Celeste McEvoy is a ceramic artist. Her hand-built sculptures reference ancient amphoras and relics from the past, adding experimental surface textures and shapes to historical forms. Her practice explores her personal relationship with social mobility and the desire for total assimilation. Often presenting roadside debris and found objects alongside her ceramics as means of ethnographic collection, the artist’s work investigates themes of aspiration, hierarchy and the need for cultural capital.
With a practice that was rooted in painting Chris Rabbit’s practice has evolved into an exploration of the spaces between sculpture and painting. Aiming to champion the sculptural potentiality of painting and highlight the value of paintings as objects rather than solely images. We live in a world flooded with images and on a daily basis we passively experience thousands of images and artworks, the work therefore tries to highlight the material nature of painting, the physical presence of an artwork.
Within this overarching theme he explores the power of images and abstraction and how they interplay to attach context to each other. The images and themes present in this further exploration in many ways represent personal issues of identity sexuality and masculinity.
Ellie is a multidisciplinary artist. Her work combines sculpture and digital technologies, investigating the relationship between the physical and the digital worlds and how they co-exist. Curious about touch, she uses an eclectic mix of materials such as silicone and foam to create vibrant, organic forms. Her work seeks to visualise the invisible, making an intangible emotion or memory become tangible. Through this, Ellie explores the possibilities of how materiality and technologies can alter our perception of experiences. This idea stems from an interest in world building, challenging the capacity for one to understand the nature of materiality when there is a blending of the tangible and the digital. This guides her sculptural forms and digital work, looking closely at the overlap between the two mediums.
Elliot is a British artist who graduated with a BA in Fine Art Painting from Camberwell College of Art. Elliot’s work explores themes of language and meaning through painting and sculpture. Through the repetition of visual and verbal iconography, often sourced from alternative means of communication such as braille or sign, Fox is able to undermine our preconceptions of language. Conventional linguistic structures are supplanted by a personal narrative of imagery, a substitute dialect which serves as the vehicle for Fox’s continued artistic endeavours.
Composed of found footage to stage a hypnotic science fiction meets science fact descent into a copper sulphate-stained mine shaft, featuring immersive first-person perspective, a psychedelic subterranean soundscape and Cornish subtitles that simultaneously allude to, and withhold, meaning.
120 x 85cm
Paul Barbu studied maths and computer science in high-school, but when he enrolled in university, it seemed natural to combine his love of arts with his interest in science, by choosing Architecture School. Paul has been studying and working with forms, proportions, light, and structure. His architecture training instilled in him a certain discipline of proportions and his eye has been trained to see mathematical relations between objects. He observed that functionality and practicality dominated most of the projects he was assigned to, while the aesthetic side was often disregarded or kept to a minimum level. At one point, he felt restricted by this rigid approach and decided to explore more creative ways of expressing his ideas.
140 × 200 cm
With adept experience in High Fashion, Emmanuel has carved out his own space, at the junction of luxury, performance and fine art, where he enjoys deconstructing the images and identities that the media offer up to us. Taking as his subjects fashion models, cultural or political icons, he explores the distance between the perception and reality, and asks the question: what is their truth? How do we relate to them? Emmanuel is interested in engaging the viewer in a conversation, by exploring what lies beneath the images that we consume. The essence of Emmanuel’s art practice navigates the socioeconomic dichotomy of creativity and business, investigating the intersection of autonomy and public persona, self and celebrity.
Enej Gala’s practice expands narration by questioning traditional perspectives on painting, performative sculpture, puppetry and video, exploring different forms of production also through frequent collaborations. His research focuses on the limits of imagination, probing fragile belongings to particular identities and rethinking conflictual rhetorics. The work feeds on the laws of perception, ruminating metaphors, like an anomaly manifested through constant frustration over what is proposed to us in any form of convention.
Flora Bradwell is an artist whose playful practice revels in the generously grotesque. She uses her ‘magpie method’ to find things and stories to put in her paintings. She mostly worked with archways and pillars as elements in her work. There is some tension between the inside and the outside.
“ When I came here, it was all about the trees, and then it all fell together. They are witnesses of time. Thinking about trees and the people who hug them. Trees form the place. But the trees around the studio, they have their own character. When I look up in the studio through the studio skylight, I see a tree looking down at me. It is blossoming now and almost resembles an impressionist painting. I am also here with a baby, so there was a lot of holding and hugging”
Peeraer’s practice playfully explores the common ground between art and science. Peeraer transforms seemingly simple materials into signifiers of knowledge and meaning: major themes include human perception and our relationship to the natural world, aiming to heighten perceptual awareness and encourage positive change through self-reflection. Although she looks for inspiration in science, Peeraer does not translate it directly into art. Rather, she her research focuses on exploring how form relates to matter, with starting points of inspiration that include atmospheric optics, deep-sea creatures, human DNA, electricity, and various forms of flora. She looks to math for patterns of origami, to physics for perception and light refraction, or to biology to explore the form and function of seemingly otherworldly creatures.
The Glass of Milk, Pencil on perspex, 25 x 40 cm
By evoking a sense of longing for a bygone era, Hazel encourages the viewer to think more deeply about the emotional resonance of the things we surround ourselves with, and the ways in which nostalgia can shape or distort our relationship with our own identity. Hazel’s work causes a sense of unease and comfort by transforming the familiar into something uncanny and surreal, challenging the viewer’s assumptions about what is real and what is imagined.
For this exhibition she is primarily concerned with the ontological status of the colour magnolia, which she has explored through domestic structures both modern and retro-futuristic. From bakelite clock-radios, space-age ovens and kitchen units, she has taken inspiration from an anachronistic collection of household objects and created a liminal space to reflect upon questions regarding identity.
Digital picture frame, Marshall amp
After a Bing Bang, 2023
Guitar amp, speaker driver, iPad.
After The Big Bang (2014) is a sculptural assemblage of a digital photo frame standing on a guitar amplifier, running a video of a waterfall. The hissing from the cranked amplifier initially leads to the false assumption that the sound is from the recording. However, the title After the Big Bang indicates that this audible white noise originated from recordings of the Big Bang.
Haroon Mirza connects objects and interferences and creates a situation in which he intentionally plays with the recipient’s perception. Mirza asks us to reconsider the perceptual differences between noise, sound and music, challenging the categorization of cultural forms and thus re-creating sensory connections.
Hot Desque is a curatorial partnership by artists Lizzy Drury and Neena Percy, showing emerging and established artists within site-specific exhibitions including a former nightclub.The exhibitions bring artworks together as part of a theatrical mise-en-scène, providing a platform for experimentation and interdependence.
‘Reconstruction of a Headlamp’ is a rendering of a fictional and functional object which forms part of a wider ongoing project around a speculative future past-matriarchal society.
Terrestrial Act is a project unfolding over several ‘Acts’ including: an exhibition on stage at the Theatre Royal and a collaborative artist film that evokes a future-past landscape through sculptures.Staged within the grand yet empty Theatre Royal, the scenery hints at a posthuman environment while questioning the way we ‘act’ within the natural world. Without actors to populate the set and bring it to life, the microscopic lives of organic matter perform their own stories under the spotlight. The artworks all point in some way to the role played by the human hand in altering the terrestrial terrain around us. The project poses questions around the impact of extractive capitalism, and the need to dissolve hierarchical classifications of living matter, at a critical time in the lead up to the COP26 UN Climate Talks in Glasgow, this November.
Kipps is interested in the way we choose to model and customise our environments and surrounding commodities, particularly objects associated with asserting or diffusing power, restricting behaviour and understanding social hierarchies. The adaptability of the objects is taken a step further with the knowledge that the sculptural outlines are designed to contour around the luggage compartments of the various vehicles that transport them. For example, lopsided outline of Peace Test takes into account the artist’s daughter’s car seat in the family vehicle.
The series of wall based sculptures stems from a curiosity about the design of symbols, visual communication and how we are encouraged to interpret and perceive the objects that make up our surrounding environments. However, unlike traditional symbols which are often designed to associate with a linear meaning or message, his work explores combinations of broad influences and source images to create hybrid sculptural objects.
Cold World 2022 MDF walnut valchromat aluminium mesh stainless steel rubber, wool, spray paint 17 x 20 x 10cm
Kialy Tihngang is a multidisciplinary artist and visual activist working in textiles, sculpture, moving image, costume and animation. She interrogates personal themes of Blackness and queerness through her practice, which is concerned with designing artefacts from reimagined histories and speculated futures.
This video is part of a practice that looks at opulence as a display of oligarchic overindulgence from a privileged few, distorting and multiplying the shapes of extractive industrial machinery, and the interior aesthetics of dictators’ homes and private jets. This is counteracted by the materials used to wrap the sculptures: fabrics sourced from charity shops, stretchy synthetics selected to imitate luxury. It also celebrates opulence as a means of Black resistance and Black joy. It flickers with formative memories of the artist’s Cameroonian immigrant aunties and uncles’ glamorously decorated homes, and the ostentatious personal styles of Black female rappers, chiefly Lil’ Kim.
Useless Machines comprises a series of moveable wooden wall sculptures, hand-stitched and wrapped in found, waste, and charity surplus fabrics, and a video piece, Useless Machines Infomercial. They move and look like idiosyncratic machines, but are entirely functionless, as foils to the useful machines lost to landfills. The video piece ‘advertises’ the sculptures, fusing the visual grammar of teleshopping with the idiosyncrasies of Nollywood cinema. It is a darkly humorous response to electronic waste dumping, a neocolonialist practice whereby wealthy countries dump old machinery such as phones and laptops into less affluent countries in the global south, increasingly in Africa.
Kinga Oktabska’s work explores transformations of urban landscapes against the background of social, cultural, political and economic change. She interprets space as palimpsest: a composition of layers of time engraved in matter. Her artistic practice, embedded in the experience of space, aims to reconstruct the narrative of a place written in physical traces and signs that have been erased, imagined or that are invisible to the eye. She is interested in applying process-based work as a research methodology to tell stories of change, observing temporality, permanence and cyclicality in landscapes. This artwork is part of a series of metalpoint panels drawn with objects reclaimed from Battersea’s shoreline.
Polymer clay and Velcro
59 pieces varying in size and scale
125 x 115 cm
On becoming a new parent Mapes work has taken a dramatic shift. She made a decision to include this shift, struggle, change and challenge in her work, as this is now her life. She is exploring themes of truth. The truth about painting. The truth about surface. The truth about making and the process that evolves around that. Mistakes are made and left on view. The rawness of the material is just as active as the paint floating or sinking on/into or around the surface. She is interested in the humour, the realness, the messiness, the colour, the brightness, the bold, the joy, the sadness, the loneliness, and the danger of parenthood……or do I mean the process of creating. Can they exist together. ‘Dabbles’ is a response to watching her daughter play – connecting her art to motherhood.
Lindsey Jean McLean
Lindsey McLean’s painting questions the historical representation of femininity and women in painting. McLean uses reoccurring motifs such as feather boas, fans and veils – transformative objects that obscure the gaze within the works. She subverts the historically patriarchal medium of oil paint to dismantle and create a new space to view femininity.The barrier creates a freedom for the figure, as the subject has an element of control on the viewer’s gaze and disrupts the usual pictorial gaze. McLean’s obsession with the veil in paintings comes from it being a boundary but also a way of blurring boundaries because seeing through a veil makes seeing where something begins or ends undefined. It can also be said that painting is a veil of some description. Painting alters the way we see and see our perceived selves; it layers space, time and emotion in such a way that sometimes we feel a presence looking back at us.
Bosani dismantles this hyper-masculine identity to introduce a queer private investigator in drag. Often operating through live collective investigations, his practice is in an open conversation with the history of sculpture and performance, bringing an innovative and experimental contribution to the mediums. In particular, Bosani created the concept of UPOs (Unidentified Performing Objects). A UPO is a non-object, which rejects categorisation and pre-existing definitions. Taking the form of sculptural shoes, these non-identifiable objects are equally familiar and uncanny and can be experienced as portals, providing direct access to the multiverse of identities that inhabits us.
The quality of rendering in a painting attracts Ayres. She is drawn to fine textures and prints, mimicking masters of the Dutch Golden Age that enlivened their genre paintings with meticulous depictions of lace, fabrics, and carvings. Her circumspect approach to her subjects produces a desperately dependent relationship with the reference. The concepts of subject and reference merge within the blackbox of formally depicting color and light. The figures Ayres paints today teeter on the edge of fierce capability and self-loathing. Micro Violences – overlooked dramas and tragedies – dominate the narratives held within the painting. Animal familiars shadow the work, adhering to the essential narrative tradition of an inner demon made flesh and a heroine given a sword to slay her troubles.
Oil on linen
43 x 43cm
Maria Positano weaves concepts of subjective world building and collective narrative production, combining material histories to enrich faceted notions of her/their own cultural belonging. Their work speculates and fictions ethnographic her/stories drawing on their nomadic upbringing. The present work stems from an interest in armour and defence strategies. Thinking about embodiment, vulnerability and transnational ecologies allows the artist to restructure ideas of political resilience and resistance. ‘Beetle in Shield in Gold’ is part of their collection ‘Shields’.
Marine One is a visual artist who works in a range of media, including painting, sculpture, video and textiles. The captivating sensation of discomfort that arises when confronted with uncanny, strange, and intriguing imagery serves as a central pillar of her artistic creations. This deliberately cultivated sense of unease plays a crucial role in her work, inviting viewers to delve into the intricate interplay between familiarity and the unknown. Through meticulously composed visuals that merge the known with the inexplicable, I aim to invite viewers into a state of cognitive dissonance that opens doors to fresh perspectives and introspection.
Max Maxwell is a British multidisciplinary artist. He initially started his career as a creative assistant to Brian Eno and later became a set and lighting designer for live events. A series of projects followed with Maxwell creating concepts for music videos, contemporary dance, exhibitions and site specific installations. A combination of historical research and alchemical processes inspired the work. Maxwell hope that viewers are taken on a journey when viewing the artwork.
A series of portraits detailing Owen’s friendships in London, both new and old. These paintings aim to approach the subject with empathy through the use of light and colour. The artist makes use of the natural light captured in the photograph in conjunction with the artificial studio lighting in which the paintings are made. This imbues the work with a luminous quality that is unique to painting.
Palm leaves, oxidized iron, pewter, metal thread, swivel hooks
29 cm x 5.7cm x 3cm
Advocating for different modes of play, Mou’s works slip between sculpture, craft and childhood games such as origami and modelling flying mechanisms. Narratives are constructed in the emulation of specific gestural language; calligraphic practice, paper folding, or the movement of flight. Manifesting as forms of movement, the act of making becomes a process of recollection. Often times the objects undergo a constant state of ‘shape-shifting’, audiences are encouraged to question their past and future itinerary, working out the causal relationship between them. Through toying with materiality beyond a known material state, the objects’ are stripped of their predetermined functions, and caught in their process of ‘becoming’.
Sara Marinangeli is a photographer and video artist. Recurring themes of her work are memory, time and loss; indelible marks that are part of everybody’s life. Films give her the chance to underline the connection between the handcraft and the passing of time. The time spent in the darkroom gives another value and a greater importance to the final work. Through her practice, she intends to give a new life to processes, moments, people or feeling that are part of our past.
This on-going series ‘Leaving a Mark’ started with the intent to portray Mariangeli’s mother, through objects, symbols but in particular people on whom she left a mark. The darkroom practice becomes a physical representation of the act of remembering and imagining. Through these series of prints and contact sheets, I would like to give a new life to colours, feelings, moments, flashes of memories, relations and experiences that are already part of our past but remain in the present through images-marks.
28 x 42cm
Akiba’s work questions our stereotyped perception of gender roles and how our body images are formed while creating synergy between fashion and fine art.
28 x 42cm
Within Khan’s paintings there are partly imagined characters based on, detailed and vaguely reported femicide cases in news paper articles, female representation in miniature paintings and certain protagonists from films. They are beings with stories that I question and try to uncover through an open lens. The Brown madder color used so voraciously across most of Khan’s paintings started to become a pre-existing palette inspired by Pakistan’s landscape that got injected with more meaning and free associating keywords such as patriarchy, violence, bodies, mark making, censorship, and home.
Notes of Ginger, Black Pepper, Cedar, Palo Santo, Iris and Amber
Urania fragrances combine nature’s poetic and seductive elements. They offer a sensorial journey that celebrates the wholeness of the body – simultaneously innocent and mysterious – as nature intended. With a sense of gender playfulness the fragrances encourage you to find your freedom. Urania aim at the reinvention of contemporary high perfumery.
The Euston Tower space being used for ‘Melt’ is a new Hypha Studios site that will bring artists back to the heart of the city, where they can work and exhibit their practices.
We have had 107 applications for this location from which we will programme 8 x 6 week long exhibitions which the artists will use for free, in return for a public programme that will engage the local community. Keep your eyes on our socials for more information!
Creative Land Trust Ambassador
I became involved in with the CLT for the simple reason that it’s imperative for the cultural wellbeing of our capital to accommodate and support artists. Art is at the very core of creativity and without it we are are stale. London and the UK is quickly becoming inhospitable for creative practices, which needs to be thoroughly addressed immediately
Hypha Studio Artist
From previously working with Hypha Studios, they have provided a space for working-class artists to exhibit within the capital city when prices of studios and exhibiting spaces are high. From this opportunity, I was able to exhibit new artwork that hadn’t been seen. This exhibition promoted me and other working-class artists, and the event was picked up by Dazed magazine which promoted my artwork and gave me confidence in my art practice.
Hypha Studio Artist
Making ‘Makes No Odds’ at Hypha allowed me to make a large-scale work that I did not have scope to do in my studio. It meant that I could experiment with scale in a way that I am prohibited from doing in the space I normally have. It also allowed space to host our ‘3D Women’ support group where we focused on addressing lack of space and affordability in London.
Hypha Studio Artist
Working with hypha studios has offered a fantastic opportunity for me and my peers to exhibit together for the first time, and has given us a platform to present our work to a wide audience. This leads to further opportunities and gives us a great chance to network.
Hypha Studio Artist
Being part of Hypha’s Exhibition Space has been extremely beneficial for my art practice. Hypha’s show has enabled me to share a new series of work with a broader audience while connecting me to artists, curators, galleries and fundraising opportunities.
Hypha Studio Artist
I found the building (a disused supermarket) a really interesting place to show artwork, spaces like that are a good fit for my work which draws influence from the myriad of way humans shape the world around them and I’m grateful whenever these kind of places are made available for artists – this feels particularly important in a world which normally prioritises capitalist wealth at the expense of everything else.
Hypha Studio Artist
I feel so lucky to have spent it with other artists that I admire and can now call friends, and I really felt part of a community. The time and freedom I experienced has sped up the evolution of my practice exponentially, and I’ve continued to explore the same themes and investigations that I discovered during my time with Hypha Studios.
Creative Land Trust Artist
Having a new studio with CLT on Wallis Rd. has had a huge impact on my work. I have the dream space! Not only is there freedom to make work as big or small as desired but the location and community is excellent. I am also very much looking forward to curating an exhibition and create workshops for the community in Hypha Studio Stafford space.
Hypha Studio Artist
I am extremely satisfied with how my residence is developing. Through my first months at Hypha Studios Battersea, my practice has greatly developed. I have increased my public base, sales and international presence. I am very thankful and I feel privileged to be supported by Hypha; without a secure studio where to work and create, this career progress would have not been possible.
Hypha Studio Artist
The studio has encouraged me to be more expansive in realising the project: not only in having a space for producing work but also to collaborate and exchange ideas. The public events organised at the studio with support from Hypha are valuable to me in creating a dialogue with the local community. I also had an opportunity to develop work with a larger scope, currently working on a large-scale drawing installation following my walk to the studio down the rivershore.
Creative Land Trust Artist
Having the studio on Wallis Road has been a blessing. It can be so tough to find affordable decent studio spaces in London and this place ticks all the boxes.
Creative Land Trust Artist
I am very pleased to be a member of Mainyard Studios and associated with the CLT charity. My affordable studio space is great for the production of my artworks, paintings and sculptures. Mainyard studios has brought me many opportunities allowing me to get involved in different creative projects and also some great networking events encouraging meeting other creatives.
Hypha Studios Artist
In early 2023 I was part of the curatorial team behind Who Holds The Sword at Hypha’s Stratford Space. It was a gloriously daunting and equal measures thrilling experience to be handed the keys to such a big space. We had tremendous fun in bringing the site to life and it was so meaningful to be trusted to do so by Hypha. The chance to play on such a visible platform was delicious.
Hypha Studio Artist
The primary advantage of being able to use this space is its affordability. Given the rising rents in the city that have been pushing artists out, having access to an exhibition space for free allows us to focus more on our creative process without the financial stress.
Creative Land Trust Artist
This is the first studio I’ve ever been able to call my own and it has been such a joy to be working here and amongst other creatives in what feels like a really exciting time to be making work.