Koppe Astner is delighted to present “Inside all my activities”, Laura Aldridge’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.
Aldridge pursues her longstanding interest and engagement with sculpture as an immersive, sensory driven experience which she explores via photography, ceramics, textiles and glass. “Inside all my activities” begins upon entering the gallery corridor. Soft underfoot, we adjust our stride—slowing down, carefully placing one foot in front of the other, manoeuvring the surface of Display Scape #5. Each step leaves a mark, making every visitors‘ experience a part of the immersive and evolving landscape Aldridge has constructed.
The exhibition marks the culmination of Aldridge’s residency at Cove Park, Argyll and Bute. During her stay in this rural location, Aldridge sourced plants, flowers, nails, hairpins and keys and implemented an eco dye process to produce fabrics in an array of explosive prints which celebrate the Scottish summer flora and the found objects of its landscapes. Water conditions, temperature fluctuations, chlorophil and metals are some of the controlled and uncontrolled variables which directly affect the outcome of the prints, yielding unpredictable results.
Evolution and progression play a crucial role in the exhibition—the theatre of assembly and rituals of the printing process are unseen yet implied acts that set a stage, tone and mood for the viewer. Aldridge embraces the sentiments of the Susan Hiller quote, “A lot of what we deny when we’re making work is this process of change…“, presenting us with sculptures that exist within and as a result of a certain performance. The artist, the initial performer, passes her engagement with material on to the viewer, encouraging a physical, multi-sensory and corporeal experience that is characteristic of Aldridge’s practice.
Four weeks ago (seeds) and Today (myself), two prints in the main gallery, readdress notions of change and the passage of time. The images document moments that mark transition, steeped with a sense of potential. One, a close up of sunflower seeds and the other, a close up of Aldridge’s face demonstrating the expression she is asked to perform upon visits to her acupuncturist. Both allude to the cyclical rhythms of plant and human life, ever-changing states of existence.
The ten floor sculptures, Signals and get wet are enlarged nazars, an apotropaic talisman which appears throughout historic and contemporary Mediterranean culture. Aldridge plays with the glass forms, enlarging their size and adding a dimension—the objects have a bold presence with a slightly comical twist. At the same time, presented as multiple variations of the same symbol, their quotidian function is exaggerated.
“Inside all my activities” presents a distinct struggle between uniformity and irregularity, reality and representation. Disparate elements, materials and sensations compliment each other, inform each other, spill into each other and ultimately become inseparable.