Tessa Grundon & Hannah Fletcher
October 3 to November 28 2017
Closing Reception/Meet the Artist Friday November 24, 18.00-19.30
An exhibition about trees and topographies
Tessa Grundon grew up in the Middle East, UK and the United States. She now divides her time between the UK, her home in lower Manhattan and studio in DUMBO, Brooklyn.
She has studied at The Arts Students League, New Academy of Fine Art and Parsons/New School University in NYC whilst working as a decorative artist and muralist both in the U.S. and Europe before focusing on her own projects in the past 10 years. She has been a visiting artist and environmental advocate in New York City schools for many years, most recently collaborating with Works+Water and Pioneer Works compiling data on artists working with water internationally as well as other environmental and community projects including Swale with Mary Mattingly’s Floating Food Forest in NYC waterways circumnavigating NY laws on where it is legal to grow common food.
For the past year she has been an artist in residence at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and is presently a visiting artist at Battersea Arts Centre tying together the new and the old in the building’s restoration. Most recently she has been researching and collecting medicinal plants and information for “Plant Cure” exhibition at Central Booking in NYC. In the upcoming weeks she will be showing with art.earth at Dartington Hall and with Black Swan Arts in the UK and has also been invited to show with NARS Foundation in NY. She has been an artist in residence at Wave Hill in Bronx and run workshops working with encaustic, natural and found materials etc.
Her upcoming projects include a continuation of environmental and sound studies of waterways on both sides of the Atlantic. Her work is in several private collections both in the US and abroad.
My work is rooted in place, referencing a range of influences from the topography and history of a place and its ever-changing environment; the shifting tides to the effect of man on community and the landscape; to man himself and the shared visual language of natural forms.
I work with an amalgam of different materials and artifacts relating to specific geographical locations. I use local maps, beeswax from nearby hives (literally a distillation and essence of a place and a moment in time); pigments drawn from the mud, various colored earths, vegetation, rust and charcoal. I look for inspiration and materials in the landscape whether in woods, abandoned places or building sites, using the debris found along the strand lines of estuaries, riverbanks and marshes, from the source of a stream to where it meets the ocean through places both rural and urban. I collect sounds, images, data and objects. With these materials I create work that embodies a sense of place – totems of landscapes that resonate with me.
Curator Charlotte Mouquin wrote about Tessa’s work for the Field Projects (Chelsea, NY):
New York-based Tessa Grundon is moved by topography, history of a place, ever-changing environments, and the relationship between land and people. Her work is created from local maps, beeswax from nearby hives, pigments drawn from the mud, various colored earths, vegetation, rust and charcoal. Particularly inspired by estuaries and local waterways, the delicate abstractions are markers of place, time, and experience.
Hannah Fletcher is an internationally exhibited, London based photographic artist. In 2017, she graduated from London College of Communication where she studied BA (Hons) Photography. Hannah’s interests lie in exploring the challenge of intertwining the organic through a rigidity innate to the photographic; so that both mediums’ respective haphazard and unpredictable qualities synthesise an outcome. This collaborative embrace between herself and her chosen materials lead the artist to rejoice in the success of failure— in doing so, challenging the confines of contemporary photographic practice.
Circles: A Record Of Our Time, is an ecology of images that examine how man’s relationship with the environment can be read from trees.
The tree acts as a recording device, a camera. As trees grow they form growth rings, each growth ring different dependent on environmental fluctuations. In our current geological epoch, the Anthropocene, we, humans, are directly affecting the growth of these tree rings. During a conversation with Martin Bridge, lecturer of dendrochronology at UCL, he explained that since CO2 levels have been rising in the atmosphere, tree rings have been getting wider. This is explained by the tree absorbing more CO2, causing it to grow faster, resulting in the rings becoming further spaced apart.
Acting as a pseudo-scientist, I have been investigating the wood as a photographic material and device. Working directly with wood, allows the viewer to encounter these materials as tools: portholes through which one is able to consider the future of our environment and human placement within it.