Sara MacKillop dual-site exhibition, Returns and Renewals to open at PEER + Shoreditch Library

Sara MacKillop, Publications 2008 -18 (detail), 2019, Mixed media, variable dimensions, Display at ICA Milan
Sara MacKillop, Publications 2008 -18 (detail), 2019, Mixed media, variable dimensions, Display at ICA Milan

British artist Sara MacKillop (b. Bromley, 1973) has a practice that is immersed in the world of paper, pens, print and all the trappings and ephemera of the printing and stationery industries. Her dual-site exhibition, Returns and Renewals, is on show at both PEER from 25th October until 21st December and at Shoreditch Library (across the street from PEER) from 25th October until 1st February. The show launches an ambitious new initiative, PEER in the Library, a year-long series of exhibitions, events and workshops that invites artists and artist collectives to create work that focuses on the spoken and written work in a variety of media.

MacKillop’s approach is intended to misunderstand the commonplace objects in her sphere and instead view them through the art historical lens of minimalism and its use of saturated colour and repetition. In this way, the work deftly balances literal narrative with abstraction.

For PEER, MacKillop is making an installation that occupies the clean lines of the gallery’s architecture with characteristically elegant restraint. The installation, initially viewed from the street outside through the large plate-glass windows is semi-obscured by the gallery blinds, and the audience’s gaze is directed through glass awareness stickers that continue into the gallery. Inside, MacKillop creates an installation comprising Ikea furniture, artist’s books and smaller sculptural objects created from commercial readymades and office ephemera. The installation at Shoreditch Library features sculptural work assembled using repatriated library trolleys and furniture currently in use. Swathes of wrapping paper, dispensed from large rolls is hung as a kind of architectural drapery, while a range of smaller objects crafted from paper continues the artist’s exploration the book as sculptural object.

‘My process usually starts by noticing an image or object in an everyday environment and becoming engaged with it, seeing it again, how it’s used or displayed. I retain an openness to the endpoint so finding the final form of the work becomes part of the process itself.’

– Sara MacKillop

Sara MacKillop, Glass Awareness (detail), 2019
Sara MacKillop, Glass Awareness (detail), 2019

SARA MACKILLOP RETURNS AND RENEWALS 25th October to 21st December 2019 www.peeruk.org PRIVATE VIEW Thursday 24th October 18:00 to 20:00

About The Artist
MacKillop has an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art, London. She has exhibited extensively throughout the UK, Europe and the US. Selected solo shows include: Bonnington Gallery, Nottingham (2017), Haus der Kunst, Munich (2016), Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2013); Spike Island, Bristol (2011); White Columns, New York (2011). Selected group shows include Book-Work-Book, ICA Milan (2019), Serralves Museum, Porto (2016); Hayward Gallery Touring UK venues (2016); Westfa?lischer Kunstverein, Mu?nster (214). She lives and works in London.

PEER in the Library is an ambitious new series of exhibitions, participatory projects and other events that invites artists and artist collectives to create and exhibit high-quality artwork for Shoreditch Library. Sitting across and providing a link between PEER’s existing exhibitions and local programmes, the project aims to increase both organisations’ reach, diversify audiences, engage local communities, promote visual art in contexts outside of the gallery and present exceptional art as part of daily life.

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine, ' A curation of the world’s most interesting culture' [PLUS] Art of Conversation: A tri-annual 'no news paper'