Five Hides is an exhibition presented by curatorial platform Thorp Stavri, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and through the continued support of Projekt and us! FAD Magazine. We managed to catch up with five of the exhibiting artists for a quick overview about them their work and what they will be exhibiting at Five Hides here we have Ally Rosenberg.
For those that don’t know your work, can you tell us about your background and art practice?
After finishing my BA at Central St Martins, I became obsessed with neuroscience and ended up studying for a masters in it. I’m still figuring out how this detour influenced what I make. Most of my recent work has a cross-sectional quality, whether by slicing, casting or compacting. Materially, I am interested in a relationship between image and object; how colour and image can be a structural quality as opposed to a superficial one, like Blackpool rock candy or MRI imaging. I like this as a way of representing the human body playfully, in a kind of pseudo-anatomical way. I think the result appears ironic and I’m interested in irony as an obstacle to sincerity.
Ally Rosenburg It Will Only Cost You Your Appetite, 2020 Papercrete, jesmonite, earth pigments, flourescent paint 97 x 56 x 32cm Courtesy Thorp Starvi and the Artist
Can you tell us a bit about the work that’s being shown at Five Hides?
It so happens that all three pieces have been made at different stages of the pandemic, primarily using papercrete – a blend of mulched cardboard and cement. The first piece (‘Some Compliments Aren’t Worth Accepting’) was made right on the brink of lockdown, just before I moved in with family and away from my studio for a few months. The second (‘Homunculus’) was made in an overly-ambitious attempt to fill the time in full lockdown, using all of the cardboard packaging from online deliveries to make a huge outdoor sculpture in my family’s garden. The intention was to document it in a nearby field, then destroy it, with no hope of ever showing it. The singular figure, scarecrow-like, in a field, made from recycled materials (cardboard and straw, cast on corrugated barn roofing sheets), feels like an unconscious response to where I was. The third piece (‘It Will Only Cost You Your Appetite’) has been made since returning to my studio. I think all three have a cartoonish- ness that I’m enjoying, in combination with the austerity of the cheap, industrial materials.
Ally Rosenburg Homunculus, 2020 Papercrete, jesmonite, earth pigments, Courtesy Thorp Starvi and the Artist
How does it feel to be able to exhibit larger works at a time when exhibition venues like Manor Place Baths are becoming harder to come by?
Weirdly serendipitous as, like I say, I had no intention of ever showing one of these pieces, but when this opportunity came along, it seemed like a perfect fit. It feels like the pieces are what I would have made site-specifically, despite not having visited the site until after making the work. Since I’m working more and more with industrial materials, brickwork patterns and an interplay of hard and soft, I’m looking forward to seeing how a space with such history and volume bleeds into the sculptural objects. I’m not sure you can really transform a space
like this (or if you’d even want to), so I think it might work more the other way around, where it’s about how the space does things to the work. To exhibit in what has so clearly been a living, breathing building with such ties to the local community, is always interesting and worthwhile and more so because, as you say, they are becoming fewer and further between.
Ally Rosenburg Some Compliments Aren’t Worth Accepting, 2020 Papercrete, reconstituted foam, silicone, earth pigments, steel hinge 120 x 60 x 70cm Courtesy Thorp Starvi and the Artist
Have you made plans for 2021? Are you feeling positive?
Cautiously, yes. I’m supposed to be having shows in Milan and Berlin in the new year, although I’m aware of the possibility of things being thwarted. I’m so aware of being lucky to have any plans at all right now, even tentatively, that I’m trying to just focus on keeping my head down, making the work and not spend too much time wondering where/if it will be seen. @allyrosenbergartist
Five Hides 3rd October – 11th October 33 Manor Place London SE17 3BH The exhibition will be adhering to current social distancing guidelines. Masks will be required for entry, hand sanitizer will be provided and access to the exhibition space will be in limited capacity. All visits will require a free ticket, which can be booked HERE .
* The 3rd of October is now fully booked and the 4th is nearly so please book ASAP to avoid disappointment.*