Piece of Mind is the new exhibition at Somerset House Studios’ Gallery 31curated by Harlesden High Street, Piece of Mind explores the effects of the changing functions of our intimate domestic spaces, where we increasingly carry out more work, social and leisure activities.
Presenting a range of multi-media works from Ocean Baulcombe-Toppin, ? YA + Casandra Burrell, Farrah Riley Gray, Tyreis Holder, KO___OL and Anna Sebastian, the exhibition draws its focus on the bedroom, a space that is often the main environment for these activities.
“For Ti” and “Foolishness follows feet” is the work of artist, poet and visual storyteller Tyreis Holder who explores the assault on our domestic and sacred spaces as well as self-rituals with her powerful textile carpet works that distort the perception of the room.
YA’s pieces, produced in collaboration with airbrush artist Casandra Burrell, are sculptural re-interpretations of previous photography works, depicting eerie domestic atmospheres where the body often appears as a scattered set of independent parts that merge and interact with their surroundings.
Farrah Riley-Gray’s woven synthetic hairpiece “we felt seen today” hangs above the exhibition space’s fireplace like a disembodied organ uncannily reclaiming its space as an autonomous entity. This is in contrast with KO___OL’s video installation titled “Violent Prayers”, where hair becomes a memento from a loved one in reminiscence of the old practice of keeping a lock as a token when far from home. KO___OL challenges idealised moments of the routine of life in Nigeria through the lens of family, work and social gathering, via the setting of the bedroom.
In blessedwithcaribbeansunlight.com, Ocean Baulcombe-Toppin’s holographic representation of a eucalyptus, a historically sacred healing tree, deepens the feeling that all things grounded are, in the domestic space, simulated through technological devices, ultimately belonging to the realm of illusion. Anna Sebastian’s oil on canvas, titled “Persephone”, is one of nine images in a series that explores the contemporary evolution of myth in relation to astrology, a portal to the outside.
As the boundaries increasingly blur between private and intimate spaces, Piece of Mind explores the challenge of true rest – or peace of mind – and its psychological effect, as our minds are increasingly required to compartmentalise our lives in a way our spaces no longer can.
Somerset House Studios present: Gallery 31: ‘Piece Of Mind‘ curated by Harlesden High Street 1st Apr – 17th Jul Free entry | Tickets HERE | Located in the New Wing of Somerset House
About the artists
Ocean Baulcombe-Toppin (b.1996, Harlesden) is an artist who researches what it means to ‘be’ through gentle and meditative practice. Embedded with personal, historical and theoretical material, she works butterfly-like to create a contemporary philosophy inspired by her spirituality, heritage and rituals for solace. Recent exhibitions include Harlesden High Street, the South London Gallery, and the Freud Museum. @oceanloren
? YA (she/ her), (b.1994, Singapore) works on the vision of fiction as a modern language to explore self-reality and social existence. Her “An Everyday Thought” series is a realisation from ? YA‘s journal of everyday reflections and visual responses as a third person looking in. inntya.net
Casandra Burrell (b. 1991) Casandra Burrell is a self-taught artist whose main practice involves airbrushing t-shirts at her local store in Cleveland, Ohio. She occasionally participates in projects and helps design promotional images for exhibitions for artists’ work for Harlesden High Street.
Farrah Riley Gray (b. 1992) graduated in 2019 with a BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths University and was the recipient of the Christine Ridley Award. Her work is held in the collection at the Constance Howard Gallery and has been exhibited and performed in the UK at institutions including Horniman Museum, Craft Council, Wellcome Collection and Deptford X. farrahrileygray.com
KO___OL is an audiovisual & conceptual artist living and working in London. He’s exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art, WAB Artfair Barcelona x HH and Harlesden High Street. He has created visual work for Mercury winner Moses Boyd, Skip 2 My Lou (Linea Rossa), composer Klein and Josiane M.H Pozi. He is an ongoing DJ host and programmer at NTS Radio.
Anna Sebastian (b.1990, UK) is a painter and draughtsman drawing on images from science fiction and myth. She previously studied at Goldsmiths College and the Royal Drawing School and has exhibited internationally at the Homesession Gallery, Barcelona Ghetto Biennale, C&C Gallery and Gallery 46. aucart.com/anna-kay-sebastian
Tyreis Holder is an artist, poet and visual storyteller from South London, with heritage reigning from Jamaican/St Vincent. She works heavily in mediums pertaining to installation, textiles, performance, poetry, sculpture and sound. Her practise centres around explorations of self and identity, the relationship with the mind, particularly with regard to navigating colonial spaces. @tyreis