We want to celebrate and find out more about the characters driving the renaissance of the London gallery scene, and what better way than to resurrect our THAT’s Interesting feature.
Last time we had Helen Neven of Neven. This time we have her recommendation Mazzy-Mae Green.
Mazzy-Mae Green runs the gallery Sherbet Green a contemporary art gallery that opened in East London in 2022, in the once-loading zone of the luggage company Boris Bags. The gallery’s primary focus is emerging contemporary artists, aiming to participate in creating space for outstanding, thought-provoking, and challenging art.
Some Art I’m interested in
I’m often particularly drawn to surface, transformation and material innovation. The charcoal worked into Sonya Derviz’s wet-on-wet oils, the cloaking of bronze through exuberant patination in Li Li Ren’s sculptures… Those practical deviations often have a slightly stupefying effect, unfurling and giving way more slowly to comprehension, and that makes you focus first on the sensation of what you’re seeing, and then on its material qualities. I find that stimulating. I also seem to return constantly to Meret Oppenheim’s iconic fur-lined teacup – obsessed.
Some Design I’m interested in
GR*A Studio in Rome recently did a fascinating exhibition with Asterisco in collaboration with design collective LICHENE which caught my attention – these sultry, welded forms. So interesting to see design approached in that way.
My first memories are of a warehouse I lived in in Sydney, and that is something I tend to conjure in my imaginings of home and my attraction to certain spaces and objects of design. I feel these interests are tied into Sherbet Green. The gallery is set up in the old loading zone of an East End luggage company, who I rent the building from, and I’ve kept the exposed breeze blocks and other industrial elements. They divulge aspects of the history of the space, and I find that beautiful.
Some Culture I’m interested in
I have a particular liking for print. I studied linguistics and then worked for magazines – mostly Modern Matter – for a while before doing my MA in curating. I mostly read interviews. Autre is great for that, as are Plaster and Émergent. There’s also a nice set up of platforms chronicling the London scene at the moment, which is in turn developing interestingly. Spittle, Hector Campbell’s Shock of the Now, Seb’s Art List and FAD have the listings and recommendations bases covered. Cambridge Heath is also its own destination of galleries and restaurants. Soft Opening is one road over from Sherbet, and Nicoletti is just around the corner, just after Cell Project Space. And we also now have Neven Gallery, which is exciting. The Hare is a noteworthy local pub, and there’s this Italian restaurant around the corner from the gallery, called Italina 385, introduced to me by Darren Flook a while back, that’s a mainstay.
A museum show I’d recommend…
I’m going to give you two, one I’ve seen and one I haven’t.
Pakui Hardware’s Inflammation at The Museum of Applied Arts and Design looks incredible; a kind of large-scale evocation of a sweltering nervous system. I’m a fan of their practice, and I’m looking forward to their presentation for Lithuania’s pavilion at the Venice Biennale next year.
The one I’ve seen that I thought was brilliant is Sarah Lucas’s Happy Gas at Tate Britain. It’s well-curated, and Lucas has the kind of wit that makes you laugh out loud. Another quality I find draws me in with art is when it succeeds in carrying complex semiosis about the coded ways in which our strange little bodies behave. I see it as often being about how certain ideas are obscured, producing, in their indirectness, a certain clarity. This exhibition is on the money in this respect. When visiting, you can also see Rhea Dillon’s exhibition there, An Alterable Terrain, which I really enjoyed.
A gallery show I’d recommend…
I’ll be at the opening of both Tiffany Wellington’s upcoming exhibition at studio/chapple, and Xxijra Hii’s group exhibition This be the verse., on 1st December. And I’m also keen to check out Akinola Davies at Harlesden High Street, which is opening at some point in December, too. Trevor Yeung at Gasworks, until 17th December, is also a really interesting exhibition, and Johnny Abrahams has a nice show at Vigo, until 19th January, of works that play out his usual, rhythmic compositions in bold new colours.
Some Tech I’m interested in
I’m interested to see how tech is being utilised by artists. Processes of performance and dissemination are at the forefront of recent works by Nina Davies. Her use of choreography to flesh out simulated experience under shifting frameworks and media is very effective. I missed her recent show at Matt’s Gallery, sadly, but her piece for the Goldsmiths degree show last year was a highlight, and I’m keen to see what she does for her first solo exhibition with Seventeen next year.
Some music I’m interested in
I know what I like in music, but more on the basis of sound and feeling than names and albums. After pulling up my Spotify I can tell you that my most listened to tends to oscillate between that bubble of 80s/90s D.C. hardcore (e.g. Bad Mouth by Fugazi) and 60s pop/yé-yé (Françoise Hardy’s Tous les garçons et les filles), but I’m a bit disparate and tend to put on just about anything under the sun and then play it fifty times over. I love a lot of stuff that came from Studio One Records (Norma Fraser’s version of The First Cut is the Deepest), and Pavement, and British rap (Little Simz, Venom; or Dave, Lazarus) and some indie music (Wet Leg, Being in Love). I’d probably give you a slightly different answer if you were to ask me tomorrow.
I’m passing over to Jerry Zéruì Guo of ZÉRUÌ gallery in Camberwell, whose programme exudes a certain pensive softness that works well there. We showed alongside them at Minor Attractions, and their presentation there with Isabella Benshimol Toro was a highlight. They’ve also just hosted Mia Vallance’s first UK solo. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do next.