Sandra Lane occupies two Small Houses over the Christmas months. Her playfully experimental sculpture practice is materials-based and process-oriented, seemingly riffing on exuberant 80s graphics done in Miami Vice pastels and MTV neons, and is as unpredictable as puffy paint doodles on denim in a summer camp crafting session, except Sandra’s offerings are drawn in space, using clay and wire and foam and plaster, cartoony ceramic high-heeled sandals, and hollow socks, or weirdly elongated Shrigley-esque toes with colourfully painted toenails (and other, naughtier body parts). The point of bringing up the puffy painted denim is the explosive adolescent energy of the work, but no, your kid could not do this – well, not without a slew of tech support, experimental fearlessness, a whole lot of trial and error over the course of a decade, and a significant art education (Camberwell and Slade sculpture degrees in Sandra’s case).
Sandra’s work changes scale from show to show, and is ebulliently playful – this is why [April 2021’s Small House artist] Johanna Bolton recommended Sandra for a Small House show when she was introduced to Eldi at Johanna’s Royal Sculpture Society ‘Gilbert Bayes Award’ show, March 2022. (CONGRATS JOHANNA!) Johanna had a hunch that they’d be kindred art-souls.
“For her Small House Gallery exhibition ‘La Musée de Mme Rocaille’, Sandra Lane responds to the Houses as psychological spaces, museums of the lives of the people who lived in them. Madame Rocaille, its mistress, takes her name from the french word for Rococo, meaning small rocks; it’s also the name of the shell-lined grottos Rococo folk liked to frolic in. The houses reflect the Rococo in its romantic colours and nature-inspired themes. So far so normal. In House I and House II, facial features and limbs are dislocated and scattered. Haberdashery and mouldings prowl the rooms of boulders, crushed plaster and quilted bolsters bursting with powder paint; while extruded clay slug pets snooze on quilts…”
Recently finished, and still worth mentioning…
So incredibly pleased that Barbara Beyer was up for making new work for exhibition in Small Houses One & Two!
Barbara was originally booked for October-November in Small House Two. She came for a recce and decided to make completely new work for the show. She is such a prolific maker that she created more than enough new works for several Small House shows! So when the ‘house next door’ became available (when another artist had to postpone his show), it made all the sense in the world to offer Small House Gallery One to her as well, so that she could showcase more of the beautiful new pieces she’d created especially for this project.
“Sculpture is a powerful medium to explore elementary themes concerning our human experiences in regard to our environment and in regard to our own sense of bearing and balance.
“Reflections on themes of landscapes and our perception and interference with our environment, kept bringing up the question where the urge to interfere with the material world comes from. What is the urge to do, to make, to change? Where does this need come from. Is it destructive or creative? Are we restless or just curious? Can making be a meditation or is it by definition quite the opposite?”~ Beyer, from her statement on the Royal Society of Sculptures website
Photo of Suiseki, 2020 (Black stoneware) 9cm x 19cm x 7cm
Materials: Film and sound projection. Wool, clay, grass, cordyline leaves, papier mache.
Karen is a Brighton based artist and PhD researcher at Chelsea College of Art (UAL). Her practice-based approach uses sound, film, and sculpture as a form of speculative enquiry into notions of ‘becoming-animal’ and animality. Karen’s work focuses on the paradoxical spaces inhabited by molluscs and insects, and explores how the artwork might enable a reimagining of new multispecies relationships to create a greater awareness of the ecological importance of these animals.
I wanted to focus on the space between sheep and humans – a paradoxically domestic space where lives and matter are bound-up, entangled and in a constant flow of becoming. I approached this in a non-prescriptive and playful way, using only natural materials, film and sound.
I volunteer as a ‘lookerer’, a kind of assistant shepherd, working with sheep on Downland sites around the edges of Brighton and Hove. Here, sheep graze on a number of important conservation and ancient chalklands as part of a rewilding project. I utilize these and other similar paradoxical spaces as residencies – places for encounter and alliance with nonhumans and ecologies. I ease myself into the environment, in close proximity to the flock – a transformative process of undoing and shape-shifting; a kind of shedding of humanness.
I use ‘becoming-animal’ as a starting point from which to jump in other directions and ways of thinking. This is a concept devised by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari*, which offers a mode of escape from binary thinking. It is always in flight; it destabilises and dislodges, allowing for unexpected connections and relations to emerge and to open up new possibilities and perceptions.Karen Piddington, 2022
Living on the coast, Sinéid Codd is drawn to the ever changing nature of the sea and its’ transitory relationship with the edges of land. Her ongoing work, ‘a fuller acquaintance with the archipelago’ responds to the times we have been living through since 2016 and invites the viewer to navigate a co-created Lilliputian world inhabited by fossilised and fragile cast sculptures, as a series of abandoned islands, created by the sea.
“My work is a response to time and place through curiosity and my fascination with found objects. Play is at the heart of my interdisciplinary practice, which encompasses sculpture, photography and painting, often brought together in site-responsive installations that invite inquisitiveness.”
For her installation, ‘from the archipelago’ with Small House Gallery, “due to our climate emergency and coastal erosion, the house, now an abandoned home, has fallen off the cliff. A transformation of scale has taken place: the topsy-turvy house has been taken over by miniature islands who feel larger within its confines and safer from the turbulent seas.”
Sinéid Codd is an interdisciplinary artist with a long history of socially engaged practice. Recent solo installations: ‘a fuller acquaintance with the archipelago’, Observer Building, Hastings (2020); ‘as small as the world and as large as alone.’, Project 78 Gallery, St Leonards on Sea (2019); ‘between skylight and dust’, (two person), hARTslane, London, 2019. Recent awards: Alpine Fellowship (shortlisted 2021); a-n Artist Bursary 2020 and 2019; Artquest’s Peer Forum at Cubitt with fellow Peer Social Artists (2018); London Creative Network placement, SPACE, London (2017). She’s currently a freelance artist educator with the De La Warr Pavilion.