Thursday 27th September

| BY Helena Fletcher

Ten’s To See: The Accumulation of Things

Joe Bloom, 'Expanse' (2017)Joe Bloom, ‘Expanse’ (2017)

It feels like it’s been a long time coming, but after four weeks of shows in four cities fashion month is almost over. So if you need a break from the daily grind or just a fantastic excuse to visit the Midlands, we have the perfect thing for you. For the next month The Accumulation of Things, a group show featuring the work of seven emerging artists, will be on display at the Bonington Gallery, Nottingham, kicking off their Autumn programme of exhibitions.

Adam Murray, one half of photography collective Preston is my Paris, and Lou Stoppard’s co-curator for the acclaimed North: Fashioning Identity exhibition, which came to Somerset House from the Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool last year, has scratched that curatorial itch once again. The common thread for all artists included in The Accumulation of Things is their mutual interest in exploring the everyday, shared yet subjective experience, circadian circumstance, the domestic and familiar. Through painting, photography and sculpture their works navigate personal histories both in reality and imaginary. “I wanted to move away from being so geographically specific with the subject, but still to examine that which has always interested me; how everyday life and personal experience can inform the creative process,” says Murray. “The selection process was very intuitive, but I wanted to showcase the work of early career artists.”

Aditya Babbar, 'The Reflection' (2018)Aditya Babbar, ‘The Reflection’ (2018)

The artists were identified by Murray over the last couple of years either from his visits to degree shows around the country, in tutorials at Central Saint Martins (where Murray is the course leader of the Fashion Image MA) or through recommendations from friends. Max Prus, a graduate of the Royal Academy Schools has created a series of large paintings on plastic sheeting, which are juxtaposed in the installation with Glasgow School of Art student Evie O’Connor’s paintings that appear on found ceramics. Whilst a photographic portrait by Aditya Baba and Alicia Jalloul’s sculpture both consider cultural identity and ask viewers to confront their own embodied experience. Other work comes in the form of paintings by Joy Labinjo a Newcastle University graduate and Joe Bloom who also studied at Glasgow, as well as portraits by photographer Julie Greve, one of three winners of the JW Anderson ‘Your Picture, Our Future’ Prize, earlier this year.

A dialogue forms between the works on display but also chimes with and encourages the viewers to reflect on their own experience and personal circumstance, in addition to that of the artists. “With our over reliance on screen based imagery, this is very much an exhibition that needs to be seen in real life. It is impossible to fully appreciate the painting of artists such as Joy Labinjo and Joe Bloom through digital reproductions,” explains Murray. “It is also an exhibition about experiences, so the physical act of travelling to Nottingham will likely offer a new experience to some visitors.”

Get to know a little more about three of the artists before the exhibition opens tonight:

Joy Labinjo, 'Untitled' (2018)Joy Labinjo, ‘Untitled’ (2018)

Where does the inspiration for your work come from?

Joy Labinjo: Well they’re based on family photographs, mainly for the composition of the figures; but also influenced by colours I see, patterns I like and paintings by other artists that I enjoy. It’s these four elements that build the paintings.

Evie O’Connor: I play a lot with nostalgia and domestic tropes. I take alot of inspiration from the family homes I grew up in around the Peak District and how the context of a home can change works of art. The solitary nature of growing up in a rural place also feeds into my landscapes and portraiture.

Julie Greve: It depends, it can come from many things but in general from experiences, memories and emotions. It can be about a certain place but it’s also always about people for me.

Evie O'Connor, 'Mam Tor' (2017)Evie O’Connor, ‘Mam Tor’ (2017)

What was your reaction to being asked to exhibit your work in this group show?

JL: I was excited, group shows are a really good opportunity to meet other artists and see how the work fares in a different scenario. I found the possibility of showing amongst other painters really exciting.

EO: I was thrilled at the prospect of showing alongside the selection of artists, I’ve been following the others for quite some time and are huge fans of their work. I’m also keen to show in somewhat overlooked areas like Nottingham so the location is very appealing to me.

JG: I was happy.

Julie Greve, 'Katrine' (2017)Julie Greve, ‘Katrine’ (2017)

Do you think the message of your work changes when placed in conversation with the works of the other artists?

JL: Definitely. When my works are showed together you’re faced with a real sense of blackness… This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but the concept of race is definitely there. In this show I think they will be viewed more as paintings by a black artist? Maybe the viewer will focus more on how they’re made within the context of the other paintings more so than the subject matter?

EO: When participating in a group show I think it’s inevitable that the audience will create their own connections between the artists’ works, I’m completely open to these connections and my work being in conversations with other pieces.

JG: I don’t think there’s one clear message in my work, it always depends on the person viewing it. But I’m happy to have it shown in this context. For me, the message doesn’t change.


The Accumulation of Things is on at Nottingham Trent University’s Bonington Gallery from 28 September until 27th October 2018.

Alicia Jalloul, 'What is there, that there isn't' (2017)Alicia Jalloul, ‘What is there, that there isn’t’ (2017)