Somewhere between the found object and the ready-made, between the image and paint, or between the photographic and the archive, lies a territory that exists between nostalgia and displacement. It is into this uncertain space that this exhibition tentatively treads. The art here, through the suggestion of narrative, locates a certain longing within the everyday. In that respect, it is as souvenir that we experience what is both within, and is common to these works. “The delicate and hermetic world of the souvenir is a world of nature idealised; nature is removed from the domain of struggle into the domestic sphere … “. As Susan Stewart suggests in her book ‘On Longing’, souvenirs, like nostalgia, might be virtuous. But the work in Souvenirs shuns sentiment and sympathy while appealing to a life from which it has been separated. This reveals memory to be as unreliable as any souvenir is an inaccurate representative of the past. So souvenirs are left to talk to other times of fateful struggles, serving as sites of reluctant surrender, signs of all that remains of all that has passed.
Isha Bøhling’s work reveals or re-imagines untold narratives, recovering past resonances, whilst searching for structures, histories and underlying patterns. Outdated everyday objects are transformed into musical instruments and surfaces to project upon, often forming a feedback loop in which the object becomes the instrument that both contains and generates the sound work. It becomes a process of excavation manifested through drawing with objects, sound, video, painting, music and songs that the artist writes and performs.
Mandy Hudson’s paintings are small in scale and are based on details of found arrangements that are part of everyday life. “I am always looking out for subjects that I feel will be interesting to paint, taking photographs as reference”. This usually results in something between figuration and abstraction, depending on the memory of the subject and the direction the painting takes. “A lot of the subjects I choose have a sense of impermanence and vulnerability, and I hope that by painting them I am in someway preserving them.”
Paul O’Kane’s work enables a conversation between the photographic image in time and as material. During 30 years of image-making he has become increasingly devoted to accumulating, and cultivating an archive that allows past and present works to speak emotively and anachronistically, both to each other and to the present.
Nobuko Tsuchiya describes her working process as: “Not everything is as it appears in my work, not everything is done on purpose. My decisions are made by using what you could call a different form of thinking, and are made to operate between harmony and discord, control and the lack of it. I always try to develop the conversation between the things in my work and myself.” Nobuko Tsuchiya appears courtesy of Anthony Reynolds gallery.
Angus-Hughes: 26 Lower Clapton Rd (at the junction of Urswick Rd), London E5 0PD 0208 9850450 / firstname.lastname@example.org / www.angus-hughes.com