The Honeymoon Suite
Simon Oldfield Gallery
12th June – 11th July 2014
Private view invitation
Wednesday 11th June 2014
6 – 8pm
Bruce Ingram and Andrew Mania
Simon Foxall and Matthew Robert Hughes
Michael Pybus and Keith Allyn Spencer
Bruce Ingram, Simon Foxall and Michael Pybus play with notions of romance, sentimentality, luxury and earnest indulgence, and the architecture of investment, collaborating with their ‘art sweetheart’ on a room each within our latest project space, an Edwardian apartment in the heart of Mayfair.
Bruce Ingram’s installation grows out of the arrangement and placement of imagery and objects collected from the artist’s studio. The overlooked and discarded are impermanently arranged, shifting between two-dimensional and three dimensional space, evoking perhaps pleasure garden or a complex flower arrangement. A delicate framework of sticks, branches and wire, fastened together and suspended from the ceiling act as a three-dimensional line drawing, as gentle as it is robust, that parallels the intimate and sensual portraits of invited artist Andrew Mania. Mania’s portraits play as much with image as they do with the process of interpreting and absorbing it, the construction of effect being palpable in the physicality of the objects through which the portraits manifest themselves. Ingram and Mania unite to explore avenues of repression and desire, looking and looking away, a clarity within the imminence of its own undoing.
Michael Pybus creates an installation that references retail spaces and display, paying homage to Keith Haring’s Pop Shop, iconic Post Modern designers Memphis-Milano and the translation of subversive design into motifs appropriated by high street brands such as American Apparel and Ikea. With collaborator Keith Allyn-Spencer, Pybus appears to install a retail environment within The Honeymoon Suite, with paintings made of blocks of wood and strips of torn t-shirts, hung next to hand printed t-shirts on retail display fittings and mannequins, accompanied by handmade teddy bears in garish IKEA fabrics. Pybus and Allyn-Spencer reference the mechanisms of seduction in retail spaces through work that relates specifically to bodily physicality, whether the work is to be admired, worn or cuddled, the individual response mediated through conversations around persuasive interior space, mass production and choreographed sensuality.
Simon Foxall and collaborator Matthew Robert-Hughes take motifs of Disco and mythology as metonymic of utopian impulse, emergence, and the investment in escapist fantasy. The installation implies parallels between the high ‘70s luxe of disco culture and the supernatural occupants of Mount Olympus, drawing in conversations about totemic location, seductive narrative hero worship or fan love. Part of the installation will comprise a large wall painting, referencing billboard movie posters and swimming pool murals that evoke exotic locations and adventurous activity. This will occupy the space along with various work on paper, sculptures and found objects. Robert-Hughes brings a fascination with emblems of mysticism found through channels of popular culture to Foxall’s interest in appropriating film characters as vessels of personal experience to develop a joint practice exploring luxury, allure, adoration and worship.
The Honeymoon Suite is approached by each collaborative partnership as a departure point, constructed in codes, perhaps euphemistic, playing with ideas of camp and artifice but with tenderness and authenticity. If the honeymoon suite is a metaphor, then it could speak of a fine line between the conformity of a preplanned architecture of desire and seduction and its validity in expressions of the unique, personal and reverent, and the points at which they fracture and collapse into one another.
The Honeymoon Suite will be accompanied by a program of screenings and performances within the space. Curated by Bruce Ingram & Simon Foxall
Simon Oldfield, First Floor, 128 Mount St, Mayfair, London.
Wednesday – Friday 11am – 6pm | Saturday 12-4pm