The Paradox of War
Greenwich University & Friends, 7-13 October 2018, Tonbridge Castle
An emotive exhibition of contemporary, mixed media artwork, The Paradox of War commemorates the First World War. It explores the service conditions, pressures, psyche and sacrifices made by those who served and supported, along with the legacy of the war to end all wars.
Red velvet, canvas and plaster
H180 x W31 x D31 cm
A symbolic piece, the tall, tapering sculpture, The Colours, evokes the strength and loyalty regimental flags have inspired and their ability to draw out the human spirit.
Regimental colours were defended at all costs, as in the chaos of battle if a soldier lost his position in relation to the colours, he was truly lost.
Long before the First World War, soldiers stopped carrying the colours in to battle, however they have retained their place at the heart of regiments, being emblazoned with battle honours, used for ceremonial occasions and acting as a memorial to the fallen.
Chalk, charcoal, and pencil on paper
H18 x W25 cm
Nothing Endures But Change
The London Group & Friends at the Waterloo Festival, 7-24 June 2018
Carved sandstone pieces
Dimensions: 35 x 300 x 100 cm approx
The work Folly has existed in a variety of situations: as a convincing ruin hidden in the undergrowth for the Shoreham Sculpture Trail in June 2017; a museum exhibit called Remnants in a gallery setting for the Open of the Sevenoaks Visual Arts Forum in March 2018; and now as “picturesque” ruin framed by a neat privet hedge in Nothing Endures But Change.
In each form Folly, through the perverse combination of digital imagery and ancient sandstone, is a call to take the “long view” in an extreme manner. The observer is invited to consider what will remain of our civilisation in thousands of years; only fossilised fragments or may be not even that.
Folly is also perhaps a ruined monument of the future, tapping into the 18th century preoccupation of constructing fake ruins or follies in the grounds of grand estates. These romantic ornamental structures served no obvious purpose other than to highlight the rise and fall of civilisations and associated hubris.
Alison Berry’s practice encourages “stepping outside”; she observes and takes part in the random everyday chaos along with everyone else and makes work which involves viewing this experience from a distance, drawing out timeless themes and contradictions. Alison’s hope is that the unconventional handling of her subject matter avoids grandiosity, and instead the practice takes the form of an exploration in which laughing at oneself sometimes plays a part.
Alison will be available for questions about her work during the Art Trail on Saturday 9 June starting at 2pm.
A colossal thank you is due to Susan Haire and her team from The London Group and Rosalind Barker and Sue Evans from the Sevenoaks Visual Arts Forum. Without these people opportunities for artists to exhibit would be seriously diminished.
Embracing the Underdog
The London Group & Friends, Soho, 18 February 2018
Embroidered Graffiti – Plucky Underdogs
Canvas, rattail cord, pen, wooden batons, needles
Dimensions: 200 x 300 cm
Embroidered Graffiti – Plucky Underdogs was created in response to the theme Embracing The Underdog, a group exhibition organised by The London Group held in Q Car Park in Soho, London on Chinese New Year, Sunday 18 February 2018. A huge group show with over 120 artists, work filled the individual parking bays in the underground car park with Embroidered Graffiti installed on the ramp leading into the car park.
Polar opposites rarely stay fixed in their opposing positions and Embroidered Graffiti – Plucky Underdogs arguably presents the tipping point, where the underdog starts gaining the upper hand. The value of graffiti, as a form of expression frequently associated with underdog, is celebrated through the intricate process of embroidery.