Walled Gardens in an Insane Eden at Z2O Sara Zanin

07_RebeccaAckroyd_You only feel it when it’s broken, 2017, plaster, air vent, chicken wire, paint, spray paint, 180x70x635 cm

Artists: Rebecca Ackroyd, Gabriella Boyd, Rhys Coren, Kira Freije, Marie Jacotey, Florence Peake, Zadie Xa

Exhibition title: Walled Gardens in an Insane Eden

Venue: Z2O Sara Zanin, Rome, Italy

Date: February 9 – March 25, 2017

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Z2O Sara Zanin, Rome

“Is it only the external landscape which is altering? How often recently most of us have had the feeling of déjà vu, of having seen all this before, in fact of remembering these swamps and lagoons all too well. However selective the conscious mind may be, most biological memories are unpleasant ones, echoes of danger and terror. Nothing endures for so long as fear.”
– J.G. Ballard from The Drowned World (1962)

In line with the prevailing mood across Europe after a complete overthrow of all political certainties in 2016, this exhibition curated by Marcelle Joseph features the artwork of seven London-based artists brought to Rome, many for the first time.

Hijacking a phrase from The Drowned World, J.G. Ballard’s first science fiction novel and one of his Londonbased dystopic tales, Walled Gardens in an Insane Eden portrays the world we live in today: on precipice but hopeful for a less fragile future. Looking at the various events over the last year Some of the artworks assembled for this exhibition may be construed to express skepticism, from Marie Jacotey’s text-based drawings screaming “No!” and “Can’t you see you have done enough damage here?” to Gabriella Boyd’s painting of a man holding a glass half empty, but art is often spoken about as a catalyst for social change. Viewers may look for the silver lining in Rhys Coren’s cartoon-like cloud-shaped painted marquetry work or be captivated by the flames in Zadie Xa’s hanging textile work that represent a symbol of magic and cleansing in her personal supernatural narratives inspired by Korean shaman lore. Continuing this theme of art as therapy, Florence Peake will actively channel both physically and orally the personal losses and political concerns of various audience members at her performance of Voicings on 10th March, acting as a conduit between imagined and material place as she embodies the collective spirit of the audience. In the last gallery of the exhibition, viewers will enter a sculptural labyrinth similar to the London milieu of Ballard’s The Drowned World. But instead of an uninhabited, unbearably hot swamp ruled by primeval reptilian life and aggressive tropical vegetation, one enters an urban jungle of another sort: a more hospitable space populated with body parts and figures, both small and large, of diverse materials and colours, existing together in harmony courtesy of artists Rebecca Ackroyd, Kira Freije and Florence Peake.

May your glass be half full in 2017.

The artists will attend the opening.

01_WalledGardenInAnInsaneEden_2017_InstallationView_Room3_z2oSaraZaninGallery_Roma

02_WalledGardenInAnInsaneEden_2017_InstallationView_Room3_z2oSaraZaninGallery_Roma

03_WalledGardenInAnInsaneEden_2017_InstallationView_Room3_z2oSaraZaninGallery_Roma

04_Walled Garden In An Insane Eden_2017_Installation View_Room2_z2oSaraZaninGallery_Roma

05_Walled Garden In An Insane Eden_2017_Installation View_Room1_z2oSaraZaninGallery_Roma

06_Rebecca Ackroyd_All Thats Left_2017_plaster_airvent_chicken wire_paint_spray paint_170x75x106cm

Rebecca Ackroyd, All Thats Left, 2017, plaster, airvent, chicken wire, paint, spray paint, 170x75x106cm

07_RebeccaAckroyd_You only feel it when it’s broken, 2017, plaster, air vent, chicken wire, paint, spray paint, 180x70x635 cm

Rebecca Ackroyd, You only feel it when it’s broken, 2017, plaster, air vent, chicken wire, paint, spray paint, 180x70x635 cm

08_Florence Peake_Voicings_2016_glazed ceramic_variable dimensions_4 (2)

Florence Peake, Voicings, 2016, glazed ceramic, variable dimensions

09_Florence Peake_Voicings_2016_glazed ceramic_variable dimensions_6

Florence Peake, Voicings, 2016, glazed ceramic, variable dimensions

10_Kira Freije_Fallen Woman_2016_steel_stainless steel_motor_fabric_253x36x48cm_1 (3)

Kira Freije, Fallen Woman, 2016, steel, stainless steel, motor, fabric, 253x36x48cm

11_Kira Freije_Fallen Woman_2016_steel_stainless steel_motor_fabric_253x36x48cm_1

Kira Freije, Fallen Woman, 2016, steel, stainless steel, motor, fabric, 253x36x48cm

12_Zadie Xa_Mudang_2016_Machine sewn and hand stitched fabric_synthetic hair_acrylic spray paint_digital print and wood_240x180cm

Zadie Xa, Mudang, 2016, Machine sewn and hand stitched fabric, synthetic hair, acrylic spray paint, digital print and wood, 240x180cm

13_Rhys Coren_z2oSaraZaninGallery_Roma

Rhys Coren, Installation View, Z2O Sara Zanin, 2017

14_Marie Jacotey_Installation View_Room1_z2oSaraZaninGallery_Roma

Marie Jacotey, Installation View, Z2O Sara Zanin, 2017

16_Gabriella Boyd_Best Friends_2017_oil on canvas_160x100cm

Gabriella Boyd, Best Friends, 2017, oil on canvas, 160x100cm

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