Maxine Bristow, Anna Fairchild,
Sian-Kate Mooney, Mark Woods
curated by John Stephens
Cross Lane Projects launches its 2020 programme with the exhibition Made With… considering materiality in contemporary sculptural practice. Curated by John Stephens, this new group show of contemporary sculptural presents work by artists Maxine Bristow, Anna Fairchild, Sian-Kate Mooney and Mark Woods.
Made With… is concerned with materials, not just as the means by which art objects are made but also with the ways in which the intrinsic qualities of materials and associated processes determine the form and the meaning of art objects. Their use of materials reflects the artists’ interests in social issues and issues of culture, gender and sexual politics, psychoanalytics, psychogeography and semiotics.
About the artists
Based in the Northwest of England and with a background in textiles, Maxine Bristow’s practice and research takes as its starting point the complex material and semantic conventions of the medium of textiles and the everyday functioning environment, modernist legacies and postmodern discourses with which the medium is entangled. These provide a point of departure for an expanded artistic practice that variously takes the form of wall-based objects, sculpture and installation. Moving beyond the specificity of textile, the work is concerned more broadly with a material sensibility within contemporary art.
She has exhibited nationally and internationally and is represented in the permanent collections of the Crafts Council, London; Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; and Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery. She was selected for The Jerwood Textiles Prize in 2002, and in 2008 was one of the nominated artists for the Northern Arts Prize. Recent exhibitions include: Attach/Detach, 2016, PhD Exposition, Contemporary Art Space, Chester; Art Textiles, 2015, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; Concordance, 2013, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester.
Anna Fairchild works with sculpture, film and photography. Her practice is focused on the process of direct casting of spaces where fluid material and process meet fixed surfaces, acted on by the force of gravity. Using an experiential approach she establishes a balance between intuitive interactions with a fluid making process and an acknowledgement of the emerging forms gradually assuming a kind of mimetic relationship with spaces and things that she has seen or experienced. It has been through this material and process-led operation that her creative practice has been driven, asserting a balance of rational decision-making with an intuitive approach out of which emerge works that are to a large extent unanticipated. The material processes that she uses enable a mapping of traces of unseen places, giving form to fragments of images, memories and experience, through which she may be able to reveal unseen or intangible things of both a physical and emotional nature.
Selected solo exhibitions include; Mill Flow, 2019, Mill Green Museum, Hatfield UK; The Fluid and the Fixed, 2019, University of East London; Virtual Shift, 2018, Luton Culture/Arts Council England, The Storefront, Luton Bedfordshire. Group exhibitions include; Refrain, 2019, The Stone Space, London; To-Morrow 2020, 2019, supported by Letchworth Garden City Council; Miniscule Part 2, parallel programme, Venice Biennial, Italy; Pupa, 2019, Atelier de Melusine, France.
With a background in fashion and textiles Sian-Kate Mooney has over the past ten years developed a sculptural practice that has eschewed conventional sculptural materials in favour of those whose association is normally with the making of utilitarian things. Using, amongst other things recycled fabrics and fashion items, latex, building materials, self-fabricated soap, felt, or combinations of these, she is very much aware of the properties of the material; degrees of rigidity, flexibility, malleability which contribute to the ways in which the works look and behave. Having been a fashion designer, much of her work, notwithstanding its abstract nature, acknowledges the human dimension. Whilst there are works that stand tall and some that sag, some involve draping or wrapping, their making has involved very careful and sensitive consideration and juxtaposition of these intrinsic material and semiotic properties that ultimately draw attention to the very materiality of the stuff of which the work is made.
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (2015), London; Fall of the Rebel Angels (2015), Venice, Italy; Pravac Sila (2014) Ozone Gallery, Belgrade, Serbia, Directional Forces 4 (2014) Artoll, Bedburg-Hau, Germany; Vroom (2014) London; Chinese Open (2014) Q-Park, Soho, London; Colony 55, Sale Docks (2013), Venice, Italy and Directional Forces 2 (2013) Artoll, Bedburg-Hau, Germany, for which she was co-curator and exhibitor.
Mark Woods uses a range of materials that include epoxy resins, silk, leather and faux materials, to create “transgressive” objects that reflect an extraordinarily high level of execution, which acknowledges the intrinsic nature of the material that he uses. The materials both shape the forms as much as they become part of the objects’ allure and ambiguous meaning and their association with an exquisitely tantalising eroticism. They appeal directly to the viewer’s sense of something fetishistic and seem to lay bare a fascination with the “fraudulent simulation phenomena of a society increasingly obsessed with glamour and pornography”.
Selected solo exhibitions: A Return to Old Certainties, 2017, Lubomirov/Angus Hughes Gallery, London; Saturnia, 2012, Brussels, Belgium, 2010 and To Have and to Hold, The Wapping Project, London. Selected group exhibitions: Collecting Craft, Charmian Adams collection, Holburne Museum, Bath, England; Miniscule Venice, curated by Vanya Balogh, Venice, Italy; Flugblatter, curated by Birgit Jensen, Maebashi, Japan, Schloss Plüschow Mecklenburg, Künstlerhaus, Upahl, Germany; Flugblatter, curated by Birgit Jensen & Mark Patsfall, Clay Street Press, Cincinnati, USA (all 2019). Flugblatter, 2018, curated by Birgit Jensen, Dordrecht, The Netherlands; EMPIRE II, 2017, touring to Venice, Brussels, London, Kendal and Berlin; The Kick insid, 2016, Tel Aviv, Israel; Curious Bodies, London; Nirvana, Les etranges formes du plaisir, Gewerbemuseum Winterthur, Switzerland.
About the curator
John Stephens is a painter with a particular interest in a pared down abstraction. He uses the materiality of paint and its associated processes along with the structure and design of paintings to focus on articulations of colour. His curatorial interests embrace a wider range of artistic practices outside his own that include installation, photography, performance and mixed material processes. Of particular interest to him is the way in which artists generate ideas that then become manifest in close association with materials and processes. They are often ideas about space, place and location but also aspects of the human condition and identities and the way the semiotic processes of art can be exploited and reinvented by artists.
During the 1980s and 1990s he was involved as a director and curator with the artist-run Castlefield Gallery in Manchester. Between 2004 and 2006 he curated the exhibition space at Luton’s Hat Factory In 2010 on behalf of the University of Bedfordshire, where he commissioned public works by the artists Cedric Christie and Susan Stockwell. In 2012 he was a performer at Tate Modern in Tino Seghal’s These Associations. He is involved with various artists’ groups, projects and exhibitions in London and in residencies in Croatia, Germany, and Italy. He has recently written for the online journals Saturationpoint and Artlyst.
Top image on left: Sian-Kate Mooney, The Follies, 2020, bitumen coated compressed board, recycled cotton, pva, bitumen paint and titanium dioxide paint. Top image on right: Anna Fairchild, Runner, 2020, cassini plaster, cement powder, paint fragments and aluminium.
Middle image on left: Mark Woods, Boy Racer, Informal, British’ Leather over turned and carved wood. Middle image on right: Maxine Bristow, Planar Object: Pelmet, 2011, quilted striped cotton, gesso, MDF.
Image to furthest left: Sian-Kate Mooney, The Follies, 2020, bitumen coated compressed board, recycled cotton, pva, bitumen paint and titanium dioxide paint. Image to centre left: Maxine Bristow: Component (Re) configuration ii.210230-LA95LB, 2014, marl woollen cloth, plastic drainpope, upholstery wadding, embroidered darned stripes in No.5 Perlé cotton, 25 count ‘Lugana’ cotton, hand embroidered cross stitch in stranded cotton, grosgrain ribbon, bent aluminium tube, aluminium rod, painted wooden dowel, MDF, timber, laminate, foam grip, flat woven elastic, centex clips. Image to centre right: Mark Woods, The Collection, 2016, walnut bespoke tool chests. Image to furthest right: Anna Fairchild, Jelly Ear, detail, 2020, cassini plaster, cement powder, paint fragments, aluminium. All works copyright the artists.