Sophy Rickett and Bettina von Zwehl
Everything is a Bird - recent works
12 June – 31 July 2021
PV Friday 11 June, 4-8pm*
*RSVP is Essential
Everything is a Bird is an exhibition by artists Sophy Rickett and Bettina von Zwehl. Comprising photography, found objects, moving image and text, Everything is a Bird premiers several new works produced individually over the past year, as well as existing works selected from their respective archives. Each of the new works presented in the exhibition sees the original function or 'meaning' of an image or object, overwritten, in a transformative process where connections between meaning and subject are understood as provisional, transitory, fluid, in flight.
The Symptoms, (2020/2021), by Bettina von Zwehl is a new series of unique photographic collages and cut-outs. The hybrid images that emerge from the tactile process the artist has adopted over the past year, of making deep gestural cuts into her original darkroom prints, hover between portrait and plant, human and animal, negative and positive. The works in this exhibition form one element of an experimental, laboratory like installation that features multiple interpretations and ‘mutations’ of the same photographic negative, so that the subject morphs and oscillates between a classical portrait silhouette of a young woman and something more surreal, organic and sinister.
The starting point for Rickett’s new text and installation work, Yellow Bowl, (2021) is a china mixing bowl that was owned by the artist’s late mother; an everyday object that acted through her family’s life as a multifarious repository, from the comforting domestic rituals of baking cakes, to latterly, its use as a sick bowl as her mother was dying of cancer. Yellow Bowl is the first chapter in Rickett’s new project, Milk is a Thin Fluid (2021) - a series of works comprising text and visual imagery, that explores the condition of photography through subjects such as landscape, civic infrastructure, memory, language, consumerism, illness and death.
The Symptoms and Yellow Bowl are presented alongside other works selected from the artists archives. Through this exhibition, the artists explore and celebrate the dialogue, in all its different facets, that has been one of the cornerstones of their individual (and shared) artistic practice since they met as art students over 20 years ago. Both Rickett and von Zwehl have a background in photography, and the combination of works exhibited in Everything is a Bird reflects the fascination they share, and the tension they perceive, in working between the controlled language of conceptual photographic practice, and the drive towards self-expression.