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29th Jun - 29th Sep


A group show of mixed-media works by East/West Midlands based artists: Ryan Lee Boultbee, Betsy Bradley, Hannah Parikh and Maria Przybylska who are exhibiting work in response to an open call that queried how we as a species affect the world around us, and how that world can in turn affect us.

Curated by Laura O’Leary, QUAD Programme Assistant

Each artist’s work invokes a sense of narrative, playfulness and addresses medium – the textural quality of the work – in a distinct way. The works collectively illustrate how our everyday actions can affect the planet and physically prompt the notion: not everything is at it seems, an apt sentiment in relation to our understanding of the earth and the impact we hold.

Betsy Bradley, based in Birmingham:
Betsy’s work embodies impulsive moments, communicating the transience of gesture and our temporary relationship with materials in the contemporary world. Using primarily found or reclaimed materials and selective paint application, she challenges the hierarchical connotations of traditional painting. The work is informed by her intuitive process and spontaneous engagement with her immediate environment; sometimes incorporating found objects into playful display mechanisms. Her dynamic painted marks describe pure action; moments free from thought in which the paint takes on its own agency, communicating a liberating energy beyond the canvas. She regards her practice as a fluid entity, embracing the flux and unpredictability of this ever-changing world and encouraging the viewer to enter the present moment.

Maria Przybylska, based in Nottingham:
Maria’s work examines the relationship between the individual and our physical emotional connection to place and environment. She has an interest in domesticity, as for her, the everyday with its banal activities has a capacity to tell stories and uncover what externally goes unrepresented. Domestic fossils is a pseudo-scientific documentation of the discoveries found buried under many feet of detritus in a territory where what’s believed a catastrophe had occurred due to uncontrolled and abusive exploitation of natural resources and excessive consumption of manufactured goods. Extracted from the rubbish tip of ‘our times’ these fabricated objects are a satire on changes in consumption patterns and cultural meaning of domestic comfort.

Hannah Parikh, based in Nottingham:
Hannah combines found materials with casts of domestic objects to transform spaces, influenced by scenes of everyday life and human presence. Tea Break is an extension of an ongoing investigation into the materiality of ‘things’. The installation consists of found items and imitations of industrial objects and packaging materials, cast in silicone, concrete or ceramic. The work has an animated quality, a humorous take on the discarded items of building sites or dumps. The work is presented in a way that celebrates form rather than function and using materials that contradict the objects use. Once the object appears pointless it can be judged purely by it’s aesthetic, presenting an intriguing look at the things we surround ourselves with, and the fragility of the world around us.

Ryan Lee Boultbee, based in Nottinghamshire:
Ryan’s work explores his disengagement with contemporary culture and the built environment. Wastelands is a series of sketches that follow a single character through dystopian landscapes and abandoned settings. The viewer is left to ponder what, where, how, and why. If viewed as a collective series, the artworks challenge the viewer’s imagination to fill in the narrative gaps between pieces, creating their own unique story. In the UK, we rarely encounter the consequences of our choices in relation to climate change and are instead reminded of this distant consequential impact on ‘future generations’. The artworks offer an opportunity to step into the future to render this generation visible.

Image Credit: Betsy Bradley


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