City of Words, City of Stone

A group exhibition of five emerging artists whose work explores ideas of memory, form and place. Material and immaterial processes unite the works in a visual conversation about remembering and the city.

at Islington Arts Factory

“Memory is not an instrument for surveying the past but its theatre. It is the medium of past experience, just as the earth is the medium in which dead cities lie buried. He who seeks to approach his own buried past must conduct himself like a man digging.”
-Walter Benjamin, Berlin Childhood

Artists: Chris Ilankovan, Fiona Masterton, Kate Shepherd, Yasuhiro Onishi, Gwennan Thomas


The city plays a central role in the remembering process. The Art of Memory, that which sets us in place and time derives from the myth of Simonides of Ceos and pinpoints a historical beginning for the mind’s recollecting experience of space and place. Freud compared the mind to the city of Rome. While Boym wrote in The Future of Nostalgia; ‘mine will be a dual archaeology — of the city of words and the city of stone, glass and concrete.’ All these recognize the human condition of remembering through the visual imprints of space and the intriguing architecture of our minds.

The work in the show references the personal, cultural experiences of the city, as well as the collective memories formed within fragmented spaces. The processes of painting found within some of the works also reflect the ideas of memory and loss. With each working layer, under-painting is buried, forgotten, until the covering paint is removed and wiped away. Creating a constant upheaval of surface and material memory. The material and immaterial processes of making use a language that connects easily with the brains methods of remembering. A subtle conversation exists between the works; a conversation of symbols and ambiguous recollections.

Islington Arts Factory

Opening Times
Preview: Friday 15 June, 7-9pm
16 - 22 June 2012

Where
Islington Arts Factory
2 Parkhurst Road
London
N7 0SF