Review: Botanical Modernisms

As Alexandra Harris notes in Romantic Moderns, modernism is more typically considered to offer allegiance ‘to the wasteland, and not the herbaceous border’, a consideration proved inadequate by the recent Botanical Modernisms symposium, held on the 17th of August 2019.[1] The midsummer’s evening event, organised by Jasmine McCrory (PhD candidate at Queen’s University Belfast) in […]

Review: Helene Schjerfbeck Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts

The painter Helene Schjerfbeck (1862—1946) is apparently ‘one of Finland’s best kept secrets’.[1] I must disagree: firstly, we Finns don’t really aim to keep national secrets (or, at the very least, we get very excited when anything Finnish, such as this exhibition, makes international news), and, secondly, Schjerfbeck is probably Finland’s most internationally acclaimed painter—that […]

Review: ‘Water Rising’ at GroundWork Gallery

In appropriately apocalyptic weather, I ducked into GroundWork gallery. The pouring rain provided the perfect atmosphere in which to explore the exhibition ‘Water Rising’ (9th March-1st June 2019) at the UK’s first gallery dedicated to the environment and sustainability. Past exhibitions have included Dutch artist Jan Eric Visser who transforms inorganic household waste into sculpture, […]

Interview: Curator Marit Paasche on Scandinavian textile artist Hannah Ryggen

The Swedish-born Norwegian artist Hannah Ryggen (1894-1970) was responsible for some of the most daring, radical textile art created in the twentieth century. Ryggen’s life and work were strikingly atypical: a self-taught weaver and committed communist living on a remote, self-sufficient farm in Norway, Ryggen rejected the art market in order to create public art […]

Interview: Locating Rural Modernism with Hope Wolf

It’s not everyday that the objects and oddities of home decor make up a blockbuster exhibition, but that’s what Dr. Hope Wolf achieved in curating Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion at Two Temple Place in 2017. As a lecturer in Modernism at Sussex, she co-directs the Centre for Modernist Studies with Helen Tyson. Working on […]

Interview: Nnenna Okore on Fraying, Twisting, Teasing, Tying

Nnenna Okore is an artist, educator and environmentalist. She has received international acclaim for the ways in which she engages with the environment in her artistic practice. Her abstract sculptures are created using a range of methods; shredding, fraying, twisting, teasing, tying, weaving, stitching, and dyeing are all used to create rich, textured pieces. Her […]