Past Exhibition

of intimacy and quietude

Remi Ajani

Hangama Amiri

Alessio Bolzoni

Helena Foster

Asta Gröting

Mike Silva

23 Feb – 6 Apr 2024

of intimacy and quietude

A group exhibition including Remi Ajani, Hangama Amiri, Alessio Bolzoni, Helena Foster, Asta Gröting and Mike Silva
Co-curated by Sid Motion Gallery and Lincoln Dexter

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View list of works

Read a review of the Exhibition on Plinth, written by Sammi Gale


Conceived as an antidote to the highly connected, often frantic and seemingly noisy nature of contemporary society and cultural exchange, ‘of intimacy and quietude’ presents work by six artists exploring the peaceful moments of everyday life. By featuring artworks that bring feelings of respite, solitude and stillness to the fore, the exhibition offers a visual and emotional hiatus,  providing a calm space for relaxation and introspection.

In the closely cropped frame of Asta Gröting’s film First Drink (2018), a series of unidentified characters are documented in the midst of their morning rituals. Eight people in turn are captured during the process of serenely preparing their first drink after waking. Housed within the central space of Sid Motion Gallery, the meditative actions and the gentle nature of the film, portraying the beginning of the day, can, in some ways, be seen as the starting point of the exhibition. 

Similarly, contemplative preparation characterises Alessio Bolzoni's method of recording the fading beauty of flowers over time. This act, performed over the course of days and weeks with calm dedication, captures the passage of time and history. The images, which serve as a memento mori and form part of the larger series ABUSE (2016), move between abstraction and figuration, seemingly existing at the edge of memory's fading and the limits of perception.

Helena Foster’s heavily saturated paintings also occupy a space in between states. The artist draws both on personal imagery, such as family photo albums, as well as stills from Nollywood (a term for Nigerian cinema) movies, creating pictures of everyday life that hang between reality and fiction. Foster’s paintings are often characterised by individuals or pairs depicted in intimate moments or, as in the case of SILENT SONG (2024), alone with their thoughts. In ABSENT PRESENT (2024), however, the scene is stripped back further, with the artist offering the audience a single, empty chair.

Likewise, the emotive power of vacancy is present in the stillness of Mike Silva’s canvas too. Film images saved over the years, largely taken of friends, lovers and the settings they once shared, are the starting points for the artist’s interior scenes, still lifes and portraits. Silva’s portrayals of domestic spaces depict tenderly observed details, such as the light that falls through a bedroom window in Martin’s Room (2023), arousing sentiments of nostalgia or yearning for bygone closeness.

While Mike Silva’s canvas is distinguished by physical human absence, the painting by Remi Ajani contains the single full figure in the exhibition. This lone character, seated on a bed, begins a dialogue with the viewer, affirming that there is strength and confidence in what may be considered solitude. Through her painting, Ajani explores how to engage in a dialogue with her own senses, instincts and physicality; the demand is to slow down and to be silent, to allow for room to study.

If the morning routines of Asta Gröting’s film might be considered as the opening work in the exhibition, Hangama Amiri’s Late by Myself (2021) could serve as a counter- and endpoint. Employing predominantly textiles as a medium, Amiri explores ideas of home, gender and social conventions as they relate to women’s lives in Afghanistan and the diaspora. A single glass of red wine, a plate of cheese and a bowl of grapes; Amiri’s composition is a muted exaltation of the simple joy to be found in the intimacy and quietude of an evening ritual of time well spent alone.



Artist Biographies

Remi Ajani (b. 1984, London) graduated with a distinction from the Slade School of Fine Art, in July 2022 where she was awarded the Almacantar Studio award for her degree show. Ajani’s first solo exhibition, 'it's not what you look's what you see', opened at Sid Motion Gallery in September 2023. Her recent exhibitions include: 'Image Impressions', FF Projects, Lagos, Nigeria, 2023; 'Abstract Colour', Marlborough Gallery, London, 2023; 'Greatest Source of My Longing', Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin, 2022; 'Same Same', Sid Motion Gallery, London, 2022; 'Why Don’t You Dance?', ASC Gallery, London, 2022 and '(What now?)', PM/AM, London, 2022. She completed a residency at The Villa Lena Foundation, Tuscany, Italy in 2023.

Hangama Amiri (b. 1989, Peshawar, Afghanistan) graduated from MFA Painting and Printmaking from Yale University in 2020. She received her BFA from NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and is a Canadian Fulbright and Post-Graduate Fellow at Yale University School of Art and Sciences, 2015-2016. Her recent exhibitions include: ‘Quiet Resistance’, Moenchehaus Museum Goslar, Germany, 2023; ‘Rumi’, Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, Canada, 2023; ‘A Homage to Home’, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, USA, 2023; ‘Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present’, Sharjah, UAE, 2023; ‘Reminiscences’, Union Pacific, London, 2022; ‘Henna Night/ Shabe Kheena’, David B. Smith Gallery, Denver, USA, 2022; ‘Mirrors and Faces’, Cooper Cole Gallery, Toronto, Canada, 2021; ‘Wandering Amidst the Colors’, Albertz Benda, New York, USA, 2021; ‘Spectators of a New Dawn’, Towards Gallery, Toronto, Canada, 2021 and ‘Bazaar: A Recollection of Home’, T293 Gallery, Italy, 2020.

Alessio Bolzoni (b. 1979, Italy) lives and works in London. His selected exhibitions include: ‘Accumulo’, Cibrian, Spain, 2023; ‘I Speak A Language That Is Not Mine’, 14point1 Gallery, Paris, France, 2022;’ ‘HAA London, 2021; ‘Action Reaction’, Billboard Project, Milano, 2020. Bolzoni has produced five publications that coincide with his practice: ‘Abuse’, 2017; ‘Abuse II – The Uncanny’, 2019; ’Action Reaction, 2020; ‘I Speak A Language That Is Not Mine’, 2022 and ‘Accumulo’, 2023.

Asta Gröting (b.1961, Herford, Germany) lives and works in Berlin. Her selected solo exhibitions include: ‘Das Wesen von “x”’, Lindenau-Museum, Altenburg, Germany, 2023; ‘Fortune’, with Ming Wong, carlier | gebauer, Berlin, Germany, 2023; ‘PARKEN’, The n.b.k. Video-Forum, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, Germany, 2021; ‘Angespannte Zustände’, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Germany, 2021; ‘Where do you see yourself in 20 years’, Centre Pasquart Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, curated by Felicity Lunn; ‘Not feeling too cheerful’, carlier | gebauer, Berlin, Germany, 2019; ‘Sensor. Zeitraum für junge Positionen’, Arbeiten aus der Sammlung der Landesbank Baden-Württemberg und der Sammlung Grässlin, ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologien, Karlsruhe, German, 2012; ‘Asta Gröting Sculpture: 1987- 2008’, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK, 2009; ‘The Inner Voice/ it seems too loud to come from so far’, Freud Museum, London, UK, 2003.

Helena Foster (b.1988, Benin City, Nigeria) lives and works between London and Bath. Having graduated from Camberwell College of Art in 2010, Foster was awarded the Thamesmead Texas residency in 2020 and the Terre Sans Frontièr|And’Art residency, Morocco, in 2010. Foster’s recent exhibitions include: 'Image Impressions', FF Projects, Lagos, Nigeria, 2023; ‘To See Beyond Seeing’, Simon Lee, London, 2023; ‘Foresight’, Pablo’s Birthday, New York, USA, 2023; ‘In One Breath’, French Riviera, London, 2022; FF Projects, London, 2022; Brick Lane, London, 2022; ‘Elbow Room: Helena Foster, Jill Tate & Victor Seaward’, The Sunday Painter, London, 2022; Septieme Gallery, Paris, France, 2021; ‘Flesh & Spirit’, Bow Arts, London, 2020; ‘Achịcha’, Studio 1.1, London, 2019; ‘Money, Love, Jealousy’, Lagos, Nigeria, 2019; ‘Space In Between’, Seesaw Studio, London, 2018; ‘Black’, The Crypt Gallery, London, 2018 and ‘Youth Art Interchange II: A sense of perspective’, Tate Britain, London, 2009.

Mike Silva (b. 1970, Sandviken, Sweden) lives and works in London. His selected solo exhibitions include: ‘New Paintings’, The Approach, London, 2023; ‘Portraits and Interiors’, Anton Kern Gallery, New York, USA, 2022; ‘London Portraits, Interiors and Still Lives, The Approach, London, 2020; ’New Paintings’, The Approach, London, 2019; ‘Everything Looks Better in the Sun’, Farbvision, Berlin, Germany, 2018 and ‘Place to Be’, David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2017. Silva’s selected group exhibitions include: ‘Dream and Refuge – Works from Jerwood Collection’, Arnolfini, Bristol, UK, 2023; ‘The Painted Room’, GRIMM, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2023; ‘Friends & Lovers’, FLAG Art Foundation, New York, USA, 2023; ‘Tales of Manhattan’, Anton Kern Gallery, New York, USA, 2021; ‘Reconfigured’, Timothy Taylor, New York, USA, 2021 and ‘11’, Anton Kern Gallery, New York, USA, 2021. He has a forthcoming solo exhibition at De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill On Sea, UK, and will be exhibited in ‘The Shape of Things: Still Life in Britain’, Pallant House, Chichester, UK, 2024.