8 Apr – 7 May 2022
Sid Motion Gallery is pleased to present ‘Radical Lethargy’ an exhibition of two solo presentations by Rebecca Gould and Iwan Lewis.
Rebecca Gould is an artist working with sculpture, video and textiles. Iwan Lewis is a painter exploring native mythologies.
The exhibition title refers to their shared experience of living on the island of Ynys Môn, which forces them to question their roles as artists. This island backdrop is a welcome paradox from living in London which was their home for a decade. In this serendipitous retreat to rural living, vacuums once filled by the art world are now replaced with questions on socio political structures and the capacity of language to alter perceptions. This doesn’t only feed into their work but is visible in their collaborative project; Studio Cybi, allowing them to question established ideologies.
Both artists explore ideas of cycles; and of these cyclical states needing fallow periods and decay as a hand in hand part of life. Like the smooth caress that turns to a sharp scratch – it is a reminder of the menace in the supposed idyllic.
The duality of the environment is present in Lewis’s paintings – the paint is often waxy, rigid, unwilling to bend to the artist’s hand. Much like the island, his paintings aren’t passive, they are to be argued with. Often working on multiple paintings at once he allows every aspect of them to be fragile; easily erased and replaced.The works titles often serve to change the perception of the reading of the paintings too, they are often worked on with as much labour as the paintings themselves. Much like language, the colour and texture of the works can change, becoming signs that lose their meanings and gain new ones.
Gould works in a similar manner. She does not prioritise one medium over another; video, fabric and words intertwine.The quilt works are often recycled from previous installations or from her environment meaning they are never finished, always moving from one state into the next. Included in the work titled ‘Doughy Folds, Soft Like Marshmallow’ are parts of pink felt sun-bleached from when it lined the curtains of the couple’s caravan during a freezing winter. Like the cyclical ideas explored in the exhibition title, the works themselves aim to preserve objects and time. Even when applied to video work the significance of everyday life is at the fore; Gould’s readings are layered with sounds of the artist’s children and techno music from the studio.
Although both artists use materials, objects and colours from their daily life, the works are not directly autobiographical. Instead both add myth, theory, philosophy, time and labour to comment on the environment, politics and cyclical shifts of their landscape.
Rebecca Gould (b. Scotland) works in a range of mediums encompassing sculpture, text and video. Gould gained a BA Fine Art at University of Wales, Cardiff and an MA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, London. Gould has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions in public institutions and artist-run spaces across the UK including recently; Aggregate, Freelands Foundation, London (2022); 40 plus 1, Storiel Bangor, Gwynedd (2022); No Time To Plan An Ending, g39, Cardiff (2021) and Your Foot In My Face and Other Tectonic Strategies, Kingsgate Project Space, London, UK (2021) Receiving funding from LOCWS International 3, Arts Council of Wales, The Eaton Fund and Wales Arts International. Rebecca was a g39 Artist Fellow, The Freelands Foundation Artist Programme 2020-22. She co-founded STUDIO CYBI, an artist project space in 2016.
Iwan Lewis (b. North Wales) is an artist and lecturer who graduated from BA (Hons) Fine Art at UWIC, Cardiff in 2002 and MA Painting, Royal College of Art, London in 2011. Lewis has exhibited extensively for the last decade. A selection of his recent exhibitions include: Your Foot In My Face and Other Tectonic Strategies, Kingsgate Project Space, London, UK; Tonnau O Gariad, BayArt, Cardiff, UK; Blason at Sid Motion Gallery, London, co-curated by Charlie Billingham; Nightswimming, Lle Gallery at Mission Gallery, Swansea; Birds That Eat Purple Flowers, Chapel on the Green, Hay-on- Wye and Hanes: Tales/Stories/Legends/Myths, Aberystwyth Arts Centre. Solo exhibitions include Annwn, Sid Motion Gallery, London and Gallery 6, MOSTYN, Llandudno. Lewis was awarded First Prize in Painting, Welsh Artist of the Year, 2012; and is co-founder of the artist led space STUDIO CYBI, established in 2016.