Shoppers, Shoes & Sacks | Off site at JW Anderson
1 – 10 Nov 2022
Shoppers, Shoes and Sacks
by Holly Stevenson
Sid Motion Gallery presents an installation of new ceramics by Holly Stevenson at the JW Anderson Flagship Store. Holly has responded directly to the JW Anderson collection, creating a series of works that embodies the historic link between art and fashion.
This install is part of AWITA's ongoing collaboration with JW Anderson platforming female artists and curators.
A Statement from the Artist:
Being invited to exhibit my work in JW Anderson’s London store, honour aside, felt strangely compelling. How could my ceramic practice talk to the intriguing garments, already works of art in their own right? Personally, I now can’t bear to stitch as I come from a long line of impoverished seamstresses, outfitters and shop keepers. As a child I sewed and embroidered with my Grandmothers, I also played shops with such gusto that all my belongings had price stickers on. For the many objects out of my short-armed reach I endlessly made papier-mâché objects as stand ins. Like the real-life tortoise I so desperately wanted but could never have, I ensured that it repeatedly emerged in paper dollops and poster paint around the home.
Gazing at the store’s giant modular windows, they are such a perfect arrangement, I do not want to change a thing but rather artfully join in the game. Games remain important to my psychoanalytic practice. Games are the touchstone where fashion and art meet. Humorously taking the real sense of the word substitution, a favourite psychoanalytic manoeuvre, as if by magic my exhibition positions ceramics in place of the expected garments and accessories.
During the making of Shoppers, Shoes & Sacks my forms considered the act of being worn, revealed in the titles, such as I Love this Old Cardigan and Sprung Sleeve. The scale of the swooning shoppers, informed by clay and formed by the figurative vessels, is purposefully not in line with their objects of desire, the shoes and the sacks. All the works have been conceived to sit in harmony with the store’s architecture. In the window they appear to peer out and in turn can be peered at and through. This exhibition’s invite extends to everyone from JW Anderson aficionados to the passer-by.
Holly Stevenson (b. Norfolk, UK) makes fluid ceramic sculptures exploring Sigmund Freud’s favourite ashtray and last cigar as an analytical metaphor: Her world building vessels diligently embody the ashtray and cigar as though they were two gendered forms, the female yonic ovular dish and the cylindrical phallic male cigar, as she reconfigures them into a visual language of her own. The results are often a comical confrontation of bodily disorder, matriarchy and patriarchy. Holly graduated from the Chelsea MAFA in 2011 and was awarded the MFI Flat Time House Graduate Award, supported by the John Latham Foundation. Her most recent awards and exhibitions include 1:1 Fund Jerwood Arts; DYCP Arts Council England; Another Mother a public commission for The Artist’s Garden, The CoLAB Temple; Reading Between the Lines, her first solo show of ceramics at Sid Motion Gallery; Ceramics Fellow at Laboratorio Piramide Rome; Born From Earth at Richard Saltoun and A Space for Healing, GIANT, Bournemouth.