Elemental artworks go on virtual show

Cut no 20 slip cast porcelain

Cut no 20 slip cast porcelain - Credit: Simon Kidd

Sculptures paintings and drawings by a trio of elemental artists are on virtual display at No 20 Arts.

This Place Where I Stand brings together the work of Amy-Leigh Bird, Shaun Fraser, and Simon Kidd.

From found items recovered from the Thames, to referencing Scottish peat and bogs, to ceramics inspired by Northern Irish rock, each artist places themes of identity and elemental connections to place at the centre of their work.

The exhibition at the gallery in Cross Street, Islington was due to run until February 28, accompanied by an immersive soundscape designed as a "sensory experience within which to discover the artworks".

But due to lockdown the works can now be viewed via the gallery's website https://www.no20arts.com/
Roddy Murray, Head of Visual Arts & Literature at Scottish arts centre An Lanntair writes in an accompanying essay that London-based Amy-Leigh Bird "retraces her childhood steps. Trawls, sifts and mud-larks the Thames shoreline for the river’s strewn cargo: its drowned residue, its human detritus. From buttons to bones. It’s a means to reclaim a sense of the personal, the timeless individual, as much as the lost city and the churn of life."

'Ancient Ruins', 2020, Bone and Polystyrene

'Ancient Ruins', 2020, Bone and Polystyrene - Credit: Amy-Leigh Bird,

He adds that Shaun Fraser’s footprint is in the Scottish Highlands and Islands "still ringing with the clamour of the last battle on British soil, still wrangling with the cultural aftermath".

"His oeuvre is peat, moorland, the blanket bog. A cultural sink that contains and conceals - dissolved and preserved - the history of these desolate, cleared spaces. His work in oil, tar and bitumen reimagines and recreates this temporal, empty yet alive landscape."

'Stratum no. 4', 2020, Slip Cast Porcelain

'Stratum no. 4', 2020, Slip Cast Porcelain - Credit: Simon Kidd

And South London-based Simon Kidd's ceramics are a "meditation through petrification on the obstinate, petrified past" of Northern Ireland. Kidd's work explores three Irish locations chosen for their political and cultural significance - Sliabh Dónairt, Dregish and Murlach. He uses these locations as catalysts for reflection, the objects becoming physical manifestations of thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

Most Read

Murray says: "From the basalt and granite of Sliabh Dónairt and Murlach to the bog of Dregish he references the dug and quarried past. Stark and delicate, his porcelain pieces testify to memory, to negative space, absence, removal. Like a script etched into stone.”


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter