Arthouse1 presents Little Clown, My Heart, an exhibition exploring the theme of love through the work of nine artists, curated by Laura Smith and Poppy Whatmore.
The title of the exhibition is taken from a poem by the Mexican-American writer Sandra Cisneros which portrays the pleasures and sorrows of being in love in visceral terms as part performance, part freefall. Similarly, the exhibition aims not to indulge sentimental reveries. Instead each artist contributes a unique response to the universal experience of love, by turns playful, fraught, fractured or celebratory.
In Laura Cooper’s film Silence of the Valkyries (2017), dancer Edwin Cabascango tentatively interacts with a monumental female nude sculpture in what the artist calls ‘an act of play and unreciprocated intimacy’.
Kasia Garapich shows Peepshow: Poppy’s Bag (2012), in which the viewer is invited to observe an old handbag, long cherished and now suggestively animated, and to consider its ‘behaviour’.
Taking their titles from self-help books The Betrayal Bond and Co-dependant No More, Nadège Mériau’s new photographs of seductive-yet-sickly foodstuffs distort scale and elicit a visceral response on the cusp between attraction and repulsion.
Interior (2017) by Nicole Morris explores the body as both a real, familiar thing and a strange site for our ideas and imaginings. The heart is portrayed, at first as a heavy black organ, and at last as the empty space between two touching hands.
Rosie Morris’s film Bullfight (2015) intercuts footage from Madrid’s Plaza de Torres de las Ventas with the demolition of the Aylesbury Estate in London, prompting reflections on animal drive, destructive power and constructs of masculinity.
In Sarah Pager’s sculpture Trip Hazard (2016), plaster cauliflowers, evocative of brains and clouds, are connected – or separated? – like atoms in a scientist’s model by steel rods with black-and-yellow hazard markings.
With their dreamlike imagery and poetic voiceover, Ninna Bohn Pedersen’s Seepage films (2015) are personal takes on our universal experiences of encountering each other.
In Laura Smith’s recent paintings, such as Glass Pyramid (2016), still life approaches abstraction. Using fluid oil paint on linen, Smith creates what she describes as ‘expressions of emotional actions, some violent, others tender.’
For this exhibition, Poppy Whatmore has made new work including Walk All Over Me, a pavement of concrete slabs of unequal thickness and subtly varied tone, intended to stimulate heightened self-awareness.
An evening of readings and discussion is planned for 16 February.
Little Clown, My Heart is on at Arthouse1, 45 Grange Road, SE1 3BH from January 26th – February 18th. Times: Thurs – Sun 3pm – 7pm. Admission: Free. Phone: 07713 189249