-topia

at Bermondsey Project Space

28 June - 2 July 2022

Curated by Andia Coral Newton

-topia is a group exhibition featuring five South London based artists working to world-build, landscape-map and decipher their own individual realities.

Historically, ‘topias’ were types of murals often featured in the houses of ancient Romans, which depicted whimsical landscapes, typically of diverse character. As a suffix, ‘-topia’ refers to the idea of a place, position or location. In the context of this exhibition, ‘-topia’ alludes to all of these inferences, as well as ideas about utopias, dystopias and the artists’ situations within real world spaces.

Drawings on paper by Max K Weaver provide fragmented glimpses into a cityscape (of sorts) which will continue to expand its city bounds every time he adds a new drawing to the series, but also shrinks in size whenever he sells a work. The Jerusalem series of drawings guide you through an imagined landscape of forms and structures which appear to blend fluidly from organic, to manufactured, and back again.

Karolina Dworska’s textile works invite us into the murky terrain of dreamscapes. Littered with repeated characters and the vestiges of everyday objects encountered in waking hours, her work maps the spaces between sleep and waking which are not quite right, muted in tone, and half-remembered. Similarly uncanny, enorê’s ceramic pieces offer the viewer the familiarity of the human face, but distort it with glitches, resulting in a skilful merging of craft and digital work. By surveying the world of data, which so often deprives us of tactility, they provide a uniquely physical encounter with the digital realm.

Artworks by Leo Fox and Francesca Telling open windows into landscapes which are based more in reality. Fox’s paintings, although seemingly fanciful, speak of queer experience and faith in an illustrative visual language, as striking in his paintings as it is in his cartoons. Building rich forest-like surroundings for his protagonists to inhabit, the viewer can just make out shadowy figures and scatterings of metal tools all around. Telling’s work feels more explorative; with a centring on the ideas of artefacts and heirlooms, Telling works with gestures of heritage through a range of materials, most of which have historic connotations of craft.

Expect to travel through landscapes both real and concocted, on scales from grand to minuscule.