Grove Collective is pleased to present the upcoming group exhibition Dream On: London-Based Emerging Artists Explore the Liminal Space Between Fantasy and Reality, featuring artists Ruby Bateman, Thomas Conant, Grace Mattingly, and Liorah Tchiprout, on view online as an Online Viewing Room through the Grove Collective website from November 8th to December 8th, 2021. This is the first time that Grove Collective has worked any of these artists, and marks the first time that this group has shown together.
Fantasy and reality are often understood as polarities on an expansive spectrum, with the implication being that we as people can firmly understand when one ends and the other begins. However, this belies core facets of our collective modes of living: we use abstract thought to layer our lived reality with fantastically imagined ones, placing one atop the other, almost palimpsestically, to make sense of our experiences. With this in mind, the work of Bateman, Conant, Mattingly, and Tchiprout takes on a new gravity, although perhaps in more ways than initially meet the eye.
Indeed, Bateman’s fluid lines and Conant’s deft use of colour alludes to the impasse of perception and reality, but Mattingly’s otherwise curious work finds a renewed foundation in the real. Warm hues and astute symbolism assert a reflexive offering to the viewer, implicating them in a spatio-aesthetic “push and pull” executed by the artist. Similarly, Tchiprout’s portraits do represent living, breathing people, as they might suggest, but they also slip into an alternative world, focussing on puppets, and not people, built in Tchiprout’s King Cross studio. In doing so, Tchiprout floats questions concerning both morality and humanity, imbuing her figures with a liveliness that is at times both comforting and unsettling. As such, Dream On becomes an exhibition about more than emerging artists; it becomes a means through which to understand modes of survival and rationalisation in an increasingly irrational world, through the eyes of four young practitioners.
For Grove Collective, this proves one of the first times the gallery has forayed into local talent since the beginning of their program. Having highlighted international artists for the better part of 2021, Co-Directors Jacob Barnes and Morgane Wagner eagerly awaited the opportunity to work with artists in their proverbial backyard, using repeated studio visits to form an altogether closer working relationship. The result has been an exhibition born out of collective collaboration, with both curators and artists sharing insight to develop all facets of the new OVR platform. While the gallery looks forward to continuing its international offering, both Barnes and Wagner look to use such domestic partnerships to foster local, longterm relationships for the years to come.