Curated by Elyse Tonna
April 30 2021 - June 06 2021
Downhill i (2019) & Playful Futures event poster
Laura Besançon, Tom Lovelace, Ignacio Barrios, Dawoon Kim, Tom Medwell, Gökhan Tanriöver
Often, we find ourselves in a sublime or liminal state, the in between. Contexts featuring ambiguity and disorientation, where there are no real boundaries or control on space, time, thoughts and emotions. Liminal territories are waiting spaces: where are we now? what’s next? Our surrounding landscapes are changing in unprecedented ways. Playful Futures is a bid to refresh our perspectives and attitudes towards ever changing contexts beyond our control. It questions the parallels drawn between the interrelationship between the state of mind and destructive manifestations of untamed landscapes. A more utopian and sometimes even a humorous perspective is adopted to act as a starting point to diminish the effects of disorientation in the conscious mind. Whilst the exhibition brings to focus works by multidisciplinary artist Laura Besancon (b.1993) who is a recent graduate of the Royal College of Art (2019), it also includes representations by another five international artists.
Laura Besançon is a Maltese-French Multidisciplinary artist. During her undergraduate degree in Communications and Psychology at the University of Malta, Laura began to turn towards a fine art approach in researching her fields of studies. In 2017 she moved to London to pursue an MA degree at the Royal College of Art where she developed a multifaceted practice which incorporates photography, moving image, sound, mixed media and participatory projects.. Central to Laura’s practice are notions of play, connectivity and place explored through a playful approach which often utilises various communication tools as part of the process. She is also interested in turning things around through appropriation, reconfiguration, shifting perspectives and playful action. Her work also explores in-betweenness and seeming dualities. Works Winclude Alone, Together (2018-) where residents living in London tower blocks are invited to participate in a live work. She was a finalist for the 2019 MTV RE:DEFINE Award (inaugurated by the Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas Texas) and was shortlisted for the 2020 Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition, exhibiting at York Art Gallery.
Tom Lovelace is a London based artist, working within the spaces between photography, performance and sculpture. His practice presents material and conceptual entanglements, exploring the expanded languages of minimalism in response to the body and the human condition. Central themes to his research encompass the collaborative histories of photography, theatre and the semantics of the everyday. Residencies include London South Bank University (2019-2020), Yorkshire Sculpture Park / Art Licks (2017), Allegra Projects, Switzerland (2017), Lendi Projects, Switzerland (2015), European Capital of Culture, Aarhus, Denmark (2013) and the Anna Mahler International Foundation, Italy (2012). Lovelace teaches at the Royal College of Art and University for the Creative Arts.
Ignacio Barrios is a Spanish visual artist working with photography. In 2019, Ignacio completed his Master in Photography at the Royal College of Art in London. Barrios mainly works with photography while blurring boundaries with painting and sculpture combining street and studio photography. He is the winner of the Genesis Imaging Postgraduate Award 2019 and has received three honorable mentions at the IPA Lucie Awards for his series “Urban Seascapes.” Ignacio has enriched his photography by attending different courses at EFTI in Madrid and workshops with photographers such as Jose A. Figueroa, Javier Vallhonrat, Cristina Garcia Rodero, Antonio Xoubanouva and Oscar Monzón. From July to December 2020, Ignacio was an artist in residence at the BilbaoArte Foundation where he developed a new body of work « wet clothes » including tridimensional works made with wood and textile. This year he will be part of the Aesthetica Magazine Future Now anthology publication.
Dawoon Kim is a South Korean artist based in London, working across photography, performance and video. She completed her MA at the Royal College of Art in 2019. Kim’s work primarily addresses themes of cultural identities, representation, spectacle and desire with frequent references to pop culture, technology and the internet-era.
Tom Medwell is an artist and photographer based in London. His work is an exploration of the possibility of solidly manifesting time, space and light within photographic structures. Using obsessively repetitious techniques, he attempts to make time and light solid things, able to be built upon, something that can form an integral part of the structures revealed by the camera.
Gökhan Tanriöver is a Turkish-born photographic artist, currently based in Madrid. Following an early medical career, he realised his vocation lay elsewhere. He meticulously constructs his photographs using film and prints them in the darkroom, which serves as his personal sanctuary. Often using repetition and alteration between the frames, he considers the roll of film as an event where he performs with and for the camera to construct imagery that focuses on personal and cultural identity informed by personal experience and memory. After completing his BA (Hons) in Photographic Arts (2017) from the University of Westminster he has been shortlisted for the Peaches and Cream Photography Competition (2017) and selected as a finalist in the Royal Photographic Society International Photography Exhibition 160. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including Separation and Belonging, which he co-curated as part of the Whitechapel Gallery’s First Thursday tour in May 2016. In 2017, he was chosen to participate in the Travers Smith CSR Art Programme and received their Emerging Talent award for his series Confessionals. The work was shown at Brighton Photo Fringe in 2018, receiving the Photohastings Shutter Hub award and was also shortlisted for the Athens Photo Festival 2019.
Elyse Tonna is an architect, cultural manager and curator. She is interested in contemporary visual arts yet creates and manages projects within the creative sector. She is the Arts Coordinator of ACT and works at the Gabriel Caruana Foundation.