13 Jul – 23 Sep 18
Private view 12 Jul
Indirect Sunlight, an immersive sculptural garden installation by Glaswegian artists Laura Aldridge and James Rigler. From 12th July – 23rd September, Indirect Sunlight, will transform NOW Gallery into a rural retreat, a space for contemplation away from the hustle and bustle of the capital. The summer exhibition will draw nature inside, inviting visitors to discover and interact with the gallery space like never before.
Blurring the boundary between indoors and outdoors, Indirect Sunlight will see NOW Gallery populated with a series of playful sculptures. Arched forms derived from monastery cloisters and clipped topiary will provide a lightweight modular structure from which colourful and patterned printed fabric will hang. These arches will be carefully placed throughout the space and visitors will be encouraged to move freely through the sculptures, causing the fabric to respond to their movement. Small, golden ceramic elements will dot the arched structures like fruits or budding blossom and as visitors venture further, a ceramic water fountain will be revealed.
The dreamlike quality of the fountain will be in opposition to a series of functional benches and work tables installed throughout the exhibition. These will house materials for visitors to evolve the installation – to pot up plants, to sow seeds and to place their seedlings within the landscape of the ‘garden’. The activity of planting will bring a new dimension to the gallery, transforming the space into an inside garden where visitors will be able to contribute to the metaphorical garden space with its fluttering arches and ceramic objects.
Light flooding into the space through the glass walls will be harnessed to spur new life, with seedlings breaking through the soil and leaves unfurling. These plants will grow and develop throughout the exhibition, bringing it to life as nature infiltrates the space. There will be the opportunity to examine the seeds of plants as beans, peas, sunflowers and nasturtiums and become a part of an ongoing growing project. The greenery will take over the space, courgettes growing across the floor, peas climbing up the arches. Visitors will have the opportunity to dip their hands into soil, get grounded and understand the nature of how a garden grows.
Taking inspiration from the rich history of Greenwich Peninsula, Aldridge and Rigler have drawn elements from their local surroundings to enrich the contextual narrative of the exhibition. Areas of marshland and heavy industry that once characterised much of the South Bank of the Thames are now being revitalized by the Greenwich Peninsula regeneration project. This sense of revitalisation is evident in Indirect Sunlight, capturing the starting point of the garden as a creative site.
Aldridge and Rigler hope to introduce a sense of wellbeing and discovery by creating both a metaphorical and physical garden that appeals to the senses – the sound of water, the smell of the earth and the rustle of vibrant fabric in the light breeze. The sense of refuge and recovery that embody memorial gardens, romantic landscapes and even the humble allotment will be plentiful within the sculptural language of Indirect Sunlight.
Jemima Burrill Curator of NOW Gallery “For this art commission we wanted to see the vision of a sculptural garden by contemporary artists James Rigler and Laura Aldridge in the context of NOW Gallery. Using distinct elements from their practices: Laura’s with sculptural structures that play with fabric and James’s ceramic tropes, these artists join forces to define a textural world. The presence of the fountain and the opportunity for visitors to plant their own seed to become a part of this exhibition will capture imaginations this summer. Explore growing, get rooted and experience a colourful interpretation of a garden setting with Glasgow’s two most inspiring artists.”
Showcasing one-off experimental and exciting art and design, NOW Gallery on Greenwich Peninsula provides artists, designers and communities with a place for investigation. It is a space to further ideas and create unprecedented artwork that would not usually have the opportunity to develop. Hugely popular exhibitions by Rebecca Louise Law, Camille Walala and Charles Jeffrey in 2017 helped to cement NOW Gallery’s position on London’s cultural map. Indirect Sunlight will launch NOW Gallery’s 2018 summer art and culture programme, opening on the 12th July 2018.
In September, a feast will be prepared for visitors to bring the crop from their seeds and enjoy the fruits of their labour in a collective meal at NOW Gallery using the products grown in the gallery with Indirect Sunlight.