Paul Smith | Sharon Van Diepen
Curated by Georgina Scott
An exhibition presenting new works from MA Fine Art students Paul Smith and Sharon Van Diepen opens at Brewery Tap next Friday (19th February)
The works of these artists explore the presence of toil in our existence, which is brought about by the incessant nature of labour and futile productivity. Holding alternative positions towards the concept of labour they produce works that are obsessed with process and the arduous and repetitive performance of making the work. They both work with organic but man-altered materials that can be transformed from one state of being to another, exploring the notion of entropy, re-use and the deep but competitive relationship humans hold with materials.
These works are also a reaction against consumerism and the increasing virtuality of our lives and display a quest for connectivity with materials. By focusing on human relationships with materials and their traces made upon them with tools, a power struggle emerges.
Paul Smith’s work is concerned with human endeavour and the tedious yet grounding task of unpicking, disassembling and reassembling discarded objects and displaced artefacts. Exhibiting the apparatus that have brought him to this point in his project, which is in a perpetual state of diminishment, he poses philosophical questions about the absurd and captivating nature of his labour intensive activity.
Sharon Van Diepen introduces a new relationship between humans and previously used materials as her work focuses on the vitalist notion of materialism, which considers all things equal. By weaving together living and evolving raw materials, her work is an infinite and repetitive merging of forms that pass through her hands in a self-determined manner. Her work, as well as Paul Smith’s, is presented to us in a state of flux.