From 10 – 14 November 2016, The Strand Gallery was delighted to host ‘Hidden Layers’ by Ensemb7e. Staged by MA by Project Artists, the exhibition served as a metaphor for the outcomes encountered on the path of the search; allowing visitors an insight into a group of artists’ take on this metaphor. Works took the form of jewellery, ceramics, sculpture, painting and installation to bring together a truly original and imaginative collection.
The exhibition served to not only observe the artists’ exploratory journeys, but also succeeded in raising questions in the viewers’ own minds, with works canvassing a range of provocative themes: the subverted notions of home as a safe haven; nature’s life-giving decay; past depictions and the future of womankind; surrealist ideology and sensory forms exploring skin damage; objects informed by the Tao and the power of water.
Artist Chris Christodoulou’s installations and memory objects explore his search for ‘home’ and the concept of what ‘home’ is beneath the veneer. Informed by memory and loss, Christodoulou’s work is a poignant exploration of the concept of what it means to belong.
Esther Fidlin’s ceramic work replicates the damage wrought by skin disorders. The tangible format of the pieces invokes a feeling of discomfort in the viewer, reflecting the feelings of those who inspired her work.
Siobhan Harkin’s use of sensual colours and broad, brash brushstrokes draws the viewer into her large-scale paintings featuring dynamic and emotive figures.
Haunting and lingering landscapes are created in Gareth Jone’s watercolour paintings by his use of soft, blended tones, endearing the viewer to a nostalgic mood.
Nora Loh explores the path to achieving balance through her jewellery, reminding us of the presence of nature and importance of water.
Also inspired by nature, Loveness Li’s work draws directly on natural resources, using both organic and man-made pieces for her jewellery. Her work centres on the sustainable nature of the natural world; new life thrives on decay, lending a purpose to decaying matter.
Within Sophie O’Neill’s ceramic work, the status of womankind is explored, both in the past and present, as well as the future.
About Ensemb7e: “Ensemb7e are a group of postgraduate artists researching diverse areas of fine art practices that draw on common concerns. We work in the mediums of Jewellery, Ceramics, Sculpture, Painting, Installation, and Photography.”