Caroline Gregory’s work borrows stories, memories, and beliefs that may be held in everyday spaces, objects, and people. She often plays around with a mix of new, secondhand or found materials, re-placing objects in occupied and abandoned spaces, shuffling and shifting things to mess-up, divert, or perhaps even transform meanings contained. Always a mix of old and new and consistently stitch, costume, ceramics, the work finds life and expansion through its audience.
Usually an installation artist, Julia Maddison’s work often revolves around the themes of memory, sickness, sex and loss. Collecting, reworking and subverting the flotsam of forgotten lives, she is gradually building a kind of museum of domestic misery. She is currently working on the curation of Mother’s Ruin, a group exhibition to be held in a disused gin distillery in east London. It is her long held ambition to run a shop along the lines of the one in Bagpuss; full of found oddments, fragments and personal ephemera, none of which is for sale.
“[Maddison’s] work is so elegantly explicit. These are images that may sit or stand or lie in plain sight, but pierce the skin and twist the root just where purity and sin bargain for sanity.” Julian Firth (writer & actor)
Rachel Pearcey’s current work combines her love of textiles, stitching, mark making and repetition; using vintage linen and flax and felted wool blankets she constructs unbreakable vessels: bowls, cups, bottles and dishes on to which she stitches and stitches and stitches small straight marks. She is also strangely obsessed with wooden chairs and has stitched hundreds and hundreds of them on to postcard sized pieces of calico, 72 of which were scattered throughout Venice during the 2019 Biennale.
Rachel Pearcey obtained a B.A. fine art from the University of Plymouth and an MA in drawing a Kingston University. Prior to these she completed a City & Guilds course in Cabinet Making at Bristol Polytechnic. Rachel was awarded the Benton Purchase Prize at the Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries.She lives and works in Kingston Upon Thames
Carol Wyss is a visual artist working across analogue and digital media in print and installation. She lives and works in London. Since graduating in 1998 with an MFA from the Slade, Carol has won several prizes including the John Ruskin Prize 2012 and the City & Guilds Print Prize. She is a member of the London Group and exhibits widely: the 58th Venice Biennale, Millenium Gallery Museum Sheffield, Johanniterkirche Feldkirch/Austria, Whitechapel Gallery, Barbican Arts Trust and Kunsthalle Weimar.
Wyss’ work is held in many private and public collections such as BT Contemporary Art Collection, Clifford Chance Art Collection, Mezzanin Stiftung, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein and HILTI Art Foundation. She is currently working on two large scale installations for her upcoming exhibition at Brantwood Museum, John Ruskin’s former home.
“Carol’s huge etchings strikingly emphasised the cycle of growth and decay, reflecting concerns for the future of our environment. Carol’s work certainly satisfies Ruskin’s entreaty to engage more fully with the world around us through observation and drawing.” Sue Grayson Ford, Director of the Campaign for Drawing
Natalia Zagorska-Thomas is a Polish-British visual artist working in London. She has exhibited her work in Australia, Poland, Spain, Cuba, Germany, Italy and the UK. She is also a conservator of textiles and textile related objects as well as a curator of ExPurgamento, an independent gallery in Camden Town, London. Speaking about her work, she says:
“Because I almost always start with an existing object I don’t consider myself a proper author of the final object, more a pair of hands which help to bring about its emancipation from daily servitude. I like the tension between this organic, intuitive process and my other life as an art conservator, which relies on science and verifiable fact, where the ideal result is to stop time and eliminate change. So I spend half my time treating objects as forensic evidence and the other – trying to prove that they are wholly unreliable”.
Natalia Zagorska-Thomas is an artist whose work responds to issues of the contemporary world with wit, intelligence and immense sophistication. Ana Maria Pacheco