The opening reception of Gallery Libby Sellers’ latest guerilla exhibition at Gallery Jacqueline Rabun attracted a stellar crowd including Alice Rawsthorn, Tord Boontje, Gareth Williams, Jaime Hayon and Alexander Payne. Sellers presents a new project by Julia Lohmann and Gero Grundmann which builds on Lohmann’s previous explorations into our primeval relationship with animals as a source of food and the use of their remains to create new objects.
Tidal Ossuary is a collection of vessels made using bones scavenged from the banks of the River Thames. The bones were probably discarded by the abattoirs and meat markets along the river over the past two hundred years and have been carefully treated, retaining the original stain created over time by mud and silt or coated with black Indian Ink and embellished with silver details highlighting the surface finish and angled cuts made by the butcher’s blade.
Much of Lohmann’s previous work – including Flock, made from sheeps stomachs and the Cow Benches in which the cast of a cow is covered in its own hide – has an immediacy and rawness but in this series it is the history of the objects that gives them gravitas and interest. Beautifully presented on a meandering steel plinth that plots the path of the Thames, the project represents a compelling tale of the passage of time.
Whether the pieces would engender the same reaction individually or in a different context is another matter and it’s hard to gauge their retail potential, particularly at prices from £500 – £2,400. However, in these surroundings the vessels stimulate and provoke, contrasting yet complementing the immaculately finished jewellery with which they share the space.
The overall feel is part history lesson, part jewellery workshop and part taxidermist’s hoarding place. Through her pop-up approach Sellers consistently excels in creating extraordinary spaces and an incredible buzz around her shows and this latest example maintains the quality of presentation and conceptual clarity that one expects from her.
Until 4 March 2010