Sweet Debris is a group exhibition featuring new and existing photographs and objects by four rising early career artists whose work searches for meaning and beauty amongst the detritus of modern life.
With the world today inundated with digital imagery due to the proliferation of image-sharing platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, Sweet Debris explores how photographic artists are still finding new expression amongst the rubble, through committed attention to the commonplace and the otherwise disregarded.
The straight photographs of Phoebe Kiely and Chris Rhodes prove that, in the age of the iPhone where we are all photographers now, in the right hands, the traditional camera retains the capacity to see and frame the world anew.
Kiely, following on from her book They Were My Landscape (MACK), presents new black and white works from a period spent in Europe, where we find scenes of peripheral
places, objects and people that are imbued with a sense of heightened tension and quiet melancholy.
Rhodes presents images of anonymous interiors, taken in various locations whilst shooting on location around the world. With a singular eye for colour and unexpected composition, his photographs give all things equal significance, finding a strange beauty in the flotsam and jetsam of modern life.
In the works of both Theo Simpson and Hannah Farrell, the photograph is the first stage in a process of layering and construction that explores how photography can venture beyond the mediums’ limits when placed in dialogue with other materials.
Informed in part by her meditative practice, and using a largely analogue process of re-photographing and layering, Farrell’s work calls into question the veracity of the photographic image and, by extension, our own perception of time and reality.
Simpson uses photography as a means to map the landscape of Northern England before delving into its industrial narratives and histories. Original photographs, found imagery, typography and sculptural works of metal are assembled together or presented in sequence to prompt a dialogue between the past, present and possible future.
Curator Mario Popham says ‘Waterside is delighted to bring together these four exciting new talents whose work reveals the richness and creative potential that remains in contemporary photographic practice today. With the artists’ connections to the North, it is a celebration of home grown talent that demonstrates our continued commitment to support and development of early career artists.’
There are associated talks and events running alongside the exhibition
Exhibition runs Friday 12 April – Saturday 06 July 2019
At Waterside, Sale watersidearts.org/sweetdebris
Open Mon – Sat 10:00 – 17:00, Free entry