past exhibition

Invisible Narratives²

22nd May –
19th June 2021

19 June 5pm to 8pm

“A rural ecologist, an urban drifter and a diasporic optimist examine the invisible layers underneath, the lost spaces on the edge and the forgotten places in between.”

Lubaina Himid

About the exhibition

Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix is pleased to announce the book launch for ‘Invisible Narratives’ and an exhibition ‘Invisible Narratives²’ both of which explore the work of three artists, Rebecca Chesney, Lubaina Himid and Magda Stawarska-Beavan who consider the poetic investigation of place, space and time, through painting, sound installation and place-based research.

All three artists use their work to uncover the hidden, understand a place as it is experienced by those who know it well, and remember apparently unknown histories. The investigation is made all the more intricate as each artist brings in her sensibility and layers to the infinitely-intertwined picture.

Some of the questions being asked include; when places are on the edge of time and memory, how can we see what is there and talk about what appears not to be there, while there are issues no one wants to acknowledge? Or how can we examine trauma by picturing the sublime; can incomprehensible events and dilemmas eventually provide openings for new political formations? Listening also comes into play; for some people sounds are familiar because they are heard every day, for others they seem familiar but at the same time unknown.

Each artist has made new work for the show which marks for them an opportunity to develop ideas and relationships forged in the first iteration of ‘Invisible Narratives’ at Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall in 2019.

To celebrate both exhibitions they have produced a book of stunning visuals from the Newlyn show which explore their individual but occasionally overlapping creative agendas and a suite of short essays including two written by art historian/curators Ella Spencer Mills and Christine Eyene.

Courtesy of Hollybush Gardens

The image: book cover of ‘Invisible Narratives’; the photo of the sea by Gavin Renshaw

Rebecca Chesney is concerned with how we conceive land, how we romanticise, translate and define it. She investigates the impact of human activities on nature and environment and she looks at the influence of politics, ownership, management and commercial value on our surroundings. Her installations, habitat creation, drawings, maps and walks are created upon research on weather, water quality, air pollution, habitat loss, and also on how concept of nature is fed by mix of truth of fiction, or science and folklore. Recent solo shows include 'Distance' Springhornhof, Neuenkirchen, Germany and 'Alla Breve' Museo Casa Rural di Carcente, Italy, 2018. Recent group shows include 'El Balcon' Rubin Center for the Visual Arts El Paso Texas, Ruskin: Museum of the Near Future, The Ruskin Library, Museum & Research Centre, Lancaster, UK (2019). Commissions include Forewarning Full of Noises (Barrow) and Soundcamp (London and Cumbria Wildlife Trust (2018) , 'Landed (Cadastral Maps)' SG2 research project looking at land ownership in Lancashire.

Lubaina Himid CBE, born in Zanzibar in 1954, is a British painter who has dedicated her four-decade-long career to uncovering marginalised and silenced histories, figures and cultural expressions. Himid currently lives and works in Preston, UK, and is a professor at the University of Central Lancashire. She was the winner of the Turner Prize in 2017. In 2021 Himid will present a major monographic exhibition at Tate Modern, London. Significant solo exhibitions include 'Spotlights', Tate Britain, London (2019); 'The Grab Test', 'Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands (2019), 'Lubaina Himid', CAPC Bordeaux, France (2019), Work From Underneath, New Museum, New York (2019), 'Gifts to Kings', MRAC Languedoc Roussillon Midi-Pyrénées, Sérignan (2018), 'Our Kisses are Petals', BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2018), 'The Truth Is Never Watertight', Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (2017), 'Navigation Charts', Spike Island, Bristol (2017), and 'Invisible Strategies', Modern Art Oxford (2017).

Magda Stawarska-Beavan, born in Poland, currently lives and works in Preston, UK and is a joint research lead for ArtLab Contemporary Print Studios at University of Central Lancashire. Stawarska-Beavan is a multi-disciplinary artist working predominantly with sound, moving image and print, whose practice is primarily concerned with the evocative and immersive qualities of sound. She is interested in how a soundscape orients us and subconsciously embeds itself in our memories of place, enabling us to construct personal recollections and offering the possibility of conveying narrative to listeners who have never experienced a location. Recent exhibitions include: 'Spaces and Moments' Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix (2020), 'The Blue Grid Test', 'Risquons -Tout', Wiels, Brussels (2020), 'Reduce the Time Spent Holding' – Commissioned 8 min sound piece for headphones for Lubaina Himid exhibition 'Work from Underneath' New Museum, New York, (2019), 'Invisible Narratives', Newlyn Art Gallery, UK (2019); 'Tales from The Water Margins', 4th International Biennial of Casablanca, Morocco (2018), 'Sounds Like Her', New Art Exchange, Nottingham and UK touring (2017-2019).