Worldwide openings this week

1. Register in order to get a username and a password.
2. Log in with your username and password.
3. Create your announcement online.

15 Jul 2010

Spike Island presents Jorge Santos

Image courtesy of the artist

the world appeared to her reflected by pure inwardness
Spike Island


Exhibition open: 17 July - 26 September Gallery opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday 11:00-17:00

Nemia Maclachlan
+44 (0) 117 929 2266
+44 (0) 117 929 2066

Spike Island
133 Cumberland Road
Bristol BS1 6UX

Share this announcement on:  |

Spike Island has a long history of working with Portuguese artists through residencies supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Jorge Santos (1974) was awarded the 2009 Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Production Residency at Spike Island, leading to the development of a solo exhibition of new work in summer 2010. Through works produced in residence, the architecture of Bristol with its riverside spaces has drifted into the gallery along with domestic interiors taken from rooms known to Santos back in Lisbon.

The artist will present a mixed media installation involving sculpture, video and prints and will be using all of the 8,000 sq ft exhibition space - Gallery One, Two and the Perimeter- as the setting for 'the world appeared to her reflected by pure inwardness'. Current projects by Portuguese artists will also be presented over the summer through talks, screenings and live events.

Santos is interested in the evocative effects of displacing the architectural elements of one space into another, including the potentially uncanny effects of intermingling exterior with interior space. In previous works, the artist has created subtle illusions where ornate railings from nearby streets are rendered in white plaster, appearing like ghostly reliefs on otherwise smooth gallery walls, or a rain spattered window is projected into an otherwise enclosed interior space, once again bringing the outside in. Santos also frequently uses domestic elements, such as wallpaper patterns and skirting boards, to infiltrate the modernist gallery space. These external elements and domestic fragments create an altered sense of 'place', creating atmospheric and potentially melancholic environments within the clinical blankness of white-walled exhibition halls. The artist works with an economy of means; a 'just enough' illusion, creating his own brand of Romantic Minimalism.

At Spike Island Santos has created a series of new works which will echo each other in form. In Gallery One the artist will build an ornate plaster brick wall which dissects the width of the gallery. The plaster bricks are cut-outs so it is possible to see through the wall and the space can be accessed from either side, leaving open the possibility of gazing through at another visitor as well as 'at' the work. Woven through the bricks is an ornate pattern of ivy in the same white plaster creating the impression of a garden wall displaced into the central gallery.

In Gallery Two, mirroring the proportions of the wall in Gallery One, is another art work as replica, this time the viewer is presented with a free standing interior domestic wall complete with skirting board. Whilst the one side is blank, the other is covered by two projections that shift between the ornate patterns of wallpaper, to light and leaves, and back to pattern accompanied by a subtle soundtrack.

Beyond this piece is the perimeter corridor, spot lit at the far end. The viewer walks out of the darkness of Gallery Two, towards some apparently blank sheets of paper whose surfaces slowly become visible. Pinned against white breeze block, these works are in fact large scale relief prints embossed with the pattern of gates which echo the fencing found by the river outside Spike Island. These closed doors, 'spike' topped and antiquated, are elements from an earlier industrial era, part of the history of the surrounding area. They became a recurring motif within Jorge's work during the residency and are part of the 'double take' aspect of his work: these potentially overlooked forms in their natural environment are now more 'present' in their near invisible rendering in paper.