"This house is a threshold, a prelude, an opening… mingling and dissolving on the soft palate. What results is a collection of objects which enact a continual palimpsest; where recognisable narratives unfurl and roll off the table and into the street to be trodden on with mucky subjectivity."
Kit Edwards, 2019
“Contraptions, gear, systems and frameworks. Housed within the ruins of Safehouse, Augustine Carr’s Apparatus cheerfully skewers beauty, kitsch and the unknowable, twiddling the resulting melange for a closer peek. Less of a curatorial closed circuit and more of an exercise in jelly-nailing, Apparatus seeks, with playful seriousness, to collide divergent practices into fruitful new shapes and arcs.
With Pythia and Heracles, Alix Marie presents a Giallo-infused meditation on female prophecy and soothsaying, together with an exploration of male display, via her upstairs room full of wheezily rotating body-builder arms - sculptures of sculptures mimicking sculptures. Augustine Carr’s fascination with the extremes of aspiration and kitsch sees him exhibiting Cordon Bleu, with 3 suggestively soft crowns substituting for stars, atop deeply-outdated, sickly cookbooks. (Is there a genre of literature that dates faster?!) Carr’s fabric-based work upstairs is duly counterpointed by performance artist Anna Perach - who presents as a soft, warm, comfortingly owl-ish spirit, shuffling gamely, wordlessly about the Safehouse.
In his untitled work Albert Grondahl explores ideas of idyl and value, creating images that speak of photography’s earliest processes and dabblings in landscape and seascape. Photo-sensitising gold, he creates an image that might have been folded up and carried in a pocket. With Carland, The Rural College of Art walks an improvised street in the isolated and deeply deprived estuarial community of Jaywick, whose informal, frozen-in-time architecture is the nearest England gets to shanty. Photographing every stride, in order to build up a jumpy homage to Ed Ruscha’s documentation of Sunset Boulevard, Gates appears to have produced a two-legged road movie, perfectly backgrounded by the raddled walls of the Safehouse.Upstairs, The Rural College of Art echoes the DIY approach to make-do-facture of Jaywick, presenting a huge back and white photograph of woodland, created by a tipped-up caravan converted into a pinhole camera.
Also upstairs, a series of shelves displays a selection of works the artists exchanged with each other by post, prior to the show. With the leaf as thread and motif, the artists have produced some deft, delicate and diminutive works that offer keyhole views onto their respective practices, while producing an artwork whose sum betters its parts. A show within a show. A visual touchstone.”
Nick Scammel, 2019