Diversions in the Agate Mine | Hania Stella-Sawicka | 03 - 25 October 2009
During a week-long residency staying at a cottage in the shadows of Thornton Viaduct, a short walk from South Square Gallery, artist Hania Stella-Sawicka develops a new site-responsive installation inspired by the surrounding landscape of disused quarries and golf courses.
Diversions in the Agate Mine is a fictitious place, invented by the artist to provide a site from which to reflect on the natural landscape. Taking visual reference from the constructed and manicured world of golf courses, quarries and travel destinations, Hania manipulates everyday materials collected from builders' merchants and garden centres to assemble a unique hybridised otherworld.
Drawing from the aesthetics of Zen gardens, rock-like structures protrude from the gallery floor and curtains of black glass beads hang from the ceiling forming mountainous shapes, together these objects take strategic positions within the confines of the exhibition space. Made from materials more commonly associated with DIY these sculptural objects introduce a recognisable and domestic language resembling a type of 'gallery furniture'.
The audience's experience bears relation to that of a visitor to a spectacle in the natural world, where a transitional space is constructed to prepare us for the anticipated experience. Hania's works reference spaces such as the souvenir shop one might find in a national park or a mine turned tourist attraction.
Emanating from the work is a sense of new age spirituality that embraces diluted interpretations of a variety of cultures. This free-thinking approach to life is illustrated through Hania's similarly instinctive and liberal 'Pick 'n' Mix' aesthetic. Throughout October we see South Square Gallery temporarily converted into a commune retreat to escape the world around us, creating a site of landscaped contemplation.
Further images copyright of Hania Stella-Sawicka
South Square, Thornton, Bradford, BD13 3LD
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Design: Qubik | Built with Indexhibit