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Artist's Talk: Freddy Dewe Mathews
Wed 3 May 2017, 19:00 – 20:00 BST
Join artist Freddy Dewe Mathews in conversation with curator Robert Leckie as they discuss the issues of landscape, progress, international trade and local mythology that are raised by Dewe Mathews’ Peltz Gallery exhibition ‘El Encanto’.
‘El Encanto’ considers the history of the rubber industry in the Putumayo, a large area of the Colombian Amazon once heavily exploited for this naturally occurring resource. Developed from various trips made by the artist to remote and historically important sites, the show looks at how, at the nucleus of a spiraling and often paradoxical history, the essentially harmonious process of tapping - an interaction between a tapper and a rubber tree - has come to echo the central allegory attached to it, that of bleeding. The exhibition in the Peltz Gallery extends ideas that Dewe Mathews began to explore during his 2013 Gasworks International Fellowship, where he undertook a residency at independent artist-led gallery Kiosko Galeria, Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
Freddy Dewe Mathews (b.1985) is a visual artist based in London. His multi-disciplinary practice considers the shifting influence of history on the environments and places we live in. Exploring chosen sites and guided by archival and research material, his projects have taken in broad subjects, ranging from the legacy of the rubber industry in the Colombian Amazon, to the cult of the ill in the Swiss Alps. He has exhibited internationally and taken part in a number of residencies in Europe and Latin America, including spending 2016 as Artist-in-Residence at Flora Ars+Natura and receiving the Gasworks International Fellowship in 2013. The same year he published his first book, Bouvetøya: A Cultural History of an Isolated Landmass. http://www.freddydewemathews.com
Robert Leckie has been Curator at Gasworks in London since 2011, where he runs the exhibitions and residencies programmes. At Gasworks he has commissioned and curated solo exhibitions by a broad range of international artists including Pio Abad, Eric Baudelaire, Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Adelita Husni-Bey, Maryam Jafri, Candice Lin, Lana Lin, Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz and Kemang Wa Lehulere. He has also curated and produced several group and collaborative exhibitions including ‘All I Can See is the Management’ (2011); ‘RESOLUTION 978 HD’ (2013) by the Model Court collective (artists and researchers Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Lorenzo Pezzani and Oliver Rees); ‘Late Barbarians’ (2014); ‘Dependency’ (2014); and, together with Miguel A. Lopez, ‘A Kingdom of Hours’ (2016/17), which was presented across Gasworks and TEOR/éTica in San José. He has written for Afterall and Benedictions, among other publications, and is currently co-editing a book on Sidsel Meineche Hansen’s recent practice, alongside working on the following new commissions: a collaborative exhibition by Filipa César and Louis Henderson and solo shows by Monira Al Qadiri, Zach Blas and Rachal Bradley.
‘El Encanto’ is on at the Peltz Gallery, School of Arts, Birkbeck College 6 April – 4 May 2017.
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