CHARLIE SMITH LONDON is delighted to present its first exhibition of 2019. Celebrating its tenth year at the gallery in Shoreditch, it is fitting that Young Gods launches this significant and celebratory year. Gallery director and independent curator Zavier Ellis is a respected talent spotter who has curated Young Gods at various locations for fifteen years:
“This is one of my favourite projects in the calendar and this show is one of the strongest selections yet. I have enduring
relationships with many of the Young Gods that I have selected over the years, and I’m delighted to see them achieving so much consistent success. This is something I have done since the earliest stages of my career, and my appetite for discovering new artists is undiminished.”
Selected from graduate and post-graduate final shows in London, the exhibition will consist of printmaking, installation, painting, video, assemblage and sculpture from artists who have graduated from Chelsea, Goldsmiths, the Royal Academy Schools, the Slade, Wimbledon and City & Guilds.
Eliza Bennett (MA Fine Art, City & Guilds of London Art School) works across disciplines including sculpture, installation,
printmaking, book making and photography. Bennett explores a range of issues relating to the shifting forms of both individual and social reality. Embracing archiving and categorization, she subverts meaning by adroitly manipulating the audience’s expectations. Bennett subtly employs our inherent tendency to classify in order to destabilize the notion of classification, thereby navigating value systems, affectation, acceptance and exclusion.
Teal Griffin (MFA Fine Art, Goldsmiths) investigates profound, universal human experience by departing from the subjective: most recently his ageing dog Zen, his late father, his first wrinkle. Griffin’s practice is a non-hierarchical, multidisciplinary process of bricolage (including sculpture, installation, video, poetry / text and spoken word). His presentation is nuanced with a lightness of touch, enabling the audience to navigate constellations of objects that coalesce to encourage contemplation and the decoding of implied narrative.
Thomas Langley (Postgraduate Diploma, Royal Academy Schools) is a multi-disciplinary artist who has recently focused on
painting. Langley draws on specifically personal experience to make work that resonates broadly. Combining text, materiality and objecthood at varying scales, Langley’s statements read as declarations or pleas, such as his already iconic “Buy mum a house” or “If its shit, make it better”. Employing the visual language of rough, instinctive graffiti, Langley embraces the rich history of text as visual device, from naïve graffiti itself to signage, slogans and political polemics.
Alexi Marshall (BA (Hons) Fine Art, Slade School of Fine Art) investigates sexuality, spirituality, womanhood and youth using print, drawing, fabric and embroidery. Her uniquely large-scale linocuts are intensely laboured, densely populated tableaux. Desire underlined by threat is conveyed, as human, bestial and hybrid figures cavort in unspecified environments. Heavily informed by religion, myth, tarot and the wild, divine nature of the feminine, Marshall’s work draws parallels between the ritualism of occult or tribal ceremony and contemporary social nightlife.
Rosie McGinn (MA Fine Art, Wimbledon College of Arts) identifies sport and leisure as a subject through which she can
explore the psychological drives underlying euphoria, despair, achievement and failure. Working in video, sculpture and kinetic installation, McGinn appropriates imagery and footage from bingo halls, weight lifting, boxing or football matches to make effortlessly complex works. McGinn acknowledges both the pursuit of transcendence via extreme human achievement and the escapism inherent in group hysteria (worship), whilst conveying the absurdity of consistently dedicating oneself to watching or participating in singular, obsessive, repetitive behaviour.
Irene Pouliassi (MA Fine Art, Chelsea College of Arts) investigates trauma and mortality in her beguiling, often hanging
constructions. Combining collected garments, found objects, sex toys; and organic material including teeth, hair and animal
intestines, Pouliassi confronts her audience with work that simultaneously captivates and repulses. Recalling voodoo or other ritualistic occult objects, Pouliassi presents nihilistic, fetishistic assemblages that suggest the body, but also its propensity to decay, degenerate and expire.
Yasmine Robinson (MA Fine Art, Chelsea College of Arts) makes assemblages that respond to her experience of the urban
environment of Belfast, and specifically its post-conflict identity defined by rapid regeneration and reconstruction. Her work explores themes of identity, and re-interpretation of contemporary Northern Irish culture, embracing the friction between nostalgia and progressive adaption. Consisting of found elements and painterly techniques, Robinson’s work combines the visual languages of the city and historical abstract painting, encouraging both instinctive reading and linguistic decoding.