On The Verge Of Its Own Disappearing | Savannah Marie Harris | Rosalind Howdle | Hilda Kortei
19 April - 13 May 2023
PV Wednesday 19 April 7-9pm
* Please note amended opening hours on Saturday 13th May, 10am-12pm ( instead of normal hours 11am - 2pm)
On the verge of its own Disappearing, features new works from three UK based artists, Savannah Marie Harris, Rosalind Howdle and Hilda Kortei, each exploring the powerful wonder of growth and nature.
Each artist paints what grows. Together, their works examine collective memory, and our interconnectedness with the world around us, weaving together cultural motifs, and historical references. They explore our collective reliance on nature, as well as the fundamental understanding that nature is infinitely larger than any individual life, how it underpins our very existence, as well as boundaries set, by humankind, between us and the natural world. Vibrant and raw colours across the works mimic the biological processes and influences that underpin each artist’s subject matter.
The title of the exhibition is drawn from Ocean Vuong’s debut novel On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous.
“The world, reddening, appears the same to me--and I lose track of east and west. The colours this morning have the frayed tint of something already leaving… I wasn't so much surprised by its effect--how, in a few crushed minutes, it changes the way things are seen, including ourselves--but that it was ever mine to see. Because the sunset, like survival, exists only on the verge of its own disappearing. To be gorgeous, you must first be seen, but to be seen allows you to be hunted.`` - Ocean Vuong
The sensitivity and power of Vuong’s words speak to the tenderness of the three artists, while ideas of being on the verge of a new state, and of something leaving, speaks to the current climate crisis and the ways we must each preserve our collective earth.
Savannah Marie Harris's carved and layered paintings create worlds that explore memory, time and place. Fluid and intuitive, they explore the ebbs and flows of imagined and nostalgic environments. They are playful, with vibrant colours and gestural strokes evoking fleshy landscapes and mysterious narratives, deconstructing time and place and exploring the mysteries of the world through abstraction and humour.
Rosalind Howdle captures the uncanny essence of nature, blurring the lines between animal and botanical, cosmic and microscopic. Her dreamlike paintings capture the distorted reality of humankind, and the duality of being both cursed and blessed with scientific knowledge and understanding as a biological being. Often unsettling, her works emphasise the everyday struggles of survival and the deep-rooted connection between humans and every cell of nature; from food and soil, to the wind in the air.
Hilda Kortei's works are imbued with a sense of place, reflecting on the nature of our existence. Characterised by their bold physicality, rough textures, and geological nature, Kortei creates a dialogue with the basis of our entire existence, communities, and everyday exchanges. Explosive colours and generous layers of life and movement reflect the struggle for space in our world, and our origins from the earth. Her art work is a talisman, building connections between communities, the everyday exchanges and rituals that define us.
Throughout On the verge of its own Disappearing, artists invite viewers to immerse themselves in and explore our interconnectedness with the world. They contemplate processes of growth and the beauty around and beneath us. Their art work builds connections between the everyday and the extraordinary, evoking the rich complexities of our collective space.
Installation view On The Verge Of Its Own Disappearing, Wilder, April 2023
Savannah Marie Harris, Hot Bubbles, 2023, Oil paint, oil stick and sand on canvas, 140 x 140 cm
Hilda Kortei, Rescue Requires Pockets, 2023, Oil on canvas, 100 x 75 cm
Rosalind Howdle, Eating Everything, 2023, Oil on canvas, 130 x 110 cm
Savannah Marie Harris (b.1999) is a London based artist. She completed her BA (Hons) in Painting at Wimbledon College of Arts
London in 2020. Harris is currently in her final year of the MA Painting programme at the Royal College of Art and is a recipient of the Basil. H. Alkazzi Scholarship 2021-2023. Savannah Maries practice draws upon themes of symbolism, intimacy and mythology associated with kitsch art. Her Caribbean and Cuban heritage of religious iconography, plastic souvenirs and ceramic sculptures has led to her examination of human desires and emotions. Her work unfolds into an assemblage of paintings that can be read as a stream of consciousness that ebbs and flows into complex environments. Intuitively entangled with colours, light and textures. The act of painting becomes performative as it continuously deconstructs the space unravelling in the moment. Absorbed in the process vibrant colours bleed through, large gestural strokes dilute into muddy stains and what is left is remnants of collapsing surfaces.
Hilda Kortei (b.1994, London) Lives and works in London, United Kingdom. Kortei is in her final year of the MA Painting at Royal College of Art.
“My circumstances feed into my practice. Spirit lives within inanimate objects. I paint with intent––to inject life into symbols and shapes. I give them meaning, and they create their own. I use materials found in my environment––discards by the side of the road, and accept them as gifts from my community. This is a sharing of body and spirit. I question how much to let materials speak for themselves before casting and carving them to our liking, letting gestures of tenderness sit amongst clumps of flesh.
The basis of my practice is play.” HK
Rosaline Howdle ( b 1997, British/ American ) based in London.Howdle studied Painting at the Royal College of Art (2022), and Camberwell College of Arts, UAL (2019). She has also studied the Rhode Island School of Design (U.S.) and Emily Carr University of Art and Design (Canada).She was awarded the Vanguard Prize in 2019. Howdle attended the RCA as a recipient of the Ali H. Alkazzi Scholarship (2020-22). She was shortlisted for the Now Introducing Prize 2022 and included in Artlyst’s Ones to Watch 2023.
“ For me, figuration is alive. The metamorphoses taking place in the course of painting seem to mimic the biological processes that underpin my subject matter: evolution, reproduction, and self-repair. I paint things that grow; things that are somewhere between botanical and animal, microscopic and cosmic. I am painting, too, about the human experience of being an organism with scientific knowledge. It’s equal parts exciting and unsettling to witness the determination with which organic matter makes more of itself. It is to witness a self-ongoing orchestration infinitely larger than our individual lives - but underpinning our existence. Through painting I tap into the unconscious undercurrent of survival and perpetuation that links me to the food I eat and the grass I walk on. I’m interested in what happens at this boundary between two entities – in the electric charge of the dividing line, which often splices the painting into above-ground and below-ground, into day and night, into the visible and invisible processes of growth. “ RH