Both Sides Now
Jo Dennis | Sofia Nifora | Anastasia Komar | Clement Bedel
20 October - 5 November 2022
Oneroom Gallery presents Both sides now - a group show curated by Samuele Visentin. The exhibition puts in conversation four artists - Jo Dennis, Sofia Nifora, Anastasia Komar and Clement Bedel - displaying different approaches to themes of memory, subconsciousness, longing and resilience; each painting showcasing how they experience the world as familiar, while dealing with matters that speak to a collective sensibility in personal artistic terms.
Jo Dennis (b. 1973) uses military surplus tents canvas both as physical material to paint upon and as a conceptual point of departure, wherefrom notions of war, migration, territory and ecology spur out. Brought up in a military family, her father, mother and two sisters served in the Royal Air Force, she moved through several houses throughout her childhood. This later pushed Dennis to create a space within her works where she could translate a personal sense of home and belonging, on the background of a transient army lifestyle. The artist draws inspiration from in-between spaces - the verges of the railway tracks or the rubbish strewn alleyways - translating their inherent entropic energy in intuitive and energetic applications of colour.
In Anastasia Komar’s (b. 1986) artworks the empirical and the spiritual overlap and intertwine, engaging with the invisible substrate of the natural world. Referencing science, theology, and history, Komar started this body of work at the beginning of 2020, when the experience of the body, the environment and emotions - among others - reached a turning point. Influenced by the Pointillist artists Paul Signac and George Seurat, the artist sees brushstrokes as the very material that gives structure to the painting; in their repetition, a door to the underlay of her own visual world, populated by bristly soft formations. Repetition creates depth in Anastasia Komar’s works, transforming the surface of her paintings into a luminescent web of interconnections.
Sofia Nifora’s (b. 1995) work revolves around fantasy and out of joint reality. The wild and bucolic landscapes of her upbringing in rural Greece act as a starting point for her paintings and as a fertile ground for reminiscence: personal experiences of grief, loss and migration are here translated into symbols of things that once were and no longer are - allegories of the manipulation reality is subject to in memories. Her paintings work as metaphors for memory, but function as autonomous beings, independent from the original subject. Sofia Nifora aims to create a visual language where the organic and the artificial, the tangible and the impalpable coexist, giving form to surreal elements of fragmented memories.
In Clément Bedel’s paintings (b. 1993), the viewer is drawn into a worldwide passive dream in which humanity is unable to help itself. By creating a dreamlike prism of reality, the artist is displaying a sensible world that moves and dematerialises in a fantastic and bewildering way, creating hybrid shapes in a rhizomatic universe. In a lot of landscapes, the debris and the remains of industrial infrastructures replaced nature, flooding the surface, swallowing the world, becoming the new mountains, moving with the wind. However, this is not a dystopian view of the world, but the swan song of an era that makes place for a new one, where skies are pastel, rivers run petrol blue and the remains of Brutalist buildings remind of times past.