The ARKA group, a collaborative practice between artists Ben Jeans Houghton and Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau, presents Votives, an exhibition of assemblage and photography at Space In Between that ran from October 1 until November 14, 2015.
The majority of the sculptures are displayed on the floor and are inspired by the incidental way in which they were found. Arrangements of found rubbish and recycled materials form new relationships with one another; the scavenged and cast away is re-presented in a delicate and tender collection of brightly coloured art objects. The pile-up of materials from rubbish to discount shopping and charity shops sit in front of three large glossy photographs. Images of small objects are isolated and enlarged, abstracted from the origin of their previous life.
Elevated from the ground, monochrome sculptures sit on a shelf at the same height as the photographs. In contrast to the objects scattered around the floor, the plastic and polystyrene materials are transformed into museum artefacts or treasured historical objects.
The works float between disparate environments of institutional professionalism, landfills and sacred ritual. Made sentimental again, their bodies become totems or prayer offerings that are both accidental and un-authored. As a process, ARKA often photograph incidental moments that they happen upon in the city, and use these documents as inspiration to re-create their own type of devotion to the objects that co-exist alongside.**
Exhibition photos, top right.
The ARKA group’s Votives was on at London’s Space In Between, running October 2 to November 14, 2016.
Header image: The ARKA Group, Votives (2015). Exhibition view. Courtesy Space In Between, London.