Kim L Pace  A Fantastic Fermentation of Matter
Kim L Pace, Couple, 2018
Kim L Pace  Couple  2018  glazed ceramic  48 x 23 x 6cm

Private view: Friday 20 April  6 - 9pm
21 April – 19 May 2018

My work balances figurative aspects with material qualities, echoing the subjects of my ongoing fascination—that of transformation and metamorphosis in both physical and psychological dimensions.

Recently I’ve been using clay and multiple glazes, with a focus on strange equivalents of nature—anthropomorphising carrots, cacti and corn, that are often depicted in the midst of transformation and thus existing in the liminal space between more than one physical or psychological state.

The extraordinary variety in nature, extended through selective breeding and genetic modification, has informed these characters that seem to coalesce between the credible and the impossible, the alluring and the repellent. By harnessing the hybridity of the grotesque as a powerful force to disrupt expectations and resist the tools of ‘normalisation’, the work aims to embrace the recognition of broader varieties of being and expression.

Perceptions are challenged and the work is deliberately left open to enable multiple interpretations, as embodied by the psychological phenomenon ‘pareidolia’ where the mind perceives an image where there is none e.g. the man in the moon.

Whilst the recent focus has been on ceramic sculpture, my investigation of the space between the actual and the fictitious is explored through both sculptural form and work on paper in storyboard-like formats, single ‘panel’ drawings and watercolours.  

—  Kim L Pace

…a species of beings only half organic, a kind of pseudofauna and pseudoflora, the result of a fantastic fermentation of matter.  

—  Bruno Schulz, Treatise on Tailors Dummies (1934)

A Fantastic Fermentation of Matter is the first solo exhibition by British artist Kim L Pace at Danielle Arnaud. It brings together several bodies of new work in ceramics, watercolour and digital print that explore Pace’s ongoing interest in magic, transformation and metamorphosis.

Pace’s works are characteristically inhabited by fictitious characters—invented by the artist—that draw upon mythology, art history, literature and contemporary subcultures. Recently the artist has been focusing on plant and animal life, anthropomorphising carrots, cacti and corn. At first sight these brightly coloured watercolours and richly textured ceramics evoke a happy harvest scene. This is undone however by the character’s wasted limbs and gaping mouths, that take Pace’s ongoing exploration of the grotesque to comic excess.

Pace has a long-standing interest in comics; she originated the touring exhibition Cult Fiction, Art & Comics for the Hayward Gallery, London in 2007. This interest is evident in the format of her ‘collages’, which typically comprise 8 frames or panels on A0 sized watercolour paper. Evoking a storyboard or comic book format, the different frames incorporate Pace’s own invented characters, appropriated material and abstract shapes. Rather than develop a coherent narrative however, the works withhold literal representation—the figures and objects contained within hint at connections that are open to endless interpretation.

Pace’s ongoing exploration into the divergence between the actual and the fictitious has led her to develop a distinctive way of working that merges analogue and digital processes. Beginning initially with pen and paper, her compositions coalesce on the computer—a space not unlike the comic where natural laws are suspended, and inanimate objects can come to life. She is interested in how the transformations her characters engender may offer a different understanding of our place in the world.

The exhibition title is taken from Bruno Schulz’s 1934 short story, Treatise on Tailors Dummies.

An accompanying essay by writer and curator Angela Kingston will be available as part of the exhibition.


Kim L Pace is an artist who divides her time between St Leonards and London, where she currently lectures in Contextual Practice at Wimbledon, The University of the Arts London. She worked in advertising briefly, prior to studying BA(hons) in Fine Art, Painting and MA Fine Art, Sculpture in the UK & Germany. Subsequently, she has been awarded four artist fellowships and many other awards, including from public bodies and several private trusts. She has also undertaken international artist residencies in the USA and Norway. Her work has been featured in the Guardian Guide, Frieze magazine, Art Monthly and The Boston Globe.

Kim exhibits nationally and internationally: her solo exhibitions include Ferens Art Gallery, Hull; Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield; Limerick City Art Gallery, Ireland; Bonington Gallery, Nottingham; Northern Territory Gallery for Contemporary Art, Australia; McLean County Arts Center, USA; Domobaal, London; APT, London; Berwick Gymnasium Gallery, Northumbria; Phoenix Gallery, Brighton; Solaris, St Leonards, East Sussex; Austrian Cultural Forum, London* & FSFA Boston, USA (*2 person).

In 2007 she curated the touring exhibition Cult Fiction - Art & Comics for Hayward Gallery, London, for which she was also commissioned to make new work. She is currently developing her first ‘visual’ novel; an extract of which is featured in ‘The Inking Woman’ 250 years of women comic artists, published by Myriad Editions, March 2018.

Angela Kingston is a contemporary visual arts curator and writer. She has curated exhibitions including ‘3am: Wonder, Paranoia and the Restless Night’, touring from Bluecoat, Liverpool (2013-14), ‘The First Humans’, touring from Pump House, London (2015-16) and 'Is This Planet Earth?' touring from Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham (2018-19).


Kim L Pace, Cultivar Horizontalis, 2016 and Cosplay No. 1, 2018.  Photo by Oskar Proctor

Kim L Pace  Cultivar Horizontalis  2018  and Cosplay No.1  2016  installation view by Oskar Proctor

Kim L Pace, Cosplay No. 1, 2018

Kim L Pace  Cosplay No.1  2016  ink on book pages, framed  77 x 97cm  installation view by Oskar Proctor

Kim L Pace, Them, 2017

Kim L Pace  Them  2017  glazed ceramic, framed  22 x 66cm  installation view by Oskar Proctor

Kim L Pace, Drues & Cactoids, 2017

Kim L Pace  Drues and Cactoids  2017  glazed ceramic, 4 elements  box: 19 x 24 x 18cm  installation view by Oskar Proctor

Kim L Pace, Us, 2018 and Masks 1-7, 2018.  Photo by Oskar Proctor

Kim L Pace  Us  2018  glazed ceramic, framed  34 x 42 x 5cm  and  Masks 1-4  2018  installation view by Oskar Proctor

Kim L Pace, Cactaceae 3, 2018

Kim L Pace  Cactaceae 3  2018  glazed ceramic  36.5 x 22 x 8.5cm  installation view by Oskar Proctor

Kim L Pace, Masks 1-4, 2018

Kim L Pace  Masks 1-4  2018  installation view by Oskar Proctor

Kim L Pace, Mask 3, 2018

Kim L Pace  Mask 3  2018  glazed ceramic  26 x 13.5 x 9.5cm  installation view by Oskar Proctor

Kim L Pace, Installation view: A Fantastic Fermentation of Matter, 2018

Kim L Pace  Installation view: A Fantastic Fermentation of Matter  2018  installation view by Oskar Proctor

Kim L Pace, The Cactaceae, 2015-16

Kim L Pace  The Cactaceae  2015-6  watercolour on paper, series (7 on view)  60 x 41.5cm each  installation view by Oskar Proctor

Kim L Pace, Installation view: A Fantastic Fermentation of Matter, 2018

Kim L Pace  Installation view: A Fantastic Fermentation of Matter  2018  installation view by Oskar Proctor

Kim L Pace, Cactaceae 1 & 2, 2017

Kim L Pace  Cactaceae 1 and 2  2017  glazed ceramic and bristles  installation view by Oskar Proctor

Kim L Pace, Cornheads, 2018 and Sprite, 2018

Kim L Pace  Sprite  2018  glazed ceramic  25 x 18 x 5cm  and  
Corn Heads  glazed ceramic, 2 elements  16 x 5 x 4.5cm and 23.5 x 6 x 6.5cm
installation view by Oskar Proctor

Kim L Pace,Toward the Unknown Region v2, 2016-18 and Cat/Witch, 2017

Kim L Pace  Toward the Unknown Region v2  2016-8  giclée print with hand drawn elements on Hahnemühle Museum Etching paper (unique)  82 x 119cm  and  Cat/Witch  2017  giclée print on Hahnemühle Museum Etching paper, Ed. of 3  84 x 119cm  installation view by Oskar Proctor