Riddle me

Alice Anderson, Tessa Farmer, Oona Grimes, Sophie Lascelles, Helen Marten, Patricia & Marie-France Martin,Sarah Woodfine

Alice Anderson Insomnia

Alice Anderson Insomnia 2005
wood, velvet, plasma screen
courtesy: Yvon Lambert

7 November – 14 December 2008


‘Now we have machines to do our dreaming for us. But within that ‘video gadgetry’ might lie the source of a continuation, even a transformation, of storytelling and story performance. The human imagination is infinitely resilient…’   Angela Carter ,1990


The artists showing in this exhibition investigate different aspects of storytelling, fantasy, identity and the tragi-comic sensibility of materials.  The work creates relationships between innocence and violence, light and darkness.  Alice Anderson’s Insomnia is a filmic installation of a ‘Freudian Tale’, inspired by situations and objects that recall her childhood and provoke violent emotions.  ‘Under a seductive and smooth appearance, her images speak of the cruelty of family relations’1

Tessa Farmer’s stop motion animation contains fairies fabricated from urban and rural flora and fauna.  The fairies resemble apocalyptic beings, fragile-looking, half-human, half-insect.  Farmer is a silent storyteller, a scribe of dreams and nightmares. 

Necropolis is Oona Grimes’ map and mirror of the waking world, a theatre of sleep whilst her collaboration with Sophie Lascelles, Peril, plays like a terrifying melodrama where objects and buildings take on dread significance. 

Sophie Lascelles works sculpturally with projections. Images take on three dimensional qualities: moving over surfaces, into cracks; a blurred image on the wall comes fleetingly into focus, in a corner under the radiator, a women’s shadow circles, silhouetted against the evening sky, a man digs; his garden or something more sinister? 

Patricia & Marie-France Martin’s video ... Unseen by the gardener unfolds within a garden, cemetery, and church with a medieval tower.  The archaeological site evokes a reflection on notions of identity and confinement, physical and mental. 

Hailing from a generation riffling continually on a fuzzy empire of images, atmospheres, excitements and densities, the work of Helen Marten is a crumple-zone of geometries and histories.  A pulling apart and re-arranging of the high and low, the work forces a dialogue between content and structure- a move between a finger-tip relationship with materials and their symbolic potential. 

Sarah Woodfine explores imaginary worlds that border between the familiar and fantastical.  Her drawings often take the form of three-dimensional constructions, exploring dreamlike imagery that is rooted in childhood yet easily causes tremor among adults’2.

1 M.Jacquin
2 Eliza Williams in Contemporary


Alice Anderson was born in 1976, and completed her MA at Goldsmiths in 2004. In 2003 she was awarded Gilles Dusein Prize by the European House of Photography. She exhibits internationally.  Recent exhibitions include Late Opera at Tate Britain, 2008 and Hbox at Pompidou Centre, Paris, 2008.

Tessa Farmer received an MA from the Ruskin school of Drawing and Fine Art. In 2007 she was artist in residence at The Natural History Museum, where her exhibition Little Savages was shown.  Her work will be shown at the new Saatchi gallery and the Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania in 2009.

Oona Grimes lives and works in London and is a visiting lecturer at the Ruskin School of Fine Art, University of the Arts and RCA.  Recent Exhibitions include Hidden Narratives at Graves Art Gallery Sheffield, 2008,  Conversations with Angels Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art, 2007, Bounty-A Case of Preposterous Optimism at APT Gallery, 2007, Uncanny Tales, touring 2005-2007.

Sophie Lascelles graduated with an MA from The Slade in 2007.  Her recent exhibitions include Hidden Narratives Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield, 2008 Wildwood Project Space Leeds, 2007.

Helen Marten was born in 1985 and graduated from the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art with a first class honours in 2008.  She won the Boise Travel Scholarship, 2008.  Recent exhibitions include BOX LADDER at Modern Art Oxford, 2008, Cosmic Rays at The Project Space, Oxford, 2008,  Ready to eat jumbo shrimp at the Slade Research Centre, 2007. www.helenmarten.com

Marie-France and Patricia Martin were born in Switzerland and live in Brussels. They graduated from L’Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts. Recent Exhibitions include Fantasy What Ever Happened to your dreams? Les Filles du Calvaire, Brussels, 2008, Fashion in Film Festival, Museum of Moving Image, New York, 2007, Paulette Phillips, Marie-France & Patricia Martin, Ruth Claxton, Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art, 2007

Sarah Woodfine was born in Poole in 1968 and graduated from The Royal Academy Schools in 1995.  She won the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2004.  Recent Exhibitions include The Beguiling Bury St Edmunds, 2008, Ha Gamle Prestegard Norway, 2007, Isobar Fieldgate Gallery, 2007.

> installation views  
Tessa Farmer and Sean Daniels Nest of the Skeletons   
Tessa Farmer & Sean Daniels  Nest of the Skeletons 2008
stop motion animation courtesy Tatton Park Biennial 2008 and Parabola
Oona Grimes Peril 
Oona Grimes Peril 
Oona Grimes  Peril 2008
book (collaboration with Sophie Lascelles)
Sophie Lascelles and Oona Grimes Peril      Sophie Lascelles and Oona Grimes Peril  
Sophie Lascelles and Oona Grimes Peril
Sophie Lascelles   Peril 2008
book (collaboration with Oona Grimes)

Marie-France & Patricia Martin  Unseen by the Gardener

Patricia & Marie-France Martin  ...Unseen by the gardener  2004
Video,    photography : Thierry Bal and Jonathan Sullam
Sarah Woodfine Junior
Sarah Woodfine  Junior  2007
pencil on paper in Victorian glass dome