Kunsthall Stavanger is proud to present the exhibition Topo Scenic by UK-based artist Jessica Warboys. Warboys (b.1977, Newport) is emerging as one of the leading British artists of her generation. Her work is informed by personal or collective memories – historical, mythical or fictional – and this exhibition considers her use of symbolism, form and her approach to landscape.
Celebrating the launch of Warboys’ newly commissioned film Hill of Dreams, 2016, the exhibition also presents two other films made in the UK: Pageant Roll, 2012, set in the ancient pagan landscape of the Cornish moors; and Boudica, 2014, which explores both the historic heroine and her namesake, the Boudicca Way in Norfolk. Along with Hill of Dreams, this suite of films highlights Warboys’ enduring interest in landscape, Celtic history and often overlooked historical figures. Filmed on location in South Wales, Hill of Dreams draws from Welsh fantasy writer Arthur Machen’s book of the same name – a semi-autobiographical novel written in 1907. The film flickers between fact and fantasy, past and present, reviving Machen’s childhood memories of rural Gwent, Wales, where Warboys too was born a century later.
Warboys employs a range of media in her artistic practice such as sculpture, painting, stained glass and performance. In addition to film, the exhibition at Kunsthall Stavanger will feature a new series of Sea Paintings created on the beaches of Stavanger, along with a variety of sculptural elements.
Jessica Warboys (1977, Newport) studied at Falmouth College of Arts and Slade School of Art, London. She currently lives between Suffolk and Berlin where she works with film, painting and sculpture. She was selected for Artists Film International, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, in 2013, and participated in dOCUMENTA 13, 2012. Further afield she participated in 9ª Bienal do Mercosul Porto Alegre, Brazil, 2013 and more recently she has exhibited at Gaudel de Stampa, Paris, State of Concept, Athens and 1857, Oslo, 2015 and Kunstverein, Amsterdam, 2016. Her work is currently on view in the British Art Show 8, 2016 at various venues across the UK.
Hill of Dreams is co-commissioned by Tate St Ives, UK; Kunsthall Stavanger, Norway and Casa Masaccio, San Giovanni Valdarno, Italy. The exhibition will tour to these three venues during 2016-17.
Jessica Warboys: Topo Scenic is curated by Hanne Mugaas / Kunsthall Stavanger in collaboration with Sara Matson and Laura Smith from Tate St Ives.
Sara Matson is a curator of modern and contemporary British art at Tate St Ives, and has worked with Tate’s international collection for over a decade; recent exhibitions have included Terry Frost (2015) at Leeds Art Gallery touring to Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange in Penzance, UK; The Modern Lens: International Photography and the Tate Collection (2014-15); International Exchanges: Modern Art and St Ives (2014), touring to mima in Middlesbrough, UK. Current projects at Tate St Ives include That Continuous Thing: Artists and the Ceramics Studio 1920-today (2017); the launch displays for the expanded Tate St Ives (2017) and Patrick Heron (2018). She is lead curator of the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Gardens.
Laura Smith is a Curator currently based at Tate Britain where she is co-curating the Turner Prize 2016, working with artists Michael Dean and Helen Marten. Ordinarily she is based at Tate St Ives where she is responsible for a programme of historical and contemporary exhibitions, collection displays and associated research and publication activity. Recent projects include the widely touring Marlow Moss 2013-14, as well as solo exhibitions of the work of artists including Linder, Nick Relph, Gareth Jones, and R.H. Quaytman. She has worked on group exhibitions such as The Modern Lens: International Photography and the Tate Collection 2014-15 and Images Moving Out Onto Space 2015. Laura is also involved in the Tate St Ives Artists Programme, working closely with recent resident artists Linder, Nicolas Deshayes, Marie Toseland and Lucy Stein. Current projects for Tate St Ives include the opening exhibition for the launch of the expanded galleries as well as an exhibition centred on the methodologies and literary practice of Virginia Woolf, whose ‘lighthouse’ can be seen across St Ives’ bay.