The metaphoric association between body and building is a recurring motif in Rebecca Ackroyds work: pipes become limbs, vents become orifices, and frames become rib cages. For her solo exhibition at the Zabludowicz Collection
, titled The Root, Ackroyd has produced a sculptural installation that responds directly to the architecture of the gallery space, covering and inverting its surfaces in a manner that suggests a turning inside out.
Three graphite-grey Jesmonite sculptures cover the interior windows, evoking battered and charred shutters. At points on the torsos of these objects the monochrome shifts to rust tones, or translucent resin sections let light pass through. Calling these works Carriers, Ackroyd has pasted the top head sections with black and white images of the rough texture of London streets, some cut from newspapers, and some photographed by the artist herself. Documenting side alleys and graffiti marked metal doors in the vicinity of her studio, these images are photocopied and layered to combine familiar urban textures with more personal responses to an environment.
On the gallery floor is a second main component of the show: a patterned carpet reminiscent of a traditional pub. In the centre of this carpet sits a sculpture of a metal manhole cover, recessed into the surface. Here connotations of masculinity are mixed with the feeling of the escape of energy into a black void below.
Ackroyds practice involves digging down into existing objects and memories and reconfiguring them in to something new. Her installations offer dream-like fictional landscapes informed by tough realities. Through shifting scales and moods, from the arrestingly bold and absurd to the subtle and intimate, the work pursues a feminist exploration of the psychology of space and the ownership of bodies.
Rebecca Ackroyd (b. 1987, Cheltenham, UK) lives and works in London. She graduated from the Royal Academy Schools in 2015 after completing her BA in Fine Art at Byam Shaw School of Art in 2010. Ackroyd has presented solo exhibitions at Galerie Opdahl, Stavanger, Norway (2017), OUTPOST, Norwich (2017) and in London at Hunter/Whitfield (2015), Kinman Gallery (2014) and Marsden Woo Gallery (2013). Group exhibitions in 2015-17 include: On Cold Spring Lane, Assembly Point, London; These Rotten Words, Chapter, Cardiff; Walled Gardens in an Insane Eden, Z2O Sara Zanin Gallery, Rome; Modest Villa Immense Versailles (co-curator), Kinman Gallery, London; At Home Salon: Double Acts, Marcelle Joseph Projects, Ascot; Bloody Life, Herald St, London; All Over, Studio Leigh, London; Is it heavy or is it light?, Assembly Point, London; With institutions like these, Averard Hotel, London; Opals, Galerie Opdahl, Stavanger, Norway; Works in Residence, David Roberts Art Foundation, London; and The London Open, Whitechapel Gallery, London. In 2013 her work was included in Bloomberg New Contemporaries (ICA, London and Spike Island, Bristol).