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Zabludowicz Collection opens an exhibition by Fay Zmija Nicolson
Fay Zmija Nicolson, We Exist! We have the Will! We are Producing! (Dawn), 2019. Courtesy the artist.

LONDON.- Zabludowicz Collection is presenting Tone Poem, an exhibition by Fay Zmija Nicolson that brings together new and existing work in a performative configuration. Nicolson works across painting, printmaking and performance to explore aesthetic experience and embodied approaches to education. Her multi-disciplinary practice explores inherent formal connections between sound, colour and gesture using an exploratory approach that she terms ‘transaesthetic’. Ideas of the exercise or workshop are important to her practice, which privileges processes of play, training and improvisation over the production of singular objects.

For this exhibition, Nicolson has reimagined an ongoing series of large scale digital prints on silk called, We Exist! We have the Will! We Are Producing! These works begin as watercolour paintings on graph paper that Nicolson uses to explore tonal relationships and rhythmic patterns. These paintings are then scaled up and printed on silk to accentuate their sensuality and suggest physical correspondences to the body and architectural space. Nicolson draws from varied research into historic costume and textile design – from Commedia dell’arte to the Bauhaus. These works fluidly drape and hang within the gallery in ways that accentuate their theatrical potential, providing playful suggestions and obstructions to a viewer as they navigate the exhibition.

Nicolson draws connections between this visual material and sound through the development of a new audio work and performance. Drawing from recent research into Bauhaus practitioners such as Gertrud Grunow (who created a 12 tone colour spectrum that mapped onto musical scales) Nicolson explores correspondences between visual and sonic gesture. As with previous works, Nicolson’s layered approach to image, sound, texture and movement triggers aesthetic moments that defy conventional disciplines, encouraging the viewer to feel and hear as well as see.

On Sunday 8 December at 3pm and 4.30pm Nicolson will present a new performance BONE, BREATH, GESTURE introducing movement and costume into the installation. Through song and gesture Nicolson and invited performers will create a space for ‘transaesthetic play’ that draws on improvised games and ritual actions.

Fay Zmija Nicolson (b. 1984, Derby. Lives and works in London) studied at CSM, 2006 and has an MA Fine Art from the Royal College of Art, 2011. Recent large-scale projects include: Spa Songs, song cycle and performance, Commissioned by DKUK for the Brunel Museum, London, 2018; OVER AND OVER PURE FORM, performance and video, Kunstraum, London, 2016-7; PLAY SENSE, exhibition and symposium, Gerald Moore Gallery, London, 2015. Fay has exhibited and taught internationally and has work in numerous collections.

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