A Study in Stone

September 30th - October 22nd, 2017
exhibition statement

Tarpey Gallery is excited to present 'A Study in Stone', an exhibition of Stone Lithography in collaboration with Leicester Print Workshop that will take place between September 30th - October 22nd, 2017. The exhibition will be showing work from five artists including Serena Smith who is the leader of the Lithography Fellowship at Leicester Print Workshop which is the inspiration for this exhibition. The four artists and graduates of the fellowship who will be exhibiting alongside Serena are Mandy Payne, Soraya Smithson, Kathryn Desforges and Nina Oskarsdottir and although they all approach this extraordinarily technical and time consuming process with very different aesthetic sensibilities and subject matters their work is united through their passion and dedication to this time honoured medium.

Having trained as a studio lithographer, Serena continues to work with drawing and printmaking as her primary field of practice. For the exhibition Serena will be displaying work from her extensive catalogue including recent un-shown stone lithographs, these works frequently bring together digital imaging with hand drawn stone lithography to create both a methodology, and a graphic syntax. The objects that emerge from this visual language, shaped as they are by serendipity and systematic limitations, knowingly play with the potential for lyrical ambiguity inherent within the structures of pictorial communication.

Mandy Payne is an artist who's main interest lies in marginal spaces, places that are often maligned or thought to be devoid of traditional aesthetic beauty. For the past five years she has been exploring Park Hill in Sheffield, the Grade II listed council estate and one of Britain’s largest examples of Brutalist architecture. These works have gained notable success including being shortlisted for the prestigious John Moores painting prize in 2016. Mandy has continued to explore the same subject in stone lithography, frequently collaging the lithographs made on to squares of cast concrete as a metaphor for the estate.

Soraya Smithson's work focuses on the representation of women and the female form within society. Women’s roles, aspirations and expressions of self are contained and prescribed by an overbearing masculine formula of what it means to be female. For this exhibition Soraya will examine these issues through the joint mediums of print and film to signify the intricate balance of personal space, body awareness, objectification and boundaries. Artist Anna Reading will be collaborating on the project to produce the moving image element of the work.

The work that Kathryn Desforges will be exhibiting centres around being mindful and present in the moment - looking, experiencing, and noticing the ordinary, the everyday, and the overlooked. Corners, unoccupied spaces, lights dancing on walls, shadows, solitary objects and little moments of stillness serve as constant sources of inspiration. Katherine uses drawing, print, collage, photography and film as mediums to form, distill, and abstract ideas and imagery, keeping experimentation and the physical act of making at the core of her practice.

Nína Óskarsdóttir, born in Reykjavík, Iceland and currently based in the UK employs a joyful experimentation of the printed medium which is key to her practise as a visual artist. The works that have been selected for the exhibition are expressive and show a range of different topics that all have common ground within the medium of the print. The subjects vary from expression of the self to dissection of modern food culture and personal religion.

"The Lithography Fellowship is a project that has grown out of my own journey through the process and practices of fine art lithography. By it's nature this is a printmaking medium that is technically complex and demands a high level of commitment from those who wish to learn."
Serena Smith

exhibiting artists
Serena Smith, Mandy Payne, Soraya Smithson, Kathryn Desforges, Nina Oskarsdottir
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