DSC09328 square For I once was a true love of yours WHITE PLINTH Copy

Richard Holliday & Renee Spierdijk | Canvas and Stone

Join us for the open­ing night on Fri­day 12th May 17:30 onwards, all welcome!

Richard Holliday:
'My installation in this exhibition ‘FREE THE PENWITH 1000’ is both a provocative and playful view of our current society.

The piece is limited to 1000 fish each with individual characters and each will play role in various vignettes, on various ‘stages’ in order to illustrate the various dynamics within group structures.

Power, the leaders and followers, idealists, cliques, committees, friendships and lifetime bonds will all be subject to exploration.

Some of the titles of these vignettes are ‘Clique bait’, ‘In Sien’, ‘The Greens’, ‘The saints’ ‘Squaring the circle ‘and The Guardians’.

I am using fish as the vehicle for this metaphor because of their obvious propensity to congregate, writhing and jockeying in order to get to the supposed safety at the centre of the mass. Also, as a nod to the very building that is housing this exhibition….. The Penwith Gallery’ that itself was once a pilchard processing factory. The fish are returning to the Penwith ! (without the smell!)

I have designed this large piece of work with affordability in mind. The prices of each fish vary depending on size and style and it will hopefully enable you to become involved and own a part of a larger piece of work from a renowned artist and gallery. You will then be a member and part of new group of individuals, previously strangers, but now connected by this sculpture, in turn creating a new societal bond, evolving this metaphor in to reality. Something this sculpture speaks of. For me, the possibility of strangers forming bonds in a society that seems intent on division is very satisfying.

Freedom and liberty are vital to the wellbeing of any society and the title of the piece is fundamental to its meaning.

Physically ….. these pieces have been trapped in the ‘Cornish’ ground for millions of years. Then, they were dug out of the quarry, subject to the brutality of the stoneyard and placed upon an edifice of a historical Cornish building facing brutal salty storms, bright burning sunshine, and cold frosty nights for over a century.

Metaphorically ….. Sometimes we find ourselves trapped in situations in which we find it hard to escape. Whether we are too timid or polite to break away or there is some underlying threat restricting our expression.

With your help, these fish are closer to their elysian fields than they have ever been. Now inhabiting their final identity you can 'Free one of the Penwith 1000' and give it a warm appreciative home after its treacherous journey over millennia, to the present day.

FREE THE PENWITH 1000 is a social piece and an interactive piece. I will be invigilating the exhibition at least four days per week during the month long show and am happy to talk about the processes involved in making it and the ideas behind it.

The stone is predominantly Cornish soapstone. It (and the wooden bases) is reclaimed from various restoration projects and in forming the individual personalities of each fish, I have endeavoured to retain some of the characteristics and tool marks from their rich histories and their function within the structure they once inhabited.

Some might refer to these marks and scars that we carry as we are buffeted through life as ‘baggage'. I refer to it as experience.'

- Richard Holliday

Renee Spierdijk: 'My paintings are inspired by images of young women and girls originating mainly from found photographs. I have chosen portraits of women who pose in formal clothes and settings. I am interested in the process of domestication and conditioning which the women seem to be subjected to in which they can appear patient, content, rebellious or quietly mutinous, as they wait and hope to become themselves.

The clothes they wear and the way they pose can reveal their sense of belonging and identity, but also their restrictions in life.
- Renee Spierdijk
DSC09328 square For I once was a true love of yours WHITE PLINTH Copy
Painting Sculpture