Topophobophilia is an exhibition that considers the poetic and practical possibilities of the body and the familiar spaces it inhabits, acting as the subject matter and connected point of origin of their work.
A sense of habitation, characterised by an intangible familiarity in the houses that punctuate Lee Matthews’ paintings, intermingle with fragments of space and the possibility of time in Sara Berman’s multipartite compositions of the curated self. Lauren Coullard and Paula Kamps oscillate dream-like between abstraction and figuration, as aspects of both practices come alive on paper and canvas. For Carali McCall, the artist’s body and moment of provenance are key to the physical act of making work as a drawing performance. Meanwhile, Laura Davis’s sculptures occupy the nooks and crannies of small spaces; and Silia Ka Tung’s anthropomorphic sculpture, made from stuffed sewn material, becomes a site of figuration inhabiting space.
The group’s work – which fills the eight, intimate and entwined rooms of the two adjoining Georgian houses that contains Gallery 46 – weaves together notions of space, place and memory, that seeks to challenge and comfort in equal measure.
First used by W.H. Auden in the 1940s, topophilia defines a love of place derived from history and memory and it is these fragments of experience and imagination that dangle from this group show. Topophobophilia therefore reminds us that the objects we hold on to and interior spaces that envelop us act as the structures to our very own museums of the self.