Hollybush Gardens is pleased to present an online presentation of new works on paper by Claire Hooper. Produced in 2020, this body of work draws on the restricted sphere of the artist’s East London studio overlooking the canal. The imagery of these works evinces a slow lingering on the minutiae of her surroundings, capturing glass, dirt, canal water, algae, light, plastic, leaves, and other commonplace material and phenomena through both figurative and abstract motifs. The works employ watercolour through a process of layering and revealing, exploring tonal shifts arising from the transparency and interaction of pigments. Select works, such as Profundo Verde (2020), take on the format of a diptych that can be assembled in two different arrangements. This system, in which the work can be turned around on itself, playfully explores the possibilities between choice and constraint.
Also on view are a selection of watercolours on paper belonging to a body of work that explores the Mesopotamian myth ‘The Descent of Innana to the Underworld’. These works describe an imagined temple to the goddess Ereshkigal, at Kutha in Northern Iraq. Though recognised by successive generations of Sumerian, Assyrian and Aramaic cultures to be the entrance to the Underworld, this site has so far eluded archaeologists. Hooper’s works allude to columns, entryways and decorative wall panels, while never offering a complete image of the structure. They imagine the whole through fragments, while suggesting the emergence of new meaning and purpose through these very fragments.
Claire Hooper (born 1978, UK) lives and works in London. Hooper will present a solo exhibition of new work at Hollybush Gardens, London, scheduled to open in March 2021. Recent solo exhibitions include Claire Hooper, The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art, 2016; She Knocked Aggressively at The Door, She Shouted Aggressively at the Gate, ANDOR Gallery, London, 2016; Clay as Bread and Dust as Wine, Hollybush Gardens, London, 2016; Fig 2, no. 7, ICA studio, London, 2015 (in collaboration with Maria Loboda); Ziggurat, Edel Assanti, London, 2015; Claire Hooper, Bonner Kunstverein, Germany, 2014; and Claire Hooper, Vanity Projects, New York, 2013. Group exhibitions include The Mardin Biennale, Turkey, 2015; Regional, International and Extra Terrestrial, Mars Gallery, Los Angeles, 2015; An Archeology, Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2012; Songs of the Swamp, WUK, Vienna, 2011; New Narrative, Digital Arts Centre, Taipei, 2011; and Koln Kunstfilm Biennale, Kunstwerke, Berlin, 2010. Screenings of her work have been presented internationally, including at International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Netherlands; MUMOK, Vienna; ICA, London; The Serpentine Cinema, London; Whitechapel Gallery, London; and Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, Berwick-upon-Tweed, UK. Hooper has contributed costume and styling to the film works of Paul Simon Richards, including Quasi-Monte Carlo (2019), L*a*b (2016), and ∆ HS. FS. ZWN-BS. NC. BS (2015). Hooper was awarded the Baloise Art Prize in 2010, presenting her video Nyx (2010) at Art Basel’s Art Statements that year.