14.02.2020 – 22.03.2020
Familiar yet immediately unsettling, Rebecca Ackroyd’s work spans within the notion of time and space. Anchored in questions of collective and national identity, loss and absence, reality and the surreal, reflections on alternative paths not taken in the past rise to the surface. Ideas of what could have been, fragments that got lost, the overlooked and underrated that now only lives in the forgotten are taken back into question and given a new body.
Through her multifaceted approach Ackroyd explores expressions within objects, sculpture and drawing. Varying in scale and format, the works are often extended into their surroundings by site-specific installations that with the use of light, textiles and architectural structures enable an extended narrative. A dialogue between the objects and the space opens as their memories and capabilities begins to share experiences, a fluid confabulation released from the boundaries constituted by time.
Rebecca Ackroyd’s drawings inhabit a three-dimensional quality that presents an almost physical manifested structure one is eager to touch. Slithering hair-like tentacles intertwine with familiar objects such as keys and buildings, moving between and within the realm of the abstract and figurative. As in a dream, the tentacles seem to be seconds away from devouring its objects, oozing a sensation of a collected yet dangerous determination. Heavily pigmented colours in pink, green and red are balanced with the emptiness of black open spaces, penetrating the surface of the paper and disappearing into a depth far beyond the wall on which they are mounted.
Extending the sentiment of pulsation throughout Ackroyd’s drawings, her sculptures and objects embody a narrative strongly conjoined with the aftermath of a disaster. Hands without bodies left in the process of typing on a computer, writing in a book, legs in fishnet stockings and thigh-high boots without a torso still sitting on a chair. Fragments of bodies left in positions detached from the catastrophe they seem to have experienced, locked in an act as if their bodies still remained as a whole. Dirty, sticky, burnt and dead, the materiality of the detached limbs resembles how one could imagine human flesh that has been dragged to hell and back while simultaneously reflecting an absurdly disjointed consciousness to their recent trauma. As flickering fragments of a grotesque scenario, the objects are manifested in an existence difficult to comprehend, laid bare as silent witnesses to a memory yet to be revealed.
Text by Pernille Dybvig