Enough rope to hang ‘emselves
23 November 2016 – 04 February 2017
Private View: Tuesday 22 November 2016 6.30 – 9pm.
VITRINE, London presents the second solo exhibition of artist Clare Kenny. Clare’s work explores reality and representation through a variety of materials including found objects and building materials, neon and photography.
‘Enough rope to hang ‘emselves’ comes from a larger body of work that will be shown in her hometown, Rochdale, Greater Manchester.
The works in both exhibitions respond to each space, their individual environments and the artist’s recollections of her home county. Through subtle gestures and assemblages, Kenny adapts a story and reflects the concerns of the nebulous divide between fact and fiction.
Kenny toys with notions from her upbringing that relate to many people’s lives. Shared histories are a recurring theme throughout Kenny’s practice.
For ‘Enough rope to hang ‘emselves’, Kenny takes inspiration from a story about her grandmother who spent much of her life working in a rope factory. The works address her upbringing in the north of England, memories of home and the common experiences of working class families during the 1900’s. The multi-layered installation juxtaposes materials of poorer and higher values.
Following the first World War, the rope factory and many other industries fell into decline and poverty ensued. As with most working class people of Kenny’s grandmother’s generation, she hoped for better things for her child and encouraged Kenny’s mother to achieve something more. Aspirations of the working class and their determination to better themselves is something Kenny often references within her own work, especially within ‘enough rope to hang ‘emselves’.
By highlighting the use of domestic objects and materials, Kenny transforms them into objects of high esteem, focusing on shared visual memories and aesthetics of aspiration, something of which Kenny feels is lacking in contemporary art.
‘Enough rope to hang ‘emselves’ is generously supported by Arts Council England.
Clare Kenny Biography
Clare Kenny (b. 1976, Manchester, UK) studied her BA at Chelsea School of Art London and MA at HSLU Luzern, Switzerland, and has been living and working in Basel, Switzerland for the last eight years. She has exhibited internationally with solo shows at Schwarzwaldallee, Basel (2016); Galerie Gisele Linder, Basel (2014); VITRINE, London (2013), Bureau Gallery, Manchester, UK (2013), DOLL espace d’art contemporain, Lausanne (2012), Gisele Linder Galerie, Basel (2011) and ABBT Projects, Zürich (2011). Her forthcoming solo exhibition at Touchtones, Rochdale, UK opens in March 2017.
Recent group shows include Ding Ding, Aargauer Kunsthaus (2016); Jahresausstellung Zentralschweizer Kunstschaffen, Kunstmuseum Luzern, CH (2016); A Journey from a sweeping gesture to a lasting effect, VITRINE, Basel, CH (2016); Diamonds Always Come in Small Packages, Kunstmuseum, Luzern, CH (2015); Wilde Capriolen, AKKU Emmenbrücke, CH (2015); Monolithic Water, Kunsthaus Zürich, CH (2014) and ‘Asymmetric Dance Class’ at VITRINE, London, UK (2014).
Kenny has been shortlisted twice for the Swiss Art Awards and awarded the Kunstkredit Prize from the city of Basel in Switzerland in 2013. She was an artist in residence at the IAAB cite des artes, Paris in 2013 and most recently completed a residency, which included a program of three solo exhibitions, at the Institute for Provocation in Beijing, supported by ProHelvetia.