Mary Evans: Cut and Paste
Tiwani Contemporary is pleased to present Cut and Paste, artist Mary Evans’ first solo exhibition at the gallery as well as in London. Evans presents a new large-scale installation, works in cut paper and a video, which highlight the conceptual intricacies and emotional pendulum that frequently surface within her work. Foregrounding migratory and displacement narratives, the past and the present coalesce into a lived and shared experience that is personal and collective yet indicative of our contemporary realities.
Mary Evans is one of the most prolific artists of her generation and over the last two decades has garnered national and international recognition for her works made of craft paper. Evans’ work prioritises site specificity using the space as a starting point to create Held (2012), a 50ft wide by 10ft high wall installation that takes on the monumentality of a frieze. Created with paper, the work constitutes generic images of the human form stripped to pictographic cyphers of naked silhouettes. However, the use of brown paper instead of the ‘traditional’ black characteristic of silhouettes symbolically deprives the figures of their neutrality. Held presents a poetic, multilayered narrative which references transatlantic mobility, past and present, forced and voluntary, articulating the experience of the diaspora and the inherent vacillation between feelings of belonging and alienation.
Other featured works that expand the repertoire of her practice include Recollection (2012), a series of commemorative plates integrated in the fabric of the gallery as well as the Willow Plate Series (2012), inspired by the blue and white pattern originally from China yet considered to be ‘quintessentially English’ domestic objects that can be seen on dinner tables in many homes. Appropriating the device she creates her own narrative. Evans states, “Pattern is a strong leitmotif in my practice. However, the work is rarely pure ornament but often reveals the historical, architectural or social threads of its
In the video work Liverpool Street (2012) time and space are conflated. How and why does a location in Ghana, West Africa become named Liverpool Street after the famous street in London? The work engages Evans’ interest in the legacy of Britain’s imperial past and how that impacts Britain’s social, cultural and political context today.
About the artist
Mary Evans was born in Lagos Nigeria and lives and works in London, UK. She studied Fine Art Painting at GLOSCAT, Goldsmiths College and The Rijksakademie. She has taken in part in several exhibitions throughout the UK and internationally including solo exhibitions; Meditations Baltimore Museum of Art, (2008) Baltimore, USA, Cafe Gallery Projects, (2001) London, Filter, Leighton House Museum (1997) London, as well as group exhibitions; 5 Continents and 1 City, Museum of Mexico City (2000) Mexico City, Mexico, Farewell to Post-Colonialism, 3rd Guangzhou Triennale, (2008) Guangzhou, China, Port City, Arnolfini, (2007) Bristol and A Fiction of Authenticity: Contemporary
Africa Abroad, Contemporary Art Museum St Louis (2003) USA and Tour.
The recipient of several residencies, awards and commissions, her most recent, The Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, National Museum of African Art, Washington DC, USA (2010). Evans teaches as an Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.