Immortal Nature: Artists explore Underworld, Earth, Afterlife in Mayan Year of Apocalypse
Painter and sculptor Piers Secunda
featured in Edel Assanti Gallery
exhibition exploring modern
Following a ground-breaking solo show at the Aubin Gallery, Piers
Secunda presents his politically explosive painting in a group exhibition
exploring the prophesised end of the world in 2012, curated by Gordon
Encompassing a range of media, Immortal Nature is split across Edel Assanti’s three floors, invoking the mythological prism of the
Underworld, Earth and the Afterlife. These distinct realms investigate the tensions, conflicts and hopes surrounding civilisation’s
ever-changing relationship with the natural world. International contemporary artists, Laurence Edwards, Robin Friend, Alex
Honda, Nicolai Howalt, Hew Locke, Rui Matunaga, Richard Mosse and Kelly Richardson will be exhibiting alongside Piers
Secunda and the curator Gordon Cheung.
The Earth floor poses a violent depiction of present day reality. Piers Secunda’s solid slabs of paint bear dramatic testimony to the
instant in which they were fired upon by soldiers of the army of the People’s Republic of China. To create this highly charged work,
the artist ventured into a Chinese military base, taking considerable risks to seize in paint the moment when a People’s Liberation
Army (PLA) bullet connects with its target.
Echoing Ai Wei Wei’s politically electric work in China, Piers Secunda’s sculpturally innovative practice raises questions of art
politics and power, recording some of the potent human activities of our time.
“Capturing Chinese Army Bullet Holes was a way to trap geo-political texture in the work, like an insect in amber.”
In addition, Piers is presenting an object as a painting: an intricate 16 layer paint reproduction of a traditional Chinese ivory-carved
puzzle ball, constructed from 16 independently moving spheres within spheres. Utilising an indigenous Chinese craft, Secunda
mimics the ivory medium and builds Puzzle balls three dimensionally from industrial floor paint. The puzzle ball creates a metaphor
for creating a painting; a human made puzzle with and without resolution, which can easily be undone. Touching upon
contemporary anxieties as a poignant reminder of lost past times, Chinese Puzzle Ball questions identity, social activity and an
essence of humanity in a increasingly globalised world.
Joining Piers in the ‘Earth Realm’, Richard Mosse’s photographs employ the use of infrared film to transform the artist’s images of
the war torn landscapes of the Congo into unsettling, surrealist scenes, illuminated by a spectrum of infrared light. Nicolai Howalt’s
jarring images capture an ambiguity between the crumpled metal detritus of a car crash, and the suggestion of aerial geological
The Underworld Floor presents Kelly Richardson’s video Leviathan, in which a phantom swamp landscape perpetuates an
atmosphere of timeless limbo. Robin Friend’s powerful images of disused mines capture existent underworlds, toxically
claustrophobic spaces fused with an otherworldly magical realism. Alex Hoda’s dismembered sculptures convey a repressed
menace through figurative groupings of deformed, post-apocalyptic organic forms bound together and consumed by rubber
The Afterlife Floor presents Hew Locke’s wall assemblage of uber-kitsch gold toys and fake flowers, coalesced into a deity
presiding over disposable consumerist values. Situated against the backdrop of the Financial Times stock listings, Gordon
Cheung’s painted landscapes oscillate between prophetic utopian and dystopian hallucinations on our actual reality. Rui
Matsunaga’s paintings convey visions of animistic worlds, witnessing humanity undergoing organic mutations, pointing towards a
collective human desire to return to a symbiotic relationship with nature. Similarly, Laurence Edwards’ bronze sculpture purveys a
captivating vision of man’s simultaneous emergence from and absorption into the natural landscape,postulating a final material fate
for our species.
Further information on Edel Assanti can be found at www.edelassanti.com
Further information about Piers Secunda and his work is available at www.pierssecunda.com