British artists Paul Abbott and Alex Roberts present their duo exhibition, “The Room is the Resonator” at The Old Police Station in Deptford (London) as part of Art Licks Weekend / Deptford X Platform 16 Festival. In “Room”, the artists explore themes such as memory and perception in the “theatrical space of installation, its performativity” and ponder implications in this conversation between art and spectator. From 23 September, ends 2 October 2016.
Deptford X Platform 2016 – ambitious new work in unusual art spaces
Now in its 4th year, the Deptford X Platform 2016 by ArtLicks is a festival in east London covering nearly 70 venues in a project to foster and enable artists to
produce ambitious new work for a wide range of contexts and audiences.
Along with art exhibitions and other creative project spaces, the festival offers a rich programme of tours, community learning events, and participation by three area eateries. This year adds a few new elements to the annual project, with a celebration of Artist Moving Image; Status Quo, an on-line project with free downloadable GIFs to share, created especially for Art Licks Weekend; and A.L.T. (stands for “Arts Licks Trading”) in which a collection of “functional items designed and made for the home” are available for sale.
Joining Deptford X from 23 September to 2 October 2016 is “The Room is the Resonator“, an exhibition in which artists Paul Abbott and Alex Roberts explore “memory, nostalgia, and perception” inside this unexpected art space known as The Old Police Station [Deptford X’s venue 41] – next door, of course, to Deptford’s “new” and active police station.
In “The Room is the Resonator” the two artists with very different practices (Roberts works mainly with paint; Abbott with video and new media) both keenly respond to the “specificity of the given location”.
Meandering this surprisingly looming maze of a small space, first the interrogation room then five of six holding cells are taken up with art, alternating between Abbott’s stark media installations then Roberts’ filmy works of paint on wood or silk organza.
Yet the few areas not used in the exhibition occupy the space with a weighty presence almost equal to the artworks. Hang on, what’s behind the bolted door of Female Cell 1? Is this a comment on voyeurism? An act of censorship by the artists? I try the peep-hole to find out if there’s another artwork incarcerated in there, my curiosity again frustrated because the inside lens is badly scratched.
Slowly, the realisation settles onto my shoulders that I the spectator am not simply looking at these artworks; I find I am somehow complicit in their making, my own image reflected in Abbott’s “Mirrors” or as I stand confronted by Roberts’ paintings that float mid-air, no longer relegated to the wall, who gently, determinedly encroach into my personal space.
These two artists pose much to consider on the walk back to the Overground station. And if you’ve missed this exhibition, be sure to mark upcoming projects from Alex Roberts and Paul Abbott at the top of your next gallery-hop list.
More info about ‘The Room is the Resonator’ and The Old Police Station
- The Room is the Resonator on Facebook
- View/download ‘The Room is the Resonator’ exhibition guide [PDF]
- Learn about the artists
- Check out The Old Police Station in Deptford (east London)
- Find out about Art Licks and Deptford X Platform 16
Exhibition details: ‘The Room is the Resonator’ is in The Old Police Station,
114 Amersham Vale, Deptford, London, SE14 6LG. From 23 September to 2 October 2016; Free entrance; access is not step-free.