Project Description

Grace Belgravia, 11C W Halkin Street, London

22 February – 8 April 2018 [time: 9 am – 7pm every day]

Preview: Wednesday 21 February 2018, 6-9pm


Organised by Open Space Contemporary & Everything I Want

Curated by Huma Kabakcı & Nadja Romain

Open Space Contemporary and Everything I Want are delighted to present an all women group exhibition titled Ladies’ Paradise, which takes place at Grace Belgravia with emerging artists Merve İşeri, Sofia Stevi, Clementine Keith-Roach and Güneş Terkol.

From 22 February until the 8 April at the Grace Belgravia, a spa and medical centre for women, the exhibition will explore the notion of the body, internal desires, the role of the female and abstraction through different media such as ceramics by Clementine Keith-Roach, canvas paintings by Merve İşeri, drawings by Sofia Stevi and sewn textiles by Güneş Terkol. Through variations of material, medium, texture and techniques, each of the five artists’ practices and works overlap through intimacy and form.

The title of the exhibition Ladies’ Paradise is inspired by Emile Zola’s eleventh novel titled Au Bonheur des Dames, which takes place in a department store in the mid-19th century. The modernisation of the store and the different roles of women in the book are intertwined with the structure of the exhibition, which focuses on femininity, the body, the differing levels of society, gender and identity politics.

In her work Merve İşeri paints directly from the tube, both in acrylic and oil, using pastels and her fingers to work on the cotton she has dyed. In her symbolic, abstract paintings, İşeri aims to develop personal conversations with the viewer. In the same vein, Sofia Stevi merges two opposites in her work; living and dreaming. Her large-scale paintings on untreated cotton fabric convey a simultaneous sense of passively observing and actively experiencing different spaces. Clementine Keith-Roach’s artistic style comes from her interest in museums, interiors, souvenirs and ancient objects of the history of form and texture which all have a presence in her sensuous ceramics. She exhumes typologies of art long abandoned, here taking the Cycladic nipple vase and reconceptualising it as an imprint of her own and other women’s bodies. Güneş Terkol takes inspiration from her immediate surroundings, collecting materials and stories, which she weaves into her sewing pieces, videos, sketches and musical compositions both collectively and individually.

The four female artists are not only inspired by their surroundings, but also by their inner world as they explore notions of belonging, identity linked to place and the politics of the body. Ladies’ Paradise merges form, abstraction and figuration in response to Grace Belgravia’s classic architecture and its sightly location.