The Precariat, a unique site-specific installation by breakthrough artist Karen Mc Lean.
Opening: Thursday 22nd June 2017, 6.30-9pm
Exhibition dates: 23rd June – 2nd July 2017
140 Lewisham Way, London, SE14 6PD
Wednesday – Sunday 12pm-6pm, and by appointment.
Karen will suspend twenty sugar houses, each made from a refined molasses solution that slowly transforms from solid to liquid throughout the course of the show. A multi-channel sound installation, evoking the toiled land, will accompany the transforming houses.
The Caribbean landscape is scattered with makeshift housing illustrative of creativity, tenacity, poverty and a landless peasantry. Using the material inheritance of Caribbean colonialism, Karen explores the historical forces that have kept this form alive into the present day. The Precariat aims to open a new dialogue between freedom and servitude.
Karen Mc Lean grew up on the island of Trinidad shortly after the country had gained its independence as a colony from England. Growing up on a Post-Colonial island, her memories include the many barriers that restricted non-white people that had to be challenged and torn down, and the tumultuous event of the Black Power Revolution that was fuelled by the Civil Rights movement in the USA. The history of colonialism and its legacy continues to be the source of inspiration for her practice.
Karen moved to England in 2000 and embarked on a career change after working with the national airline of Trinidad and Tobago, BWIA, for 20 years. Mc Lean completed her BA (Hons) in Art and Design, at BCU in Bournville, Birmingham, followed by a Masters at Goldsmiths University, London. Karen has exhibited in Birmingham where she lives, regionally, and nationally, as well as in her home country.