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A group exhibition with Eleanor Johnson, William Kennedy & Gabriel Kenny-Ryder
29th May – 2nd June 2019 at Copeland Park, Unit 9I, 133 Copeland Road, London, SE15 3SN
Private View: Thursday 30th May 6-9pm

I felt my lungs inflate with the inrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happySylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Paulilles Gallery is pleased to present its first major London exhibition, ‘THIS IS WHAT IT IS TO BE HAPPY’, featuring recent work by Eleanor Johnson, William Kennedy and Gabriel Kenny-Ryder.

An innate love for the natural world, a biophilia, is felt by almost everyone, resulting from our genetic make-up and evolutionary history. This is evidenced even in the most everyday spaces, our houses, offices and cafés teem with plant life. We are ruled by circadian rhythms, with ‘time outside’ prescribed as a cure for psychological ailments and anxieties. Yet particularly in modern times, our internal worlds have expanded exponentially, asserting priority over our external surroundings; both have consequently suffered. This exhibition explores this disconnection, proposing varied and contrasting interpretations, through photographic installation, painting and moving-image.

In her series ‘Modern Bathers’, Eleanor Johnson’s large-scale, colourful paintings present bodies dispersed amongst natural, sprawling landscapes. Her imagined compositions take visual fragments of Old Master paintings, mingling them with images of her own, to create scenes that suggest an anachronistic idyll reworked in a current and contemporary context.

William Kennedy is a multidisciplinary artist whose psychologically raw work addresses personal struggles with mental health. His art-making navigates a landscape of emotional trauma and disruptive mental processes. For his latest work, ‘when it’s cold i’d like to die’, William has assembled a kaleidoscopic, deeply immersive series of films from his visceral, fragmentary practice.

Gabriel Kenny-Ryder creates photographic ‘objects’ as part of installations. His series ‘Liminal Stretches’, made up of multi-frame panoramas from single rolls of medium-format film, depict coastlines and areas of environmental transition. Printed monumentally, they mould to the exhibition space, and are physical representations of environmental experiences, not merely photographs of them. Thus the past traces of the artist are brought to the present for the viewer to witness.


Eleanor Johnson (b. 1994) studied BA History of Art at University College London. Examining and interpreting the body with a consideration of psychoanalytic and philosophical standpoints, Eleanor’s paintings draw stylistically and thematically on the Baroque and Rococo periods. Following solo shows in London and Oxfordshire, she has gone on to exhibit in group shows such as the annual Society of Women Artists exhibition at Mall Galleries, in which she won the Young Artist Award, and at Art Pavillion where she was selected to exhibit in Shape Art’s exhibition, ‘Collective Influence’. eleanor-johnson.com

William Kennedy (b.1993) is a London-based filmmaker. His art-making, the product of restless introspection, is preoccupied with the fluidity of human consciousness; combining video, photography, painting, text, and collage. William studied English Literature at University College London. Since graduating, his films have premiered with NOWNESS, Hunger and Boiler Room’s 4:3. William also pursues his creative vision through music videos, collaborating with boundary-pushing artists such as Anna Calvi and Hercules & Love Affair. Recently he collaborated with Kendrick Lamar on visuals to accompany the release of his fourth album “DAMN.” and the ensuing global tour. williamkennedy.co.uk

Gabriel Kenny-Ryder (b. 1993) uses a range of complex, tactile photographic processes to interrogate visual representation, photography-as-performance and the relationship between art and spectator. The installations and environmental works Gabriel creates allow the viewer to interact with his work on a more physical and conceptual level than more traditional methods of display. Gabriel studied Economics at the University of Edinburgh before receiving an MA in Contemporary Art Practice at the Royal College of Art. He has work displayed internationally and last year installed a large-scale multi-part print within the stairwell of a derelict Liverpool house as part of the Independent Biennial.  gabrielkennyryder.com

Paulilles Gallery is a new London-based enterprise putting on exhibitions in temporary spaces, which explore relevant issues through progressive contemporary art.

Paulilles Gallery

 

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