‘I just want a Picasso in my casa / No, my castle.’ - Picasso Baby, Jay-Z
Artists: Julia Bland, Hannah Lees, Peles Empire, Alina Tenser
The maxim that ‘An Englishman’s house is his castle’ is most often cited these days in articles in the British right-wing press that bemoan the apparent undermining of the perceived principle that a person can do as they please within their own house, which is held up as an ancient right.
The phrase is linked to law and the ideal that you should be allowed to act freely within ones personal space. The exhibition at Global Committee repositions the idea of an artists studio as a home space, a place where an artist can be free to explore their inner world, to work according to their own set of rules; the studio is a world in and of itself and a place of refuge.
Each artist in the exhibition works within and around their own set of rules – with nods towards the domestic. They expand upon making techniques (weaving, glass painting, fabric dying) and at times employ everyday items such as food, candles and photocopies in unconventional ways.
Within the display of the exhibition the works come together to suggest a place a little grander than the normal scale of the domestic – the objects within the installation lean towards castles in the sky, adorned with tapestries and littered with the stains from last nights celebrations. An imagined place rendered real through images and collage.
Perhaps it’s idealistic to say this – but the artist’s studio should be held up and protected as a place of freedom. Within our mini fortresses we build our own critical empires, ones that we wholeheartedly believe in. They are private spaces. The market and the criticism of others will always be present but these thoughts should sit beyond the moat – the work must be protected and allowed to flourish within our own mini Utopias.