Summer is here (really!) and b-side is pleased to present work by two very different artists exploring the holiday tradition of 'souvenirs' in the Outpost project space on Portland. Artists Louise Atkinson and Christian Edwardes explore the souvenir; that beloved pocket money treasure, traveller of kitch and memento of a unique encounter that can never be revisited in its ‘original’ sense.
Louise Atkinson’s collection of iconic sculptural ’souvenirs‘ represent cities in England. Vibrant and colourful creations inspired by folk art, heraldic imagery, they incorporate cultural landmarks, mythology, and historical / contemporary figures from each respective region.The works are made from paper clay and decorated to reflect folk art traditions with symbols and decorative motifs from the regions they represent.
Christian Edwardes’ work engages with various aspects of heritage and topography, considering souvenirs as more than nostalgic remains of extraordinary places and occurrences.
“The works I produced were, in part, an attempt to find a connection to a landscape that I only knew through the gifts and tourist ephemera that would return with my grandmother on visits to see her daughter—my aunt.”
Large scale photographic works are created using souvenirs from Australia bought by his grandmother, his experience of a land far away informed by the souvenirs she would bring home. The images appear in negative – a reversal of the normal, which gives them an ‘other worldly’ almost dream like feel. In other works exhibited, postcards from the South West covered in dust from the artist’s studio are then photographed in macro detail. Reminiscent of landscapes, ocean floors even lunar landscapes they sit within a clear dome, like a strange snow globe or paper weight you might buy on holiday.