“I have learnt something I have felt something I am something I am going to become something else"- Lily Ashley, Playing Catch with Nature, 2022
Presenting Do you feel me, a group exhibition featuring works by Koshiro Akiyama, Lily Ashley, Tal Regev, and Jessie Stevenson. This exhibition explores the intention to affect the viewer emotionally as a driving motivation behind an artistic practice.
Has a new cultural front been forming? A tendency among some emerging artists today reflects a turn toward empathy. The resulting artworks can have a healing quality by opening windows into the viewer's emotional life. Negation, the act of destroying the past to build the future, has influenced contemporary art production since the 1970’s. This empathetic streak seems to occur in an altogether different dialogue to such postmodernist strategies. Instead, Akiyama, Ashley, Regev, and Stevenson, plant a future with roots in a holistic view. They draw from all pasts, from art history to intimate inner lives of memory. This approach is open-eyed, generous, and compassionate.
Stirring up emotion is a simple enough idea. However in practice it is a difficult task. This might be because this kind of work only functions if the source, the artist, is wholehearted. Reaching a state of tuning into, and then drawing from, one's emotions requires bravery. This show hopes to generate a moment where the audience might have an emotive reaction. An artwork, designed to exist beyond us, whether a painting or a poem, is patient. Filled with suggestions and then rendered into a fixed entity, an artwork can look back at you, unfolding as your affective system comes alive.