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The first major survey of the work of sculptor, photographer and live artist Amy Sharrocks, showing works from over a decade of attention, conversations and exchange will open at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum on Friday 30 November.
For many years Sharrocks has investigated the architecture of a moment. This exhibition brings together a significant body of her artworks, exploring the elusive qualities of live art, tracing moments that slip through our fingers like water, examining moments of connection between each other and the natural world.
only ever almost there reflects on the tender possibilities of existence. For many years Sharrocks has made artworks that are ephemeral and intangible, works that only just stand up, that float, fall over, evaporate or are just barely there – works that depend on you to make them. Exploring this world and virtual worlds, she is pressing for new criteria for care, trying to imagine alternative systems of support, looking for new ways to listen. Sharrocks’ work pays close attention to the world around us, delights in the delicacy of molecules, decibels and photons, and constantly investigates how we can make an impact, but not leave a footprint.
Leamington Spa is a landscape famous for water and mineral springs. The Royal Pump Rooms stand at the centre of this original Regency spa town; the River Leam wends its way beside the art gallery; the town itself rests on an ancient seabed, a prehistoric ocean that traversed England. For this exhibition Sharrocks explores Leamington Spa as a site of water: new live works will stretch out across the town and sonic artworks will unfold around the building, bringing the river and a whisper of water words inside. Sharrocks has spent 15 years making artworks exploring water and people, and this exhibition for the first time brings together photographs of her many live works with her own photographs of water. She is intervening on the main collections of Leamington Spa Museum & Art Gallery, teasing out the water in the collections, inviting memories of water back into their galleries.
only ever almost there will gather together previously unseen drawings and prints, a series of works looking at the making of clouds and the movement of air, as well as some of her falling works, exploring risk, daring and shame, the vulnerability of bodies, the liberation of inelegance and the complicity of an act of witness.
Amy Sharrocks is an artist who invites people to come on journeys in which their own experience, communication and expression are a vital part. Undertaking these journeys with a sense of humour, joy and risk, each work is rich, unpredictable and different every time. She came to national attention with SWIM (2007), which saw 50 people swim across London, and has since gained wider recognition with the award-winning Museum of Water, which has travelled across Britain, Europe and Western Australia, and was nominated for European Museum of the Year 2016. Her work gives careful consideration to the impact we have on each other and the world.
An exhibition catalogue will be available, bringing together new essays on Sharrocks’ work alongside pictures of her artworks over 15 years of making. only ever almost there will open at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum on Friday 30 November 2018 and run until Sunday 24 February 2019.