My work at Golden Squared Consulting is leading me down some intriguing paths. I've looked around Gander & White's new state of the art storage facility in West London, seen some very rare and very beautiful maps in Daniel Crouch's Bury Street shop, and find myself working with Josie Spencer who I knew when I was a young, riding around on her family's Exmoor pony! Little did I know that Josie is the most talented and interesting sculptor I've ever met. Isn't life extraordinary.
I want to share with you an insight to Josie's forthcoming exhibition 'Murmuration' which is to be staged at The Playground Theatre on Latimer Road in West London, 2nd - 19th May.
Born and educated in New York, Josie studied sculpture in Florence, at the Academia della Sculptura under Alberto Berli and at the Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Josie studied sculpture with Ezio Matinelli and art history with William Rubin (curator of the Museum of Modern Art). Josie then furthered her knowledge of sculpture and antiquities in Greece, Turkey, Jordan and Vice-Chair of The New York Studio School.
In the seven years before leaving New York for London, she exhibited at a number of group and one-person shows in New York at galleries in both Soho and Chelsea. Three of Josie's sculptures, including Homage to Prisoners of War, were on display from spring 2014 until spring 2017 in Soho's Golden Square. Her previous London exhibitions have been 'Low Entropy; Archeology of Our Time' in 2013 at The Arches, Hoxton, and 'Women In Their Own Company' in 2009 at SW1 Gallery, Victoria. During this period there have also been exhibitions in Cheltenham, Devon and Buckinghamshire.
Josie and her dogs, Inca & Fiddle in her West London studio
Five years ago, Josie started making a collection of figures in various states between falling and flying. While working on them, the artist began to think of them as a murmuration. On reading the zoological definition of the word, she learned that in a murmuration there's no central communication. Each creature is acting for its own safety out of fear of a perceived threat. These beautifully swirling configurations are the mechanics of emergency.
Josie's forthcoming exhibition 'Murmuration', will also include as many pieces that are fragments of figures, evoking the devastation of the grandeur of wealth and power so clearly portrayed in Shelley's poem Ozymandias, whose best known line is 'Look on my works ye mighty and despair'.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
WIP (work in progress); one of Josie's life-size figures
'I see a murmuration as an apt description for the way in which society dissolves when unrestrained capitalism becomes a core driving force. This is a society not of an inclusive 'we', but it has lost its moral compass to the selfish 'I': everyone out for themselves.
Below an image of what the exhibition has in store. 9 life-sized figures, suspended at different heights. The Playground Theatre was previously a bus depot and as you can imagine, bare walls and high ceilings create an engaging and atmospheric venue.
Before I sign off, I would like to let you know that Listenpony, a composer-led concert series and record label have commissioned six new works from composers across the UK to be performed at a special concert within the space on Wednesday 9th May. These new works will be performed by rising star performers alongside music from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The concert will mix eras and genres: a classical pianist and a baroque trio will play the traditional and contemporary music while a singer-songwriter will perform their own songs. Having recently been to a Listenpony concert, I can wholeheartedly, recommend attending the concert, not to mention being surrounded by a group of 9 life-sized bronze sculptures, as well as, a further formation of ground level sculptures.
For tickets please book directly on the Listenpony website.
Listenpony logo (which I absolutely love!)
Spread the word! This is an exhibition not to be missed.
One last note; for all you journalists out there, if you would like any further information or high res. images, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org