Jessica Warboys VILLAGE GATE

Galerie Noah Klink is pleased to present VILLAGE GATE, the first solo exhibition of Jessica Warboys in Berlin. Comprising paintings, video works, and sculptural objects, the exhibition is a testimony to the artist’s interest in the liminal both sculpturally and geographically.

VILLAGE GATE comprises two large-scale un-stretched River Paintings, a format taking its departure from the artist’s Sea Paintings (2009 – ongoing). Warboys thereby introduces the river and its littoral, i.e. the part between the river and its bank, as a site for making. In the process, canvas is submerged in the river and then swept and scattered with mineral pigments. River Painting, Ouse has been painted with beeswax, repelling both the river water and the potential staining of pigment, ultimately revealing a serpentine wax line that gradually fades as the painting traverses the space. 

Often beginning with personal or collective memories mined from art history, mythology, crafts and textiles, sculptures or object-actors such as masks, vases and tail motifs appear and reappear throughout the work. In numerous iterations and forms – whether animate, inanimate or imaginary – they balance on the edge of being something else as their status unfolds according to their context. Whether in paintings or films these object-actors are animated in and through landscape as a site of histories. 

“Thinking about a floating doorway on a river you can pass through again and again, the river is flowing and circumstances are changing – VILLAGE GATE is about re-entering a kind of floating moment. The Village Gate belongs to the Earth Panther and their world of woven textiles and printed woodblock patterns. Last year certain things emerged. Something I had been thinking about but never really articulated was how important a Dhurrie woven by my grandmother Bibiji is. I have carried it around from place to place and kept it tucked away, until it's zig zag motif started to emerge through recent drawings, culminating in the group of works in VILLAGE GATE. There are some forms that I would not say are personal, but they do come from a personal reflection of storytelling through weaving. As Bibiji only wove a small group of dhurries before moving to the UK from India in the 1950s, for me to expand on the visual language embedded in the dhurrie has become an opening for the migration and transformation of forms.” JW 2021

Download Exhibition Text and Floorplan