PEER presents the work of Avril Corroon and Amy Steel, two artists who completed a yearlong studio residency at Acme’s Warton House studios in 2020 after graduating from MA courses at London-based art colleges. The exhibition marks the fifth year of partnership between PEER and Acme. This important partnership offers emerging artists a significant opportunity at a crucial point in their career to exhibit at an acclaimed gallery and benefit from mentoring and guidance provided by PEER’s team.
Avril Corroon (Goldsmiths MFA Award, 2019/20) works across moving image, performance and sculpture to examine contemporary precarious living conditions including the housing crisis, wealth inequity and labour exploitation. Her work combines absurd humour and critique to form visual narratives, often incorporating ephemeral materials such as fragrances, sticky floors, damp and leftover food. These feature to activate sense of touch and smell, examining notions of taste and class using bodily communication. For many of her moving image and performances she activates existing architecture as analogical of power structures by climbing or intervening in the site, usually inaccessible areas like rooftops. The act of rising to the sky or performing from above is symbolic to overcoming, or indeed becoming a hierarch.
Amy Steel (Adrian Carruthers Award, 2019/20) combines painting and performance to create expansive, sensual environments where women unravel and explore themes such as sexuality, creativity and the desire to be part of something bigger. Fascinated by the complex relationships humans have with nature, Steel’s dream-like paintings often feature animals and female body parts, which meld into the mysterious and luminous landscapes. This luminosity is translated through Steel’s specific use of colour, through which she creates an atmosphere that is charged with emotion. The paintings are pointedly ambiguous, enabling the viewer to sense the work and react emotionally rather than by responding to an overly prescriptive narrative.
Acme’s early career programme provides artists in their first five years of practice with a variety of support structures, including financial subsidy, rent relief, professional development, mentoring, presentation and exhibition opportunities. The programme aims to make a substantial intervention at critical moments in artists’ careers, as they transition from the supportive environment of an arts institution into lifelong professional practice. The Goldsmiths MFA Award is a partnership between Acme and Goldsmiths, University of London and generously supported by Jane Hamlyn. The Adrian Carruthers Award is a partnership between Acme and The Slade School of Fine Art and is generously supported by the family of Adrian Carruthers.