‘The Things Forever Speaking’: An ArtHouse Jersey Exhibition with Lulu MacDonald

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OPENS THURSDAY 16 JULY TO SUNDAY 25 JULY 2021 IN THE RETAIL SPACE ON THE CORNER OF CHARING CROSS AND PITT STREET, ST HELIER.

ArtHouse Jersey is delighted to announce its latest exhibition, Lulu MacDonald’s The Things Forever Speaking’. 

The Jersey-born, Hamburg-based artist has been working on this ambitious installation of contemporary sculpture for the past two years. Free to enter, the exhibition has been made possible by a generous donation from a private individual and features undulating shapes and curves that echo natural forms. Influenced by the Art Nouveau movement, it tries to imagine a world where nature, not humankind, is the main protagonist. 

Lulu is asking viewers to think about their relationship with the world around them – something she says is crucial during a health and climate crisis. “During this pandemic, we’ve all had to confront our own vulnerabilities in a moment where we’ve been denied closeness with our nearest and dearest. In this vein, I’m making work about connectedness, love, loss, the fear of dying and of experiencing illness”.

The exhibition’s setting is an unused retail space on the corner of Charing Cross and Pitt Street. Speaking about the space and working with the charity, Lulu said: ‘It’s amazing to have such a large room. It feels as monumental as having an institutional exhibition somewhere. The scale is just amazing and I’m so excited to fill it. I’m also glad that the building is relatively new, so people aren’t likely to have any preconceptions or associations with it. ArtHouse Jersey has always believed in my work. They invested in a show straight after my bachelor degree. I had won a big prize after graduating from the Slade and wanted to make something that I just couldn’t afford to do at the time. I was fresh out of university, knee deep in debt and they swooped in and backed me. Having an organisation believe in your work and back it with that kind of support is invaluable for an artist.’ 

The show has a big emphasis on collaboration; Lulu has worked with her siblings – writer Martha MacDonald and performer and physical theatre practitioner Joss MacDonald – as well as costume designer Katharina Kindsvater, local stained glass-maker, Joanne MacKenzie from JM Emporium, and local baker Pawel Zygiewicz from Dough Rye Me. “Whilst the majority of the work that will be shown at this exhibition is conceived, designed and built by me, there are some specialist elements that benefited from the skill-sets of my collaborators. This collaboration happens on different levels – from commissioning skilled craftspeople such as Jo to create four stained glass hats to a deeper, more entangled collaboration shown through the line of vegetable clothing or the poetry anthology”.

Director of ArtHouse Jersey, Tom Dingle, said: “Lulu’s work deserves to be shown in a space that does it justice and I am delighted that we have secured such a perfect central location. One of our key aims is to make quality art more accessible to the whole community so to have a ground floor space right off the high street and be able to offer entry free of charge will hopefully take away many of the barriers often associated with a more ‘traditional’ gallery space. Whilst the work is conceptual it is also playful – there is no correct reaction or secret way to view it and I would encourage people to drop in and see what they think. You can spend two minutes or two hours. Of course we are only able to support brilliant artists and offer such accessibility to the public if we, as a charity, are also supported. In this instance, I cannot thank the private individual enough for their generosity and foresight in providing all the funding that we needed to make this opportunity possible. We would of course welcome other such donations so we might replicate this type of experience across the arts.”    

‘The Things Forever Speaking’: An ArtHouse Jersey exhibition by artist Lulu MacDonald is free and takes place in the retail space on the corner of Pitt Street and Charing Cross. It opens to the public on Thursday 16 July and shows until Thursday 29 July 2021. It is open Monday-Saturday  11.00-18.00 and on Sundays 12.00-16.00.

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