The metaphoric association between body and building is a recurring motif in Rebecca Ackroyd’s work: pipes become limbs, vents become orifices, and frames become rib cages. For her solo exhibition at the Zabludowicz Collection, titled The Root, Ackroyd has produced a sculptural installation that responds directly to the architecture of the gallery space, covering and inverting its surfaces in a manner that suggests a turning inside out.
Three graphite-grey Jesmonite sculptures cover the interior windows, evoking battered and charred shutters. Calling these works Carriers, Ackroyd has pasted the top head sections with black and white images of the rough texture of London streets, some cut from newspapers, and some photographed by the artist herself in the vicinity of her studio. These images are photocopied and layered to combine familiar urban textures with more personal responses to an environment. On the gallery floor is a second main component of the show: a patterned carpet reminiscent of a traditional pub. In the centre of this carpet sits a sculpture of a metal manhole cover, recessed into the surface.
Ackroyd’s practice involves digging down into existing objects and memories and reconfiguring them in to something new. Her installations offer dream-like fictional landscapes informed by tough realities. Through shifting scales and moods, from the arrestingly bold and absurd to the subtle and intimate, the work pursues a feminist exploration of the psychology of space and the ownership of bodies.
Rebecca Ackroyd (b. 1987, Cheltenham, UK) lives and works in London. She graduated from the Royal Academy Schools in 2015 after completing her BA in Fine Art at Byam Shaw School of Art in 2010. Ackroyd has presented solo exhibitions at OUTPOST, Norwich (2017) and in London at Hunter/Whitfield (2015), Kinman Gallery (2014) and Marsden Woo Gallery (2013). Recent group exhibitions in 2015-7 include: These Rotten Words, Chapter, Cardiff (2017); Walled Gardens in an Insane Eden, Z2O Sara Zanin Gallery, Rome; Modest Villa Immense Versailles (co-curator), Kinman Gallery, London; At Home Salon: Double Acts, Marcelle Joseph Projects, Ascot; Bloody Life, Herald St, London; All Over, Studio Leigh, London; Is it heavy or is it light?, Assembly Point, London; With institutions like these, Averard Hotel, London; Opals, Galerie Opdahl, Stavanger, Norway; Royal Academy Schools Degree Show, London; Works in Residence, David Roberts Art Foundation, London; and The London Open, Whitechapel Gallery, London. In 2013, her work was included in Bloomberg New Contemporaries (ICA, London and Spike Island, Bristol)