Inspired by a 1973 watercolour painted by Kit Allsopp while confined to his North London home for six weeks, and a sunny visit to Reiko Kaneko’s wonderful new studio looking back to her garden and house, also in North London, ELEMENTAL - ESSENTIAL goes back to basics and asks the question: just how much do we need? And just what can we make with what we have to hand?
ELEMENTAL - ESSENTIAL
ELEMENTAL - ESSENTIAL
Plinth x Velorose - Virtual Exhibition
April 2020 onwards
Plinth x Velorose have curated a virtual exhibition featuring the work of Reiko Kaneko, Kit Allsopp , and Early Bird Vintage. We've been admiring the spring sunshine from the inside out and with with so much apparently upside-down, we're approaching change with a change of approach...
Plinth x Velorose invite you to send to the gallery a postcard-sized creation, inspired by the double title of our current show: ELEMENTAL, ESSENTIAL (or both). You the audience are invited to become the artists - no need to self-identify as an artist, artistic, or creative (only one submission to date has come from an artist). And we are asking all visitors to participate in the exhibition by making and sending a Mail Art postcard to the gallery, by Friday 8th May.
Taking its cue from the Fluxus Mail Art movement, you are invited to send a postcard-sized creation to Velorose, inspired by the double title of the show, ELEMENTAL or ESSENTIAL . Make it, cut it, adapt it, paint it, print it, post it...
On a visit to Kit’s studio in 2017 to select oil paintings for his successful 2018 solo exhibition Primitive Huts, Natural Landscape, David Rosenberg (Velorose) was struck by a small watercolour hanging above Kit’s desk. The story that emerged, and the image, came to mind when thinking of art under lockdown: Kit had painted Back Gardens when confined to his home in Islington for six weeks in 1973, and continued to paint with watercolours, but has typically considered his oil paintings for exhibition. Velorose is privileged to be exhibiting for the first time watercolours painted by Kit from the 1970s and 1980s.
Reiko Kaneko’s delicate and botanically-themed ceramics are shown alongside Kit Allsopp's paintings and the gallery audience’s Mail Art postcards. In the gallery shop are associated works sourced by Early Bird Vintage. The exhibition will be hung at Velorose, and be there for when we can congregate. In the meantime, anyone taking exercise in the Barbican area is welcome to view the exhibition through the gallery windows - perfect for a bike ride pit-stop.
‘I started the Botanical collection because I became obsessed with the garden. I stare out at it all day when I'm in the workshop afterall. It just found its way on to the ceramics - just by observing and admiring. It's an old topic, but I wanted to illustrate it anyway.' Reiko Kaneko
Velorose has been a big fan of Mail Art for years, and has decided that now’s the time to revitalise a project it started after its very first show in July 2016. Taking its cue from the Fluxus Mail Art movement, you are invited to send a postcard-sized creation to Velorose, inspired by the double title of the show, ELEMENTAL or ESSENTIAL . Make it, cut it, adapt it, paint it, print it, and - when you’re allowed out - post it.
This is the only absolute rule: to make it art, it has to be consigned to the post. Not in an envelope.
When the time comes, post it to: Velorose, 1b Charterhouse Square, London, EC1M 6EE, UK.
For now, you can photograph or scan it, and email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And do what you can to make it 4” x 6” / A6 / 10cm x 15cm...
As the work arrives, and when we are able, we will add it to the show, online and off. And one day (soon), you will be welcome to visit the gallery in person, and to see your work for all to enjoy, in our Central London gallery / shop.
Stay in, but get your art out there.
And if you’re looking for inspiration, please see the British Museum’s article about their excellent 2018-2019 exhibition ‘The World Exists to be Put on a Postcard’, or Frank Warren’s PostSecret.
Velorose was introduced to the work of product designer-ceramicist Reiko Kaneko by Chloe Grimshaw of Plinth, when Velorose and Plinth began working together at the end of 2019. Velorose subsequently featured Reiko’s desirable ‘Wave’ ceramics in the long-running ‘SHOP ART’ exhibition-cum-shop, where they found a new audience.
Staying in may be the new going out, but there's nothing to stop you from getting your art out there!
When it came to co-curating the nature-inspired exhibition ELEMENTAL - ESSENTIAL, Reiko’s artworks were the perfect choice, but what Chloe Grimshaw and David Rosenberg had not counted on when visiting Reiko’s new studio at the bottom of her garden in Tottenham was the connection that had emerged between Reiko designing and devising ceramics while simultaneously cultivating a garden. Reiko has revealed a strong personal affinity to a number of women artists who worked in garden studios, such as Barbara Hepworth in St Ives, and Frida Kahlo in Mexico City.
As Reiko states, with customary directness and modesty: ‘I started the Botanical collection because I became obsessed with the garden. I stare out at it all day when I'm in the workshop afterall. It just found its way on to the ceramics - just by observing and admiring. It's an old topic, but I wanted to illustrate it anyway.'
Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think might enjoy being part of the Mail Art postcards show - so far we have contributions from aged seven to seventy - and if you subscribe to Velorose, you will get updates and an invitation to the physical show.
(and please make your submission by Friday 8th May).
If you can't get out, or just for the record / your peace of mind, please email a photograph or scan to: email@example.com. and feel free to email with any queries.
Staying in may be the new going out, but there's nothing to stop
you from getting your art out there!