May Hands:
All That is Left

You’ll need to sign up to view this exhibition

27 May –

2 July 2022

Preview 27 May, 5 – 8pm


Bosse & Baum is pleased to present All That is Left, a solo exhibition of wall-based works by British artist May Hands, containing hand built ceramic forms, woven and crocheted textile fragments, naturally dyed surfaces and detritus from everyday consumption.

The subject matter explored in this body of work is largely influenced by the structure of Virginia Woolf’s, The Waves, which oscillates between prose and poetry. Hands sees The Waves, as a woven tapestry of six lives, examining the fragmented self and as a collective.

The artworks in the show celebrate tactility and the visible hand, exploring the intimacy found in the handmade and a way to archive and digest thoughts, emotions, memories and the everyday. This practice can be read as a counterpoint and sanctuary from capitalism and hyper-consumerism. Through the making of this series, Hands has worked in repetitive motions, body and material becoming one as the artist fully embraces the affordances and resistances of material and form. These works are part of her ongoing research into how humans’ instinctive curiosity to play with materials has created and evolved the various technologies and languages that we have today.


May Hands, (b.1990, Brighton) graduated with an MFA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths in 2020 and a BA in Fine Art Painting from Camberwell College of Art (UAL) in 2013. Selected solo exhibitions include:  Best before end, White Crypt, London (2019), May Hands: Artist-in-Residence, Bosse & Baum, London (2018), I’ve Loved You For a Long Time, Supplement, London (2018), Freschissimi, T293, Rome (2015) and Bleach, Roman Road, London (2015). Selected group shows include: Eastbourne Open, Volt, Eastbourne (2022), Ecdysis, Staffordshire Studios, London (2021), Locus Amœnus, Function Suite, London (2021), Always Winter, Brooke Benington, London (2020), Chrysalis, Wimbledon Space, London (2020), The Real Thing, Fashion Space Gallery, London (2020), The romance of flowers, Kingsgate Project Space, London (2018), SURPLUS, The Café, hosted at Peak, London (2018), Counter Quality, 650mAh, Brighton (2018), On Cold Spring Lane, Assembly Point, London (2017), Sell Yourself, East Street Arts, Leeds (2017), Maybe your lens is scratched? The Averard Hotel, London (2016), Not Every Thread Ties Down/ Your Split Ends Are Showing? DKUK, London (2016), Women’s Art Society II, MOSTYN, Llandudno (2015). 


View more

Exhibition text by Zazie Stevens

You enter the room. A window lets in a warp of light, you see dust motes dancing within it. (hear me sing)* The ray illuminates the objects in the space. Your eyes slowly acclimatize and you begin to discern the illuminated shapes. Even though their roots traverse memories and myths, the objects belong to the future. (swim to me)* As you get closer you notice a constellation of evenly set threads. Hundreds of them, running parallel and perpendicular, interlocked like a web, weaving in and out of breath, the sacred knots coalesce into chaos. (let me enfold you)* A name, time, and place are given to every thread; one bears your own name. Your mind begins to spin in all directions and vertigo sets in, forged by the fire of disordered strings, correlating all that has led you here to this moment. The surrounding cords bear familiar names as well, but you can’t yet make out the pattern. Stepping back from the loom, a motif slowly becomes visible. 

 A spider web is grinning in the corner. Within the hummm of the bones of the city, within the salty depths of the earth, we weave the web of life. Inhaling the aroma of mud, the whispers of sun. In layers of space and time that are vast yet intimate, the weaver and the woven reside, now spiralling inward and the motion doesn’t cease. We recognize it all: leaf, beast, past, present, and future. A whisper, hhhypha*…” connecting to the mesh deep in soil, from hyphæ*, from hyphē* a wwwebb*, a back-formation of hyphainō* “you weave, you warp,” … “salt”, sings the skin, like what we keep behind our lashes and the waves carry, and the waves carry. 

Swallowed by the riddled tide, molding the mud that holds life’s rhizome. Moving back and forth, upon the roots of the past, our eyes hooked on the future, waves woven across star-crossed wefts. I hear the sound of my blood in the conch shell and your coral vocal cords answering, and everything else that moves slowly inside of us without surfacing. The world does not reward the pace at which our weaving moves (smooth wood of the loom, its ancient scent, worn and oiled by the many hands) we have attuned ourselves to a different rhythm. The rhythm of the tides. Attuning to this rhythm is a rebellion, its roots curl within the madness of our heart. 


by Zazie Stevens


NOTES * hear me sing, swim to me, let me enfold you Tim Buckley Song to the Siren *hypha (n.) structural element of fungi, 1866 *from Modern Latin hyphae (plural) (1810) * from Greek hyphe (singular) *“webb” Old English woven fabric, work, tapestry * hyphaino Greek “to weave, warp, devise, produce”


Poster + Exhibition text

Poster design by Lida Koutromanou with exhibition text by Zazie Stevens

Exhibition views