29 March 2019

Florence Peake returns to earthy elements for empathetic exhibition at Bosse & Baum by Louisa Buck

Florence Peake returns to earthy elements for empathetic exhibition at Bosse & Baum

LOUISA BUCK

Artist’s talks don’t generally take place around a large lump of wet clay. But this is the stuff of so many of Florence Peake’s intensely visceral and richly metaphoric performances. Therefore it was utterly appropriate that the artist finished Empathy Hole, her show at Peckham’s Bosse & Baum Gallery in conversation with curator Adelaide Bannerman while they both simultaneously kneaded, prodded and slapped an earthy elemental lump into ever-changing spontaneous shapes.

The hands-on activity provided an affirming finale to a starkly emotional and characteristically multilayered show which turned the gallery into a dark cave-like space with walls painted dark-brown and marked with clusters of gestural paint-smears, clots of clay and expressive paintings of wailing open-mouthed heads. Dotted throughout were glazed ceramic ‘empathy objects’ which appeared to have been scrunched in anguish.

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Bosse & Baum