It's A Soft Hard World

Stephen Nelson

Brain Coral by Stephen Nelson

Brain Coral by Stephen Nelson

8 December to 27 January 2008

EVENT/OPENING: All Welcome
7th December 2007, 6.30-8.30pm.

Closing event: 27th January 2008 4 – 7pm.

A limited edition catalogue associated with the exhibition will be available, featuring texts by Gilane Tawadros and Bernard Walsh.

There will be a Space Capsule affordable edition by Stephen Nelson launched for this exhibition.

Stephen Nelson was the ACE Helen Chadwick Fellow in sculpture in 1999. He has exhibited internationally; including at Whitechapel Art Gallery, The Drawing Room and Camden Arts Centre, London and The British School at Rome. He has curated two shows for The British Council in Eritrea and Tanzania. In 2006, he was part of the group show Thy Neighbours’ Ox 2 at Space Station Sixty-Five. In 2007 he was featured in the book Life is More Important Than Art edited by Gilane Tawadros.

Nelson’s sculptural forms are busy, on the verge of frantic, composed of patterned surface over layers of other patterned surface. Their shapes continue to grow, developing into one another, occasionally touching, aimlessly interconnecting themselves to each other and to other features around the room. There is a sense that they might eventually overrun the space, like bindweed creeping through a neighbour’s fence twisting around and strangling some of the more cultivated plants. Nelson’s artwork does not seem to fit into any straightforward classification, nor does it necessarily dispose itself to subsequent explanation through words, including these words that I am writing now. In many ways its’ purpose might be to remain obtuse, to resist any obvious attempt to say what it means besides what it appears to be. And yet there are moments when it seems to cry out for our attention. It is so carefully constructed and delicately poised. Its’ gesture, pattern and motion makes us want to understand it, to empathise with it, not through any other description, or alternative statement, but through our own sense of attachment to the artworks’ dynamic postulation, its’ independent characteristic.""

Bernard Walsh is Senior Tutor in the Department of Art, Goldsmiths University of London