SerfnTurf exhibition at Serf artists' community and project space, Leeds

Added on by Miguel Sopena.

I am very excited to have the chance to exhibit alongside fellow studio holders from Turf Projects in Croydon at the SerfnTurf group exhibition which opens this Friday (11 January) at Serf artists' community and project space in Leeds. SerfnTurf is a collaboration between Serf and Turf artists by which each group will exhibit in the other one's space- Serf artists are expected to follow up shortly with their own show at Turf Projects.


The starting point for our production process was given by the definitions:

// Serf (n): an agricultural labourer bound by the feudal system who was tied to working on his lord's estate.
Turf (n): grass and the surface layer of earth held together by its roots. //

From here we had a group conversation ranging from the status of labour under capitalism to the working conditions of artists and the feasibility of setting up an alternative economy. Personally (and probably influenced by recent readings of Tolstoy and Chekhov) I was immediately taken by the symbolism of the land, agricultural work, the rhythm of the seasons and the natural world, which have all had a massive influence on artists but which, perhaps paradoxically, we modern city dwellers seem to exist in complete isolation from. Labour in the fields has long been represented by farming implements so I found myself making a large number of miniature scythes and trying out ways to combine them into a 3D piece. I'm sure Giacometti's influence was there somewhere in my subconscious.

The Square, mixed media on canvas (2019)

The Square, mixed media on canvas (2019)

SerfnTurf opens at Serf on 11 January 6-9pm (23-25 Wharf Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 7EQ, you can see a map here) and will stay open until Sun 27 January. Everybody's welcome to come to the opening but if you plan to attend drop me a line so I'm expecting you. Hope to see you there!

UPDATE: I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Leeds (my first visit to the city) and it was lovely to meet members of the Serf collective who were incredibly friendly and welcoming to us Turf visitors. Serf occupies an amazing open plan space under a beautiful gabled ceiling with one end of the space designated as the exhibition area. The opening was packed (Serf reported that many attendees were new to the space, which is great news) and a lot of fun. I was sad to come back to London after a detour to Hull in order to drop off two pieces from my Valencia series for the 2019 Ferens Gallery Open (more info in an upcoming post). A big thanks from here to the Serf collective, can’t wait to welcome them at Turf Projects.