Braced Exhibition

Small Blue Thing

By Lucy Cowling & Andrew Price

Artists: Nancy Allen, Teal Griffin, Harry Grundy, Yoojin Lee

Private view:
Thursday, 8th February, 6–9pm

Exhibition dates:
9th – 25th February, 2024

Small Blue Thing is a group show of four early-career, UK-based artists whose practices share an interest in the poetics of everyday objects and contexts. Through sculpture, painting and installation, the artists attend to the resonances of small things. Each reconfigures the familiar as a source of surprise, a space to dream, full of intrigue, humour, or pathos. They encourage viewers to renegotiate their perceptions of the world outside of the gallery, and to ponder how the most banal of things welcome human complexity. The artworks in Small Blue Thing are catalysts for mind-wandering – a particular form of attention too often lost in a culture demanding our constant activation, with no time to stand and stare

Lucy Cowling is an independent curator and contemporary art producer living and working in London. She has programmed exhibitions, performances, workshops and events at organisations including Chisenhale Art Place, DKUK, Goldsmiths CCA, Kunstraum and SEAGER. Together with Mark Couzens she runs Kip, a project space in South East London, which opened in January 2024. Since 2018 she has co-directed Against the Run of Play, alongside Sophie Bownes and Alice Ongaro. Against the Run of Play commissions artist projects, participatory events and new writing with a focus on female, non-binary and queer engagement with football and sports culture more broadly. Lucy graduated with an MFA in Curating from Goldsmiths University in 2019 and completed a Liberal Arts and Sciences BA at Amsterdam University College in 2015.

Andrew Price lives and works in London. He is an independent curator and Artist Associate at Lisson Gallery with experience working on exhibitions, publications, commissions and live programming for arts organisations including Lisson Gallery, SEAGER, Goldsmiths CCA, Barbican Art Gallery, Tate Modern, Chisenhale Art Place and artists’ studios. Recent curatorial projects include ‘What you will watch and hear’ (performance programme), Lisson Gallery, London; and ‘Yoojin Lee: Standby, the light wavers’ (solo exhibition and public programme), SEAGER, London (2022). Andrew completed an MFA in Curating from Goldsmiths University in 2019 and a BA in Culture, Criticism, and Curation from Central Saint Martins in 2014.

Working predominantly with sculpture and drawing, Nancy Allen’s artworks contain and embrace. With an attitude more closely resembling an open palm than a strong handshake or fist, the works openly reveal the processes of their making and the joy therein. Often rudimentary casting processes are used – not pouring and curing, but embodying a form by compression of one material against another, or through a parallel process of making composite rubbings when paper abuts uneven and textured surfaces. Plucked from the obscurity of markets and online auctions, objects are treated as material, being crushed, inlaid or woven into behaviours previously unknown to them. An interplay of decoration and functionality emerges in these sculptures whose commitment to understanding and responding to the needs of constituent parts is centred, but also seemingly aware of and welcoming onlookers.

Nancy Allen (b.1992) lives and works in London. She graduated from the RA Schools in 2023 and most recently exhibited in exhibitions ‘Chin Chin’, Gallery Dasein, Shenzhen, China, ‘Ubiquitous No.14’, Tube Gallery, Palma de Mallorca, Spain and ‘Something Seasonal’, Torbay Gallery, Hackney.

Teal Griffin’s (b. 1988, UK) practice is characterised by self-reflective investigations into the poetics and aesthetics of memory, often drawing from lived experiences, in attempt to tap into contemporary and pervasive feelings of loss and longing within an uncertain future. The work seeks the quiet spaces of waiting and listening, constellations of the found, encountered and experienced are cultivated and nurtured; objects become surrogates, and fragments are reconstituted to form new wholes. Through a process of bricolage, he orchestrates a wide range of media, technique and scale, to create installations and assemblage of objects and figures frozen or paralysed in time, in which an atmosphere of contemplation, anxiety and lost-ness merge. He completed a BA in Fine Art at Newcastle University in 2011 and more recently graduated from the MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths in 2018.

Recent shows include:

Neptune’s Laundrette (with Charles Harrison) Artlacuna, London 2023; Bardo, Apiece gallery, Vilnius 2022; The Palliative Turn, Künstlerhaus Bremen, Bremen 2022; Sandman Mattresses (with Charles Harrison), London, 2021; Sports Casual, Palfrey, London, 2021; Forum: Bread and Games, UglyDuck, London, 2020

Harry Grundy (b.1993) is a Margate based artist working without disciplinary boundaries. Harry is working in the natural world in a deeply unnatural time. He is interested in how the green touches the grey and how human behaviour stirs the two together. With a background in design, ideas are treated with a rigorous honesty and crafted with a graphic eye. Fueled by disagreements with the long-dead Romantics, Harry asks the viewer to look closely and critically at our relationship with this phenomenal world.

Harry has created sculptural editions for Hi Noon Editions and Object Multiple and a book of Poems with Saltstung Press. In September 2023 he presented his first public commissions for the Chester Contemporary in the UK, following a summer residency at Palazzo Mont in Brescia, Italy. He has shown work in Beijing, Brescia, New York, London, Venice and has guest tutored at Kingston University and London College of Communication. Harry has written for Elephant Magazine, AIGA, and Creative Lives in Progress. He graduated from Kingston University in 2016 with first class honours in graphic design and trained as a clown at Albert and Friends Circus School in 2009.

Yoojin Lee works across and in-between performance, installation, text, sound and video to embody ways of becoming and knowing. Her work engages with seemingly quiet, less noticed but persistent forms of resistance and relating that unfold through multiple temporalities, such as sleep, sloth and slowness. She sleeps in London.   

Solo exhibitions include: Standby, the light wavers, Seager, London, UK (2022); slowth (habitats), Titanik, Turku, FI (2020); As long as there is time to sleep, bb15, Linz, AT (2018). Other selected presentations have taken place at: Centrale Fies, Dro, IT (2023); Agora du coeur des sciences, UQAM, Montreal, CA (2023); Nest, The Hague, NL (2022); Ada X, Montreal, CA (2022); arebyte, London, UK (2019); Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea, UK (2019). Recent residencies and fellowships include: Live Works Vol. 10 Fellowship, Centrale Fies, Dro, IT (2023); The Sociability of Sleep, Université de Montréal and McGill University, Montreal, CA (2023); London Performance Studios, London, UK (2022).

About Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop and the Workshop Foundation:

Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop is an exhibition and residency space in London and unique in its approach to bringing artists and their practices to the public. They support a diverse range of emerging and mid-career contemporary artists by providing them with space and time to develop their practice, network within our growing community, be mentored by team members and crucially be introduced to their expansive network of collectors, art educators, professionals and visitors.

Through their residency programmes and exhibitions, they give artists, curators and theorists a platform to present work and share ideas as well as creating an environment for freethinking and exchange.

They have now organised more than 40 exhibitions with over 120 artists and curators, with 10 exhibitions and 25 artists in residence a year, drawing in international audiences and participants, as well as being a local landmark in the community of Kensington and Chelsea and its surrounds.

Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop was founded in 2015 by artist Stacie McCormick in a former builder’s merchant.



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