Tonnau o Gariad
Rebecca Gould & Iwan Lewis
12th June – 9th July 2021
The welsh title of the show Tonnau o Gariad translates to Waves of Love, which suggests a persistent and unquestionable energy that always prevails, however living on an island hidden away from society means there are pitfalls.
Maybe the love referred to in the title also encompasses what it means to be an artist for both of us. Living on this remote island means we are dislocated from any artistic community, we only have each other. We have this abstract idea of love for a landscape which offers us a space to think, however the situation can be bleak. This isolation brings us closer to the materiality of our works and the transformative power of creating, like the anchorite – sequestered from society yet sitting in the very heart of it. We are alone together.
Our belonging to this land and the belongings we create are a love letter to things; of making things solid, of materiality and the fleshy failures of being human, of trying to survive, to continue making and also raising a family, living within a team effort – caring for each other – this blanket of care remaking domesticity as a sanctuary against late capitalism.
Studio Cybi is an artist-led projects run by Rebecca Gould and Iwan Lewis. It was set up in 2016 out of a desire to collaborate with other artists. The ambitions of the project is to carry on in as many different configurations as possible and develop a far reaching community.
Colour and line both take precedence in my process of making, however the content or subject matter of the work normally governs the direction of what I’m going to do. It’s not always crystal clear, the alchemy of paint can often redirect the inquiry, both ritual process and critical thinking merge and contort to realise some kind of form, often informed by external cultural references, this form amalgamates into some kind of story telling or allegory, however they remain fragile with no beginning or end. The past and present merge into a vivid, oozing slime, history is never fully trusted, instead it waits to be misread and moulded into some kind of incantation.
I’m interested in concepts of labour, capital and daily rituals, a moulding of materiality – a messy, sticky, visceral pleasure of form. These quilts are large sculptural objects weighted with time and labor, the invisible gestures of care giving made visible. Our everyday rituals: brushing my children’s hair, cleaning their teeth, make up the fabric of my life. These domestic acts of repetitive caring, these ‘ordinary acts of devotion’ mean the value transmitted through the gestures of the human touch become markers of time passing. I wanted to make things solid and functional, to be in control of things in a visceral way, aggressively inhabiting a space by simply unfolding, by sewing I’m holding it together, keeping the separate elements firm.