‘Devotional Songs’, Rosie Edwards

HS Projects is delighted to present Devotional Songs, an exhibition of new and recent work by the 2022 Mark Tanner Sculpture Award recipient, Rosie Edwards.

Devotional Songs is an installation of loosely assembled elements that have all been wrapped in twine, by hand, by the artist. On display, here are forms born of the artist’s most recent findings: pop–up laundry baskets, a bundle of hula hoops, a discarded hose, cardboard tubes, empty yarn cones. The serendipitous encounter with such objects outside their intended context, reveals them in a new light. Freed from the limitations of their previously assigned function, they are released into the realm of pure material – of sculpture. The finding of these ready-made ‘gifts’, insights a glimmer of the miraculous which causes a stirring in the artist: a sort of spiritual communion in which objects appear to proclaim an answer to a question not yet had, and which seem to propose a challenge – which the artist devoutly obliges.

The wrapping or winding of these components in twine is a repetitive process. It is a disciplined, ascetic act: the optic pattern drawn across each surface is evidence of time spent in communion. The continuous rhythm of winding, though laborious, calms the mind. As the optic pattern begins to form, one enters into its groove: surface thoughts and worries slip away, allowing the mind to dance and play unhindered, creating a transcendental charge between the object and the maker.

Devotional Songs can be seen as a ‘combined intention’, or Sankalpa, formed not by the heart and mind but between the artist and objects. This installation sees a departure from the artist’s previous plaster sculptures. Made largely at home, after dark, they have a different energy, a greater intimacy. The individual structures, which make up this installation, are sculpturally light, insubstantial, their improvised nature and simple phrasing more akin to dance or drawing than sculpture. The collective hum of these quiet voices, chimeric and vibrating – as if in the process of transforming – is perhaps a calling towards a lighter way of being.

Edwards sees her sculptural practice as a collaboration with found objects, pure geometries and external limiting factors. She seeks to outsource creative decisions by following the prompts held within the objects and forms she encounters, which impart their own formatting or logic. Operating within this guise of extreme neutrality (quashing her own intentions), she follows their leads. In doing so, Edwards challenges the power of Objective Chance to reveal its teaching and gives voice to the poetry of its code.

Rosie Edwards studied BA Fine Art Textiles at Goldsmiths College, London (2002-2005) and MA Mixed Media Textiles at Royal College of Art, London (2010-2012). Recent solo exhibitions include: Genetic Material, Mark Tanner Sculpture Award Exhibition, Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre / Standpoint Gallery, London / Cross Lane Projects, Kendal (2022) touring solo show; A Real Job, Wearite clothing factory, Tottenham, London (2018); Light Materialty, Second Home, Hanbury Street, London ((2014); Everything Must Go!, Thomas Brothers DIY, Archway, London (2014); Hoard, A Million Miles a Minute; Windows project, Archway, London, Commissioned by Arts Council England and A.I.R. (2013).

‘Devotional Songs’ is at Howick Place from June 2023 to December 2023.

Rosie Edwards