‘Be Like Mike’, Chris Cawkwell

HS Projects is delighted to present ‘Be Like Mike’, an exhibition of new and recent work by Chris Cawkwell.

‘athletes around the world, we all have a crazy dream?
but, what are you gonna do to accomplish your crazy dream? you see, not all of us have eyes to see
not all of us have feet to walk
not all of us have hands to hold
but I know all of us have a heart of gold
so, what area you gonna do to accomplish your crazy dream? what are you gonna do?
’cause I know what I’m gonna do
I’m gonna do it
so, Just Do It’
– Demarjay Smith, NIKE ‘Just Do It’ campaign, June 2018

Nike is ubiquitous with basketball thanks to celebrity brand incarnate Michael Jordan. As brands continue to make inroads into the public domain through sponsorships of state schools, community sports teams and public space – swooshes and ‘Just Do It.’ slogans are a common place; adorning billboards; trainers; clothes; basketball courts; buildings; Instagram feeds (and navels).

Be Like Mike explores the material plenitude of brands such as Nike, and how the brand has transcended sport to encompass lifestyle choice(s) and politics. It is no longer a choice of this brand or that brand, we are buying into the dream, and the dream of celebrity such as Michael Jordan. The dream that our lives will somehow be enriched, even though we are poorer having spent our money.

Cawkwell’s work explores global marketing and consumer culture utilising contemporary technologies, performative and interactive elements to critique the social systems and processes which operate around us and highlight the rate at which products are consumed and commodified.

Born in Leicester 1985, Chris Cawkwell graduated with a Masters in Fine Art from Wimbledon College of Art in 2012. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, including Vandal, The Fitzrovia Gallery, London (2023); The Exhibition, The Artists Contemporary, Hackney Downs Studios, London (2021); You Are What You Eat, Bohunk Institute, Nottingham (2016); Tokyo Wonder Site’s creator in residence program (2012); Project India (Asia Arts Projects & the 1%-ers art collective (2011). Cawkwell has completed residency programs at the Bohunk Institute, Nottingham, in preparation for solo show Sensorama (2013); Tokyo Wonder Site, Aoyama, (2012); Space 118, Mumbai, (2011). His work forms part of the permanent collection at Space 118. He is a founding member and director of non-profit, artist-led space (and collective) ArtLacuna, based in Clapham Junction, London.


‘Be Like Mike’ is at 12 Hammersmith Grove from July 2023 to February 2024.





‘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.

‘Arachnophobia and Other Tales’

HS Projects is delighted to present ‘Arachnophobia and Other Tales’, a multi-media exhibition of new work by BA students from Reading School of Art comprising painting, film, sculpture and installation.

The themes the artists are exploring are multi-faceted and touch on a multitude of contemporary issues from imagined realities, nostalgia, fragility, desire and grief to diaspora, identity and the male gaze. They offer multiple narratives that invoke the human condition and become witnesses to the complex reality of our contemporary era.

Ariel Kwong’s Domain Film, 00:10 explores immersive experience, through digital sculpture and animation to create a space of contemplation in between the virtual and reality, a set of 3D image and calculated geometry in the flow of the smoke. The film shows the artist’s interest in the trajectory of transformation in art media within art history and explores the materiality of media through a digital work.

Cerys Cartwright is interested in the relationship between memory, experience, and imagined realities, manipulating her personal connection to them through her practice. Her paintings Falling Flowers are an attempt of holding onto a memory: a series of graphical floral shapes represents both the memory of the object, the gift giver, and the refusal to let any object she deems precious go to waste.

Holly Jones’ practice explores the boundaries between reality and fantasy via the lending of space in the modern world for bodies of work that could seemingly only appear in dreams. Her work is made to be experienced, not just viewed, regardless of whether the reactions from the physical encounters are positive or negative. In her soft sculpture Arachnophobia the ridiculousness of the fabric is juxtaposed with the freakiness of the creature, exploring this fine line between repulsion and charm.

Diaspora, identity and hoarding behaviours underpin Jasmine Khatani’s film Home based in her Nan’s house and featuring elements of a typical Indian household, layered with the collections of useless items kept within the house. Using heavy layering of film and audio throughout the film, Khatani meshes together Indian relics and sentimental objects and juxtaposes them with the repeated imagery of plastic bags – an object made for disposal, repurposed.

Megan Hill’s video The Orb uses humor to explore the ironic and relentless nature of the desire to attain a certain mental or physical thing which, once achieved, does not provide everything we had hoped for, leaving us chasing something else, into an endless cycle. The character is searching for a great new idea for an artwork, once attained, however, the magnitude of it starts to diminish, and she starts thinking of other wants and desires. The once brilliant idea seems dull in comparison, illustrated by opening the orb of desire and it being merely a regular watermelon.

Serge Fradin De La Renaudiere practices a categorical fidelity to the boundless – an inherent longing for a formless state, in which lies balance. So that the line that is interwoven through the substance creates a seamlessness within the chaos of such work; being the synchronous dichotomy between that of an ugly and conversely, a lovely – in which the equilibrium is formed as ‘nothing is so opposed to the beautiful as the disgusting’.

Tilly Flory’s practice has guided her to a deeper understanding of the experience of grief. Her painting Shrouded in Folds was made to represent the experience of life becoming internalised while one processes grief, as well as a transition from the person they were before to the person they become after encountering loss. Grief is similar to that of a caterpillar entering its chrysalis and emerging as something changed, perhaps more complex than it once was.

Jasmin Geary’s work focuses on the human condition and how society dictates this, finding more joy from a strikingly melancholy portrait than a picturesque landscape. Carou-sell Yourself exists as an oxymoron, partnering nostalgia with vulgarity to represent the uneasiness of the male gaze in today’s society. There is a fine line between a celebration of life and a freak show; to which the audience is left delicately tight roping.

‘Arachnophobia and Other Tales’ is at Thames Tower, Reading, from 12th December 2022 – June 2023.