Duke of York’s HQ
25 July to 18 August 2019
On 25 July the Saatchi Gallery will open Alchemy in the Prints & Originals Gallery. The exhibition showcases new works by three artists – Broken Fingaz, Carrie Reichardt and Helen Bur.
Alchemy was a branch of natural philosophy that featured in many cultures around the world. It is most closely associated with attempts to transform base metals into more valuable noble metals. Both alchemy and art are each often perceived as blends of science, magic, mythology and religion. Within this exhibition the artists utilise base materials and transform these into more valued works of art. The artists use various elements to transform abstract ideas and emotions into physical works of beauty.
The works of the art collective Broken Fingaz defy easy categorisation. The artists constantly explore new themes and new media. For this exhibition, the collective created new works focusing on the classic female nude in art history, but through their psychedelic prism, searching for a way to communicate with the past while questioning how we look at female bodies now.
The work of Carrie Reichardt is often strident and bold. The artist uses her craft skills to produce beautiful creations that invariably have a strong message. The artist often deploys found objects and existing imagery to champion ideas such as social justice and opportunity for all, as well as to hold authority to account.
Helen Bur creates works of thoughtfulness and reflection. People are the focal point in the work of the artist. Often, figures are seen interacting with their environment suggesting that each is seeking to understand something more about themselves. The artist skilfully conveys more than simply a depiction of flesh, bone and organs. These are works that invite you to consider the inner thoughts of the subjects and then similarly reflect on your own body, environment and existence.
Brief Biographies of the Artists
Broken Fingaz is an art collective founded in Israel in 2001. The artists started out writing graffiti and designing posters for local music venues but now their output extends to almost every medium, from animation to installation works. The collective have exhibited in the UK, Europe, USA and Asia.
In its radical permanence, the work of Carrie Reichardt has a temporality that stands in contrast to the ephemerality of other forms of urban contemporary art. Drawing on her skills in ceramics and printing, Reichardt has pioneered an influential new aesthetic – which she describes as a form of “ceramic collage.” In addition to exhibiting internationally Carrie was Artist-in-Residence at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in 2018.
Helen Bur divides her practice between the studio and the street. Her studio works are typically executed in oil on canvas and focus upon the human figure and its relationship with the space surrounding it. The artist also paints large-scale murals on street walls. Her works have been exhibited and created throughout the UK as well as in Europe and South America.
About the Curator
Olly Walker, the founder of Ollystudio, has cultivated a reputation for curating strong shows and artistic collaborations for a range of clients. In addition to the curation of a number of high profile gallery shows in London and Berlin, Olly has collaborated with brands such as Levi’s Vintage Clothing, Converse, Orange and artists like Vhils, JR, Nick Walker, Paul Insect, Ben Turnbull, Mode 2, Ben Eine, D-Face, WK Interact and Alexander McQueen. Ollystudio has designed books for some of the best artists in the world and worked with influential galleries such as Saatchi Gallery, Urban Nation and Lazarides.