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Julie Cockburn & Noé Sendas


14.03 - 15.05.2021


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Press release

Julie Cockburn & Noé Sendas – Unknowns 14.03 – 30.04.2021

In the exhibition “Unknowns” Julie Cockburn presents new work in her ongoing series of portraits, landscapes. Cockburn uses craft techniques of embroidery, collage, screen printing and flocking to add her own personal visual language to carefully sourced found second-hand photographs. Formal composition plays a key role in the original photographs that Cockburn chooses. In addition to colour, texture and meaning, composition is also fundamental to the decisions she makes when executing her transformations.

Cockburn’s whole practice has a meditative quality – one can see the attention to detail and hours required for the perfected needlework. In a tumultuous world where one is bombarded daily with the fragility of order and life itself, perhaps it is the space ‘in between’ where we can find solace.

“The works in the exhibition ‘Unknowns’ are from my ongoing series of portraits and landscapes. Seen through the prism of this pandemic, they seem to have taken on a different mantle. Everything I make seems to reflect or respond to or illustrate or be enveloped by the virus; the figures appear distorted through the Covid-19 lens; the embroidered, floating spheres that litter the landscapes seem both benign and malevolent. The beauty of the stitches and the colours and the shapes read more uncomfortably than they did before. If we take the photographs to represent a form of reality, my interventions expose the fault lines in the rose-tinted images presented in the original photos of place and person.

But there is also joy in the work. The embroidered graphics that fracture the family portraits also evoke a connected harmony The heavy, black, layered strata obscuring the bottom part of a landscape photograph are countered by the appearance of blossom, surely a sign of hope and renewal.”

Julie Cockburn

Julie Cockburn’s (°1966, UK) works are represented in renowned collections such as the Akzo Nobel Art Foundation, The Netherlands; Art In Embassies, USA; British Land, London, UK; Caldic Collection, The Netherlands; Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery John Jones, London, UK; Miniature Museum of Contemporary Art, The Netherlands; Pier 24, San Francisco, USA; The Arts Club, Dover Street, London, UK; The Ivy, London, UK; The Wellcome Collection, London, UK; Yale Center For British Art, USA.

In this exhibition “Unknowns” Noé Sendas shows the “Crystal Girls” and “Peep” series that result in black and white prints on rugged paper, facsimileing original photographs from the last century.

The assemblages often induce a certain environment or atmosphere. Single and even more as a “field”, they perform as cores of recovered glamour, they operate like diaphanous retinas to an imagery full of taste, noble gesture, exclusive forms, cultural crosslinks and beneath all a deep unsettledness.

The almost dogmatic absence of any visible face – all of them are hidden, eroded or covered – even amplifies their vulnerable noblesse. Sendas points out: “All my manipulated photographs are faceless or, as I like to say, Nameless”–“as if they had just been found at the archaeology site of Glamour”.

“ My work is about human relationships. Love, trust, and even despair. It’s about finding new cracks in history of representation of human relationships.

I do believe that the powerful positive energy that will be released once this terrible pandemic is over will have a direct reflection on the artist works, including mine, in the years to come. This has been seen before in history as for example after both great wars. For now we the artists just have to keep it together, keep on going and keep on working.”

Noé Sendas

Noé Sendas (°1972, PT) works are represented in renowned collections such as Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Collection, Lisbon, P; EDP Foundation Collection, Lisbon, P; Contretype Centre d`Art Contemporain pour la Photographie Collection, Brussels, B; CAV Foundation Collection, Coimbra, P, Ar.Co (Centro de Arte e Comunicacao) Collection, Lisbon, P; MEIAC Museum Collection, Badajoz, S; MAR – Museu de Arte do Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Susanne von Meiss Collection, Sw; Raquel Ponce Art Collection, Madrid, S; Charlotte Olympia, London, UK; BESart – Banco Espírito Santo – NOVO BANCO Collection, Lisbon, P; Cristina Guerra Art Collection, Lisbon, P; DGARTES Instituto das Artes Collection, P; John Bock, Julian Rosenfeldt, Juliao Sarmento, Santiago Ydanez, artists collections.