Friday, 18 January 2013

AirSpace Graduate Residency Show #1 - Adam Grüning "Designed For Life"

For the last six months, AirSpace has hosted two recent graduates, Adam Grüning and Adam Kelly,  as part of our new Graduate Residency Programme - an artist development scheme which offers new graduates free studio space, monthly support meetings and that all-important chance for a first solo show.

Throughout their time, both Adams have seen the nuts and bolts, the good and the bad and the highs and the lows of life in an artist-run gallery and studios. They've had the chance to exhibit in our window space, co-managed the AirSpace 2012 Studio Show, attended Frieze Art Fair and several TPWM events and got involved in Stoke's contemporary art festival, Conjunction '12. Now, at the end of their time comes their solo shows.

First up is Adam Grüning, and his exhibition, "Designed For Life

The show, spanning the two main gallery spaces and the window space is a mixture of photography and mixed media installation, exploring our modern relationship with objects and space, invoking notions of design, shopping and leisure-time, lifestyle and an idea of nature versus culture.

"This Will Go Well With", in Gallery 1 takes the form of four photographic vinyl prints depicting their respective, seemingly arbitrary, arrangements of objects beneath each of them. The objects range from the everyday (a video cassette) through to leisure (a boxing glove) to the kitsch (a porcelain siamese cat). Each tableau is meticulously arranged to recreate the image in the print above. Adam talks of being interested in how contemporary life seems to revolve around the purchasing of objects and the consumption of imagery.

Moving into Gallery 2, the theme of consumerism is continued, as we are confronted with several assorted houseplants, of the sort whose natural environment is B&Q or IKEA, as well as three large manipulated images depicting some of the plants and various household gadgets, such as blenders and liquidisers in alternative use as plant pots or holders. 

In "The Trichotomy of Everyday Life", Adam ascribes a sense of the inauthentic to this piece of work. The TV and houseplant setup and the unmistakeable smell of "Mountain Breeze" or "Woodland Glade" air freshener gives the viewer the feel of the "show-home" - an unnatural or fake representation of a real-life situation.

"Designed For Life" continues until Saturday 19th January.

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