ANDROMEDAN SAD GIRL
Andromedan Sad Girl is the first major collaborative exhibition by artists Florence Peake and Tai Shani.
Drawing on their research into structures of feminism, their immersive installation is an imagining of what a
pre or post patriarchal site could be. Peake and Shani are interested in exploring the fluid mythologies and
imagined futures of lost civilizations. The artists take an archaeological excavation as a point of departure to
imagine and represent non-hierarchal, pre-historical or futuristic civilizations, imagined through ambitious
new sculptural works and wall paintings.
The installation marks a conceptual collaboration between the two artists, with Tai Shani’s sculptures
surrounded by Florence Peake’s paintings. Drawing on her performance practice, Peake has collaborated
with dancer Eve Stainton to generate the new fresco paintings. By drawing around each other’s bodies on
the horizontal surface, before painting on the panels vertically, the work suggests a plurality of abstract
embodiment and vibrating temporality. Tai Shani’s work occupies the central gallery space and frames the
gallery entrance with vibrant symbolic sculptures; technicolour, psychedelic interpretations of mystical
objects and ritualistic architecture.
The installation, which has transformed Wysing’s gallery, privileges sensation. Entering the space, the visitor
crosses a voluminous threshold towards an altar, flanked enigmatically by long hybrid arms, both human
and animal. Sculptures are flocked to create soft and sensuous objects, and walls have been painted with
a vivid and gestural application of coloured plaster and ceramics. Using multilayered elements, including
sound, the whole installation takes the visitor to a highly theatrical space and invites them to rest inside
this immersive environment. The sound, with vocals from Florence Peake and produced in collaboration
with recent artist residency and composer Maxwell Sterling, suggests a pre-linguistic dimension where
speech is not yet acquired, but open.
Florence Peake was an artist in residence at Wysing in 2016 and Tai Shani was in residence at Wysing in the
summer of 2017. Andromedan Sad Girl is situated in Wysing’s wider artistic programme for 2017, Wysing
Pictures: Wilf Speller