Thoughts That Smell Like Memories
14 October – 23 December
Extended until Friday 3 February 2023
Handel Street Projects is pleased to present a second exhibition with the gallery of works by Lucy Heyward, curated by Dr Jo Melvin.
Without being blatant Heyward’s recent work mines a latent biographical sensibility. She combines the texture of materials – glass, cloth, bone, grape stalks, wood, plaster – to create a rich concertina of recollection. She uses drawing, photography, film, sculpture and responds to functional, manufactured objects for example a large-scale drawing, ‘Perimeter’ is generated by a desk. Organic forms are equally present in her practice. The sculpture ‘Interloper’ is constructed from grape stalks. Heyward conjures with potent rhizomatic or specific memories, which may resonate in the mind of the viewer. Sound and duration are explicit or implicit in her work.
‘Where I start is usually far away from where I end’ – and yet in a mysterious and non-procedural way, the beginning invokes those as yet to be defined states, shifts and non-sequiturs through their unfolding resolutions. And then the ‘object’ beheld alludes to unfolding, backwards and forwards, to the past and to the leaping shift into what might equally concretise or slip away.
In works such as ‘Perimeter’, ‘Sundial’, ‘Heatwave, ‘Interloper’ so much is contained in so little or apparently slight, it makes us stop in our tracks and rethink, reimagine thought as a spontaneous link with something buried within.
Heyward has always used a wide range of found materials and in recent years video and photography. Her objects and imagery derive directly from the world as it exists, not from the recesses of a private imagination that must search itself to produce the substance of invented images. The object’s tangible substance yields pragmatically in our encounter with it. An artist who combines material with memory and finitude in a similar way to Heyward, is Laura Grisi with her attempt to give a parameter for the impossible, in projects like counting grains of sand in the desert, arranging pebbles, capturing the sound of water, the wind, drips and so on. Heyward’s subtle inclusion of duration and its incumbent sounds whether inherent or implied are always present. It brings us back to the factual, how long does it take to make a work. This one unit of time in Heyward’s work is divisible and multiplied in an infinite combination of immersive recollection and dislodged feeling. Like something elastic it can always stretch and rebound.
Lucy Heyward was born in London. After graduating from the MA course at Goldsmiths Heyward showed in many group exhibitions including Laure Genillard Gallery, MACRO Rome, Whitechapel Open, Arnolfini Gallery, The Approach, National Museum of Montenegro, VIII Biennal de Jafre, Spoleto Umbria, John Hansard Gallery, Gasworks, Chisenhale Gallery, Woolworth Building New York, Handel Street Projects and solo shows at Dundee Contemporary Arts and Artsway New Forest. She was artist in residence at Camden Arts Centre, and has been a recipient of awards from the Rootstein Hopkins Foundation and the London Arts Board.
Dr Jo Melvin is Professor of Fine Art and Feminism at Chelsea College of Art, UAL.