We are delighted to announce a new and exciting Second Chapter to Anna Perach and Anousha Payne's collaborative exhibition, As She Laughs. Chapter One saw three large figurative sculptures hung with ceramic and tufted limbs. These 'characters' were formed of the multiple mythologies that inspire both artists' practices; female protagonists undergoing transformation. The Second Chapter sees the disintegration of these characters, the limbs no longer confined by the rattan structures that contained them but instead propelled outwards onto the surrounding walls. Initially a coven of female forms on the cusp of change it is as though they have finally fulfilled their metamorphic potential.
The central sculpture alone remains the same. This giant head acts as a centrifugal force within the space, the wooden fronds that emerge from the mouth an expression of the inadvertent spilling of one's true feelings. A catalyst of disruption this sculpture appears to have atomised the other works. On one wall the dislocated body parts are still in limbo, both repelling and attracting each other like magnetic filings in the act of coming together. On the other two walls the body parts have merged to form dynamic, bestial forms that crawl across the gallery walls.
Speaking directly to our own fluctuating states of being, they ask us to confront 'the terrible intimacy of the nonhuman with us and to accept this difference that rubs up against and inside us.' (1) Initially playing with the surrealist premise of the exquisite corpse this new exhibition pushes the concept further. The very existence of a new chapter implies potentially endless further iterations in which the works evolve, mutate and re-form. A challenge to the art world's determination to fix artworks in one commercially legible format the work is more importantly a debarring of the myth of one 'true' impermeable ego. Legitimizing the hackneyed phrase 'greater than the sum of their parts' they form a new mythology that defies an insular, binary, concrete reading of self.
(1) Rebecca Tamás, 'On Hospitality', Strangers: Essays on the Human and Nonhuman (October 2020), published by Makina Books