Jo Coupe: All That Fall: WORKPLACE LONDON

19 May - 8 July 2017

Jo Coupe
All That Fall

 

19 May – 8 July 2017

WORKPLACE LONDON
61 Conduit Street, Mayfair
London, W1S 2GB
Thursdays to Saturdays, 10 – 6pm

 

WORKPLACE is pleased to announce All That Fall, the first solo exhibition of Jo Coupe at Workplace London.
Bringing together Jo Coupe’s diverse sculptural practice in a wide variety of materials and media, All That Fall
explores Coupe’s ongoing interest in the relationship between science and magic.

 

Informed by investigations into the Natural Sciences, religion, and ritualistic belief systems such as Louisiana
Voodoo, Coupe’s interest in the paranormal has led to periods of research into diverse environments ranging from
the industrial to the historical and the domestic. As such, her work shifts towards an analysis of objects and
materials, and of the physical, cultural and metaphorical forces at play that pervade the meanings we commonly
ascribe to them. Her work takes on a political significance by conflating opposing positions of hard science with folk
ritual and the stereotypically gendered environments of heavy industry and the home.

 

Utilising the homespun experimental methodologies of the amateur scientist to recreate supernatural manifestations
and transient natural phenomena, Coupe employs her holistic knowledge of the natural world to create sculpture
that finds both poetic resonance and a precarious instability in its material form or method of becoming.

 

Solid Air is a large-scale installation made from ladders, string and magnets. Activating the space between the
gallery wall and ordinary domestic objects, Coupe engages our childlike fascination with magnetism. Anchored to a
configuration of stepladders, metal discs tied to the opposite end of the string are pulled magically toward the wall of
the gallery causing them to float weightlessly in attraction. The architectural qualities of the stepladders are
enhanced by the linear qualities of the taut string, which combine to map a complex and colourfully trembling matrix
between a powerfully charged field beyond the wall, and the commonplace and functional resting on the floor.

 

Four tiny bronze sculptures - two birds, a rat’s head, and a shrew - lie dead on steel slabs, low on the gallery floor.
Their blunt presence is countered by the delicate intricacies of their surface. Anatomical details such as hair, ribs and
even veins under the skin are visible, pulling the viewer down into their Lilliputian world. This on-going series of found
dead animals have been collected and stored by Coupe in their family freezer amongst the ice cream and other
plats-de-demain. Cast at home using jewellery-casting techniques Coupe creates miniature monuments that tease
our fascination with death through repulsion and curiosity.

 

Bleed Now is a floral collage created from 180 year old botanical copper plate illustrations. Each print has been
painstakingly cut out by scalpel and separated into constituent parts (leaves, stems, fruit, flowers, roots etc) before
being reassembled into a new and complete hybrid plant and pinned against the wall by dissection pins. 'Bleed
Now' is a shortened translation of "Blute nur, du liebes Herz" (Bleed now, you dear heart), a passage from Bach's St
Matthew Passion that refers to Judas' betrayal of Jesus. In Bach’s work the phrase is spoken by Cyborea, (Judas'
mother) upon learning of her son's treachery. Coupe’s work refers to cutting and healing, and to the oppositional
forces of destruction and renewal intrinsic in processes of transformation.

 

Crystalline Energy is a large, hand-printed photograph of impossible accumulations of keys, screws, bangles and
coat hangars. Forming strange coral-esque clusters, this assemblage was temporarily built beneath the smelting
rooms at the Alcan Lynemouth Aluminium factory in Northumberland before it was mothballed in 2012.
Documentation of this work was taken before the work was destroyed by a timed power cut from the factory. The
images were taken by pinhole cameras due to the electromagnetic field utilised to purify the aluminium, as
mechanical and digital cameras were rendered obsolete by the powerful forces above.

 

Jo Coupe was born in 1975 in Stoke, UK. She studied Fine Art at Newcastle University and at Goldsmiths, London.
Previous exhibitions include: In and Out of Sight, UH Gallery, Hertfordshire; Easy does it Supercollider, Blackpool;
Pertaining to Things Natural... Chelsea Physic Garden, London; An Archaeology 176, London; Fade Away And
Radiate, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth; Tatton Park Biennial, Give and Take at Firstsite, Colchester, You Shall Know
Our Velocity at BALTIC, Gateshead. She lives and works in Gateshead, UK.
For further information about the exhibition please contact: miles@workplacegallery.co.uk