Dependent Rational Animals
Posted on 19/06/2013
13 July – 22 September 2013
Consuming an entire gallery space, Dependent Rational Animals is an installation within an installation situating sculptures within paintings, and paintings within sculptures, by artists Sally Underwood and Roxy Walsh. In a play on scale and space, large-scale watercolour wall drawings become a backdrop for a towering timber-framed sculpture shingled with leather and a nine-sided igloo constructed from wood and wool. Within these soft shelters, smaller paintings can be looked at secretly and slowly, away from the open gallery.
Dependent Rational Animals is the first collaboration between Underwood and
Walsh, that began in 2012 as IGLOO in the off-site programme of NN Contemporary
Art Northampton, developed further for Globe Gallery in Newcastle, and has now
evolved into its most ambitious iteration at Towner.
The artists are interested in how sculpture makes space for painting and how
paintings hold the interior of a sculpture. Their concept draws on unusual displays of
paintings in museums like the Sir John Soane Museum where works are mounted on
moveable panels, or Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum where paintings project at
right angles from the walls. The title of the exhibition derives from a book of the same
name by Alasdair MacIntyre who perceives vulnerability as a central feature of
human life. The “virtues of dependency” that he sees as a necessity for individuals to
flourish, are reflected in Underwood and Walsh’s collaborative working methods and
the interdependence of the works in the show.
Sally Underwood is a sculptor who has exhibited in the UK and Europe including
Gagosian Gallery, Sadlers’ Wells and Seventeen Gallery in London; and Station 21,
Zurich. Roxy Walsh is a painter whose work has shown in the UK, Europe and the
US including Galerie Peter Zimmerman, Mannheim; Annika Sundvik Gallery, New
York; Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin and Milton Keynes Gallery. She has been awarded
many residences and fellowships including in 2000 at the British School in Rome.
Dependent Rational Animals is accompanied by a 32pp publication presenting the
development of the project, with writing by novelist Anne Enright. It is available from mid-
Events for Dependent Rational Animals
Friday 26 July, 11am – 3pm: Sally Underwood and Roxy Walsh lead a workshop in a new
definition of drawing involving participants’ own bodies.
Sunday 22 September, 2pm: Sally Underwood and Roxy Walsh in conversation.
Tuesday 6 August, 12.30pm: exhibition curator Sanna Moore leads a free tour of the
Wednesday 21 August, 6-8pm artist Susan Diab leads a tour around Dependent Rational
Animals. For artists and members of the Blue Monkey Artists’ Network.