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Everything That Happens Will Happen Today exhibition will expand your artistic imagination at KARST

A captivating and vibrant selection of contemporary paintings by artists Bernadette Kerrigan, Chris Martin, Daniel Pettitt and EJ Hauser are now available to view at the KARST in Millbay, Plymouth. Made in Plymouth Reporter, Issy Herring, went along to see the exhibition and meet two of the artists.

Everything That Happens Will Happen Today offers visitors an insight into the painterly modes of expression each of these artists uses to make sense of the world through their chosen medium. There are a total of 30 works in the exhibition, aiming to close the gap between each artist’s unique unorthodox portrayal of the world whilst stretching the notions of creative expression. The vast formal and informal themes of diversity and fluctuation in the contemporary world are celebrated, as well as extensive abstract form, alteration in mood, metaphor, index, memory and fragment.

Credit: Dom Moore (Courtesy of KARST)

The walls at KARST bring together US based painters Chris Martin and EJ Hauser alongside UK based Bernadette Kerrigan and Daniel Pettitt to form one collective unit. This exhibition has been supported by Arts Council England and commercial galleries Timothy Taylor, and Haverkampf Leistenschneider, Berlin. 

Everything That Happens Will Happen Today encourages visitors to think outside the box; detailing seemingly apparent and somewhat unexpected influences such as aquatic vertebrate, the relevance of celebrity culture, specific dates in time as well as the tranquil and beautiful landscapes surrounding us. 

‘Seven Pointed Star for Amy Winehouse’ by Brooklyn based Chris Martin depicts the unprecedented emotion surrounding celebrity tragedy in a gracefully abstract setting, whereas Midlands based Bernadette Kerrigan’s ‘Fins to Limbs’ offers a taste of eventual life forms and their individual importance. ‘Forest Dwellers’ by Brooklyn based EJ Hauser encourages the simplicity of life and the notion of existing in a peaceful forest inspired landscape. ‘July’ by London based Daniel Pettitt symbolises his own personal memories, thoughts and feelings through an intimately scaled piece. 

Head of Programme at KARST, Ben Borthwick spoke about collaborating with these four inspirational artists for Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. He said: “One of the best parts of being a curator is working closely with artists to develop something that might not otherwise exist. Sometimes this will be collaborating to create a new artwork, sometimes it will be pulling together existing work into an exhibition that highlights new ideas or interpretations of familiar things.”

Credit: Dom Moore (Courtesy of KARST)

“There are cases like this exhibition, where it is a mix of both new and existing work to explore an idea. We have been discussing the ideas around this show for almost two years, taking it from a proposition to the fully realised exhibition now at KARST.”

Borthwick also discussed why independent creative venues such as KARST are so crucial for Plymouth to thrive as a city: “Plymouth has a particularly strong contemporary art scene for a city our size. In addition to the fantastic institution The Box has become since its expansion, we have two art schools (AUP & UoP) and they each have a gallery doing great work. There are also brilliant community led initiatives like Take A Part, 37 Looe Street, Leadworks and Minerva’s collaboration with Queer District Collective who support local artists.”

“KARST has a particular position within this ecology and aims to bring artists from other parts of the UK or internationally into dialogue with artists and audiences here. In parallel with our gallery, we have 20 studios housing artists based in the city, so our ethos is very much somewhere that work is made as well as shown. Even though Plymouth isn’t a huge city, I think it is the diversity of this mix that makes it such rich and complex scene.”

It appears that Plymouth is also a vital creative hub for the artists in the exhibition too. Following a public walkthrough of the exhibition, Bernadette Kerrigan spoke about what she liked most about the city and what it offers to creatives in the area. Kerrigan said: “The only knowledge I had about Plymouth was that it was bombed in the war, but I think it is beautiful. I’m really surprised by the city, and everybody seems to be happy here. It feels like there is a good energy and you have so much facility to do things. I’ve really loved it – I think it is a great city. I’m quite interested in the architecture in Plymouth, even the blinds in this room could make some beautiful paintings! It feels great to realise something from a thought to a conversation to be supported by KARST all the way through to completion. It is like birthing something in a way!”

Credit: Dom Moore (Courtesy of KARST)

Daniel Pettitt added: “I think we’ve handed the exhibition over now. All four of us have separately made the paintings, not with this specific project in mind, now hung on the gallery walls new conversations between pieces start to spark. Myself and Bernadette worked with Ben to realise the exhibition. We have delivered it to thrive or fail for better or worse. That’s the exciting part.” 

“Whatever you are making and wherever you are doing it, you are part of a conversation. None of us had a connection to Plymouth, now here we are. I like the idea of new threads interlocking and stretching out as a result of Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. We would love to do something in Plymouth again.”

“Making exhibitions generates conversations and Plymouth is an exciting place to expand from. There’s a distinct quality to the city – due to its history and geography – the land, sky, and sea are all equally present here. In a very loose sense, there is a degree of landscape and elemental division of space across the work of Bernadette, Chris, EJ, and myself. Its these kinds of unplanned unlooked for connections that make Everything That Happens Will Happen Today worth coming to see.” 

Credit: Dom Moore (Courtesy of KARST)

Everything That Happens Will Happen Today runs from 24 May until 20 July 2024. The exhibition is open to visitors at KARST from 11am-5pm Wednesday to Saturday. 

Find out more information about Everything That Happens Will Happen Today and KARST’s future exhibitions in the city via their website here.

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