Sang-Mi Rha and Marianne Walker, two artists with distinct yet complementary practices, here present Otherworlds, where the lines between the real and the imagined, between 2D and 3D, blur and shift, to create works that intrigue and entice.
Sang-Mi Rha’s paintings manifest a metaverse called Neither Nor, an autonomous construct, based on her peripatetic lived experiences and memories from having grown up across the four continents of the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe. Beginning by building cardboard animal-shaped masks, which are worn by the inhabitants – the children – of Neither Nor, Rha then works intimately with the painted surface to bring to life her alter ego Allen-the-Voyager and its entourage. The world seen through their eyes is idiosyncratic, a realm that is improbable, yet somehow familiar, and always full of surprise.
Marianne Walker’s practice is an exploration of the medium of drawing in conversation with the material remains of the past. Pencil and ink knit together with the sculpted language of the form to become hybrid objects that hover between disciplines. Walker sees her practice as an act of enlivening, exploring an animistic approach to the plant and animal in the human. She interrogates the malleability of history and the storytelling aspects of the science of archaeology. The works also bear witness to Walker’s interest in folklore and devotional sculpture, their fragmentary forms morphing into signifiers of adaption and survival, that confront the viewer.
The Levinsky Gallery is delighted to welcome back Rha and Walker, both of whom exhibited in Plymouth Contemporary 2021. Otherworlds showcases the development of their individual practices, which converge in this exhibition to create something truly unique and awe-inspiring.