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Current Exhibitions - Edel Assanti

SUBURBAN BAROQUE: Lucie May - From 8th September

Edel Assanti and The Wallis Gallery are pleased to present Surburban Baroque, the first solo exhibition of work by Lucy May in London since being awarded the prestigious Conran award at this year’s Royal College of Art MA degree show.

Suburban Baroque, a new body of sculptural works, merges the obscene luxuriance of the Baroque with the the cheap ostentation of contemporary mass-produced accessories. Gaudy plastic flowers emerge from distended outcrops of wax; swags of multicoloured fabric and foam are lashed to the structures with polypropylene garden string, creating rich tableaux of suburban domesticity.

In May’s own words: With these works, I celebrate cheapness, the sickly sweet, and the synthetic and fuse those things with commemorative, historical and anatomical references. Pebble dashing, domestic gloss and pearlescent spray paints create a fantastical world of customised low-grade decadence. Pound shop opulence flirts with the viewer, defying good taste and revelling in the deceptive seductiveness of the bargain bin.

Alongside these larger works are ornate bronze sculptures finished with shimmering car paints, the lacquered surface a contemporary adaptation of the quintessentially Baroque practice of gilding.

Central to May’s practice is a fascination with the use of everyday objects as components in sacred and commemorative objects. Drawing on personal memories from Britain and South East Asia, May’s quasi-religious totems function as makeshift sites of emotional reverie.

Lucy May was born in Malaysia in 1982, and lives and works in London. She completed her BA at The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, University of Oxford, and graduated from her MA at the Royal College of Art in 2010.

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