Her Hare - VISUAL

VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art &
The George Bernard Shaw Theatre

Her Hare

Caroline Achaintre

30 Sept 2023 - 21 Jan 2024

11am - 5.30pm Tues - Sat, 2pm - 5pm Sun
Tuesday - Sunday

VISUAL presents an exhibition of new and existing work by Caroline Achaintre, entitled Her Hare.

Achaintre works in a variety of media, including metalwork, ceramics, textiles, and drawing. Her Hare consists of new and existing ceramic work in the Studio Gallery, and two large tapestry works in the Link Gallery; M.A.Z.E. and Soft Divider.

The title of the exhibition speaks to Achaintre’s interest in language, and the potential for misunderstanding and alternative viewpoints to arise from written, verbal or visual communication, especially as they cross cultural and linguistic boundaries. Connected to this is an interest in the subjectivity of meaning and the capacity of storytelling to reframe an object or place.

In the Studio Gallery we encounter a selection of wall-mounted and free-standing ceramics. These evoke mysterious ritual and the materials associated with carnival, or folk celebrations, that mark a moment of transformation or disguise. The gallery has been configured to move away from a white cube space towards the suggestion of a fictional ethnographic museum. Geometric modernist shapes as seen in some of the sculpture stands highlight the theatricality of the installation.

Achaintre trained as a blacksmith before entering formal art education and her practice is informed by an interest in material processes and responding to the demands or limitation of materials such as clay, metal, or wool. Varieties in scale reflect different approaches to the same subject matter informed by the demands of the material. Works made in media traditionally associated with craft practices for ‘useful objects’ such as pottery and textile works suggest something harder to categorise; mysterious, animalistic and magical.

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Born in France in 1969, raised in Germany and based in England, Caroline Achaintre attended the Kunsthochschule in Halle, then Chelsea College of Art and Design, and Goldsmiths University of London. Her work is part of numerous public collections including: CAPC, Bordeaux/FR; Tate Britain, London/UK; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris; Centre national des arts plastiques, Paris; FRAC Aquitaine, Bordeaux, and FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims.

Selected solo exhibitions include; Kunstmuseum Ravensburg/Centre d’art Pasquart/CH (2021-2022), CAPC, Bordeaux/FR (2020-21), MO.CO., Montpellier/FR (2019); Belvedere 21, Vienna/AU (2019); De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-sea/UK (2018); FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims/FR (2017); BALTIC, Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead/UK (2016); Tate Britain, London/UK (2015); Castello di Rivoli, Turin/IT (2013).