Jonathan Baldock

Notes from the Orifice

8 October 2014 - 15 November 2014
VITRINE Bermondsey Street

VITRINE Bermondsey Street is delighted to present a solo exhibition of work by British artist Jonathan Baldock including new sculptural and wall-based works, installation and performance.

Taken from Robin Lydenberg’s critical essay on William S. Burrough’s novel ‘The Naked Lunch’, the title of this exhibition reflects Baldock’s fascination with the human form as a vessel with which to explore both the formal and conceptual qualities of the body. Baldock describes the creation of his work as a performative dance between the subject and its maker: a ritualistic process that celebrates the transformation of the idea into a physical entity. The orifice is a passage in the body leading from the outer skin into the internal world of flesh, blood and organs, in this case suggesting a metaphorical journey from the surface into the very substance of the artwork.

Jonathan Baldock, ‘Orifice painting in neutral’ and ‘Orifice painting in Turquoise’, 2014In ‘Notes from the Orifice’, Baldock will exhibit sculptures, costumes and wall-based work. Originally trained as a painter, Baldock employs a host of tactile materials such as salt-dough, felt, straw and ceramic and traditional methods such as weaving and stitching. In his works, the viewer experiences clearly the presence of the hand where it has kneaded, plaited or sewn the materials together.

A circular peephole installed in the window of VITRINE’s space will control the visitors’ first impressions of the exhibition, drawing them in to explore the space physically rather than as a passive viewer. Costumes and sculptures suggestive of remnants from a previously performed ritual will be installed inside the space, whilst in wall-based works we encounter symbols suggesting a language taken from – or created for – a society apart from our own. We are reminded of cultural artefacts found in museum displays that give us a glimpse at the customs of civilisations that have been swallowed up by history.

In its bodily connotations, exquisite craftsmanship and mysterious – but very present – narrative, the work of Jonathan Baldock is testament to man’s fundamental need to create as a means to find order and definition within contemporary society.

Jonathan Baldock (born in 1980 in Pembury, UK) graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2005 and lives and works in London. He has exhibited internationally with solo shows including: Warm Bodies (with Olga Balema) at Kunstvereniging Diepenheim, The Netherlands (2014); The Soft Machine, Chapter, Cardiff (2014); Multiple points in this crude landscape, Primary, Nottingham (2014); Hot Spots, The Apartment, Vancouver, Canada (2014); A Strange mix between a Butcher’s Shop and a Nightclub, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge, UK (2013); The Blue Epoch, Colloredo-Mansfeldský Palác, AMoYA, Prague, Czech (2012); Musica, Annarumma Gallery, Naples, Italy (2011); Pierrot, PeregrineProgram, Chicago, USA, (2011); The Fool’s Flipside, Cell Projects, London, UK (2010); and ‘H.E’ The Fine Art Society London, UK (2008).

Group shows include; Two Figures in a Landscape (choreographed by Rubato Dance Group), Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2013); Relativity Absolute, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge, UK (2013); The Gathering, Mytoro Gallery, Hamburg, Germany (2013); ARE YOU ALRIGHT? New Art From Britain, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA), Toronto, CA (2013); Implausible Imposters, Ceri Hand Gallery, London, UK (2013); A Conspiracy of Detail Mackintosh Museum Glasgow, UK (2013); Pile, Chapter, Cardiff, Wales (2011); Memories and Encounters, Via Farini Milan, IT (2009); NEWSPEAK: British Art Now, Hermitage Museum St Petersburg, Russia (2009) and Saatchi Gallery London, UK (2008).

He has received international awards and residencies, including: Abbey Fellowship, British School in Rome, Italy (2013); Residency – The Forest, Wysing Art Centre Cambridge, UK (2012); and Skowhegan, School of Painting and Sculpture Residency, Maine, USA (2007).

Notes from the Orifice, installation shot

Notes from the Orifice, installation shot

Orifice Painting No 3 (Wedgewood Blue) copy detail

Notes from the Orifice, 2014

Fingering, 2014

Notes from the Orifice, installation shot

Philomena, 2014

Sands of Time, 2014

Peach with Feet, 2014

Mime, 2014

Notes from the Orifice, installation shot

Form with Protrusions, 2014

Notes from the Orifice, installation shot

A Patternated Orifice, 2014

Notes from the Orifice, installation shot

Screen with Peep-holes, 2014

Philomena (detail)