Amanda Welch: Search Me
Friday 25th March – Sunday 10th April 2022
Opening Preview: Thursday 24th March 6pm – 9pm
Public discussion: With Amanda Welch and Martha Kapos. Sunday 3rd April 2.00pm, Free Entry
Poetry Evening: With John Welch and Martha Kapos. Thursday 7th April 7.00pm, Free Entry
Campbell Works is delighted to present a survey of work by Amanda Welch. Amanda’s practice began in the early 60’s as a painter until one day in 2006 the act of painting became impossible. “One minute I was in full swing working vigorously the next dust and ashes”. A vacuous facility threatened. She rejected her beloved practice and laid down her brushes. Alarmed and bereft Welch changed tack and slowly developed new ways of making work away from the ‘frame’, on the floor with various ‘non art’ materials relishing their awkwardness, and the freedom they allowed.
This exhibition was originally scheduled to open in early 2020. Delayed by the pandemic, the title piece Search Me – “which involved a more than usual amount of bafflement” – could be said to reflect the sense of bewilderment between our pre-pandemic lives and the new realities we now face.
On the other hand this period of turbulence and uncertainty has given the opportunity to reflect. “I find myself increasingly aware of links across the fifty odd years of my work; a sort of ‘now I see where that came from’ which to some extent mitigates the bafflement of ongoing work”.
This word ‘bafflement’ comes up a lot in conversation with Amanda, a word used to describe the mystery she feels about her practice and the place for these artworks in the world, works which evolve over time, emerging from a hum of ideas that hover like spring mist hugging a valley floor.
Amanda’s early subject matter included the visceral landscape of the body, often her own, exploring and exposing its intimacies. More recently her attention has turned to the contours of untamed landscape, exploring and researching the histories and psycho-geographies of place, focusing on the intangible threads that link rocks, park benches and human presence, woven together in poetic tapestries of found objects, scraps of paper and the flotsam and jetsam of humanity. This was beautifully presented in her more recent projects Hackney Downs and then again in The Shetland Islands Project
Amanda Welch has exhibited widely throughout the UK. Recent projects and exhibitions include:
Conditions – an exhibition organised by Shetland Arts at Bressay Lighthouse, May 5 – June 24 2018; The Hackney Downs Project at The Gallery, Amhurst Terrace, London (2009); Tricycle Gallery, London, (2006); Nunnery Gallery, Bow (2005); Millennium City Gallery, University of Wolverhampton (2004); Phoenix Gallery, Exeter (2003); The Shoreditch Gallery, Hoxton (2002); New Hall College, Brighouse (2001); Library Gallery, Stoke Newington (2000); Tavistock Centre, London (2000); the Mary Ward Centre, London (1995); the Daylight Gallery, Wandsworth (1995);
Group shows include: Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (2001 and 2007); ‘Landmarks 111’, Lowood Gallery, Cumbria (2006); Hunting Art Prizes (1999 and 2000); ‘Plant’ Stroud House Gallery, Stroud (1998);