Miriam Austin

31 March 2016 By

Since opening in September 2014, Bosse and Baum have set themselves apart from other emerging galleries through their ambitiously large, vibrant and immersive site-specific shows. They present performance, sculpture, and collaboration as the focus of their largely female programme. Miriam Austin’s recent exhibition Lupercalia (20 February – 25 March 2016) was a successful continuation of the gallery’s distinctively bold and forward thinking approach to displaying art. Austin’s takeover of the large warehouse-style space, formerly an African church, took the form of seductively beautiful installation and performance that pushed the boundaries between real and imagined invention.

Lupercalia, Austin’s first solo gallery exhibition, was named after an ancient Roman ceremony that prepared the city for the welcoming of spring. A display of her most recent work, it involved a striking unification of sculptural objects and the body through ritualistic practices based around a religion of Austin’s own conception. The exhibition presented a collection of delicate ethereal forms in careful hangings and arrangements that captivate an entrancing sense of beauty and fragility.

The Contemporary Art Society was particularly struck by Austin’s intrinsic attention to materiality. Her manipulation of the organic, unruly and even the poisonous involves unique techniques that remain sympathetic to the material’s original properties. Through this approach she has created stunning sculptural objects that possess an enchanting and impending presence, whilst also retaining a peaceful quality in their idle state. Throughout the gallery, various ‘stations’ contained her sculptural objects which became tools, instruments and vestments to be used within a ceremonial experience. Some of the creations were also featured in the artist’s performance pieces that both introduced and concluded the exhibition.

We are excited to see what is next in store for Miriam Austin, who was born in New Zealand and lives and works in London. She is currently working on a collaborative project as part of the collective ‘Universal A’, who recently organised a conference at the University of Cambridge in March 2015 called Total Archive: Dreams of Universal Knowledge from the Encyclopedia to Big Data. Austin also has an upcoming group exhibition Inland Far at the Herbert Read Gallery, University for the Creative Arts, in Canterbury in September 2016.

Recent exhibitions include: An Ear of Corn in Silence Reaped (2015), Grove House, London; Bluebeard (2012), Studio 106, London; Recent group exhibitions include: Groundwork (2015), The New Art Centre, Salisbury; A Sense of Things (2014), Zabludowicz Collection, London; Biothanatos (2014), DIG Space, London; Elements of Religion (2013), Bold Tendencies, London; Happening #1 (2013), The White Building, [SPACE] Studios, London; The Birth Caul (2013), Vitrine Gallery, London; Creekside Open (2013), APT Gallery, London