Void Gallery is delighted to present the work of two emerging artists; Laura Morrison and Maite Zabala, curated by Ciarán Ó Dochartaigh. Concerned with the making of objects, texts and images that sit both firmly in a sculptural tradition and necessarily untether from these bounds, the artists create distinctly different works. Ó Dochartaigh curated the exhibition intrigued by the possibility of prompting a vigorous conversation addressing what might be called contemporary art. The new works made especially for this exhibition spark up dialogue with one another and with audiences via dialectics, dichotomy and a subtle parental undercurrent, where two distinct positions conflate to compose a mute proposition.

Morrison’s plasticine relief illustrates a scene of imminent tropical disaster while pairs of photographs refer to the public history of an infamous missing girl. Cinematic in its scope, the relief submits a compression of material in the rendering of a found image— a contemporary science-illustration of the 1883 Tsunami that struck the coast of Indonesia following the explosion of the Krakatoa volcanoes. The photographs, however, recollect the weight and mobility of another complex image whilst considering the generational and gender politics implicit in the hope for the abstract future of a young girl. Morrison’s stridently adolescent yet affectionate tableaux vivants and the blocky architecture designed for their encounter push each other towards a possibility for agency and affect that doesn’t rest easy with an expressive formalism evacuated of political consequence.

Whereas Morrison advocates for an opening of space, Zabala seductively, yet sadistically manipulates our position as unwitting participants. In effect, she offers a closed-off structure with no clear entry point. Flawlessly finished panels create a sculpture that is informed by architectural traditions and grounded in precision mathematics and the perfection of geometry. The significance of the work is established in creating architectural objects and rendering them obsolete; architecture that fails to manifest fully and, in this case, is contradicted by the deficiency of utility. The presence of her sculpture in its obstinacy refers to monumentality and power-relations and convinces us of the confidence found in architecture, yet unnervingly destabilises hierarchies within these ideologies. Zabala’s work projects ideal scenarios in response to our own expectations.

Visceral and unapologetic, the exhibition does little to shy away from the preconceptions and complexities faced by two emerging female artists. Through the paradox of heavyweight materiality they excitingly present an uplifting and challenging reading of object making at this time. Provocative, not in its antagonism, but in its sense of responsibility and savvy recognition of the politics of aesthetics, the exhibition aptly and intriguingly, offers itself. A commissioned essay accompanies the exhibition.

Laura Morrison Biography

Laura Morrison is from London and obtained her BA in painting from Chelsea College of Art & Design. She completed her MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London in 2012. Recent exhibitions include ‘Young London’, V22; ‘Sea notes, Sad News’ XL Project Space, Helsinki; ‘Of Many, One’ Scaramouche Gallery, New York; ‘Meet Pamela’ Project Space Leeds. Later this year Morrison will present a solo project at Furnished Space, London, and will curate a group exhibition at Project Space Leeds. She was recently a recipient of the Red Mansion Art Prize and her work is held in several collections including V22 and University of the Arts, London.

Maite Zabala Biography

Maite Zabala is from Chile and studied Architecture and Fine Arts at the Universidad Finis Terrae, Chile in 2008. In 2012 she completed her MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London. Recent exhibitions include Podio, Tajamar Gallery, Santiago, Chile (2012), Illusion of the Spectator Angus Hughes Gallery, London, UK (2012), Façade, Galerie De Passage, Amsterdams Grafisch Atelier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2010), Colectiva UFT Die Ecke Gallery, Santiago, Chile (2009) and Esfera de Resguardo Plaza Vespucio Artspace (National Museum of Fine Arts) Santiago, Chile (2009). In 2014 Galeria AFA will present a solo show of the artist, in Santiago, Chile.

See more of Maite’s work at her website

Download the Press Release below:

Morrison & Zabala Press Release


Void is kindly core funded by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland with additional assistance from Derry City Council and other sources.