Award: Quay Arts OPEN Exhibition 2015

Pictured: Piece from the construction series 'Sewing'.

The Quay Arts’ biennial contemporary Open exhibition featured over 50 selected works by 35 emerging and established artists from across the south region. The Open exhibition is formed as an open call to artists, to submit work of any medium, any size and any theme.

Joanna Kori was selected as the winner for Quay Arts’ Open 2015 Exhibition from over 35 competing artists. Working as a mixed media artist and interactive instructional designer, she also provides adult, community and school workshops as a learning consultant for Jerwood Gallery, Hastings. Her works are in public and private collections.

Joanna’s work focuses on drawings and constructions. Her constructions in particular allude to the culture of domestic routine and the rituals of hospitality. They engage the still-life tradition from a contemporary feminine perspective.

For the Quay Arts OPEN, Joanna submitted a collection of casts/sculptures called Vessels made from gum-strip paper and linseed oil representing contemporary domestic tools and objects. They are housed in two display units with the gum-strip pieces inside, which emphasise the archaeological feel of the work. The casts’ fragmented states suggests a kind of archaeology and piecing together of domestic activity from a bygone era, yet the casts are based on current-day implements.

Joanna finds the domestic environments that women have historically occupied are rapidly disappearing, as women’s primary place has moved from home to the workplace and today’s kitchens being redesigned into shiny, empty, light-reflective environments.

In Joanna’s previous work, using gum-strip paper coated in linseed oil, she constructs an empathetic study of domestic scenes and objects that opens a lived space between self and world. Using invisible thread, domestic interiors are reconstructed and transformed into suspensions and presented as animated, three-dimensional scenes. The spatial qualities of the domestic objects and their relationship to fragments of furniture – kitchen sink, table or washing machine – intensify a sense of place. They form part of a process of remembrance, an extracting of the significant from the transitory and the ephemeral. 

For her 2017 West Gallery show, Joanna plans to respond to how the Quay Arts building and Island was occupied in the past and present. She proposes to create a series of ‘future memory’ gum-strip constructions and a series of pencil and watercolour drawings – observations of implements and equipment still in use over the ages, which will root the exhibition in the still-life genre. The casts will aim to engage the still-life tradition from a contemporary perspective – working objects, domestic activity, the preparation for events and aftermath of feeding people (mimicking the Quay Arts Café on the ground floor below perhaps). Each construction will be made from her chosen material, gum-strip paper coated in linseed oil; suspended works would focus on areas of contemporary activity – utilizing the gallery’s height to create hanging systems with invisible thread to support the gum-strip suspensions.