Roman Road is thrilled to present Bury a Friend, a group exhibition curated by Marisa Bellani, bringing together works by ultra-contemporary artists Johanna Bath, Sonya Derviz, Jack Laver and Mia Vallance. Throughout the show there’s a prevailing sense of curiosity and catharsis that materialises from the varied pieces, with each artist digging beneath the surface of the visible to unravel or challenge existing forces of power and the endless corridors of our minds.
The exhibition takes its title from an iconic single by American singer-songwriter Billie Eilish, a song written from the perspective of a monster lurking beneath her bed, in which themes of darkness, uncertainty and death unfold in a fusion of haunting melodies and dancy instrumentals. It is in, or rather, out of such tenebrous moments where this exhibition finds its inspiration, carrying the idea that life is a cycle and a dance between the darkness and the light. Drawing on the tensions between the natural and the unnatural, the known and the unknown, the displayed artworks in Bury a Friend explore moments of time, memories, the human psyche, resilience and loss, developing a visual vocabulary of mortal contemplation and reflecting on the idea of owning your darkness.
The participating artists have each been asked to select two of their artworks that represent the self and the alter ego: two beings or states that are buried within us and are constantly challenging, and at worst fighting each other in search of balance, often leaving us exhausted. The exhibition has also been scheduled on the cusp of British springtime, symbolising a moment when the air is still cold but nature is showing signs of rebirth, and when a familiar sense of awakening is upon us.
Bury a Friend is the second show of Roman Road’s 2023 programme, for which the gallery intends to shift its focus to more group exhibitions, promoting a sense of community and togetherness for artists that are self-taught, still at school or have recently graduated. Roman Road aims to bolster both local and international emerging artistic talent through multidisciplinary and thematic exhibitions, alongside a varying programme of collaborative talks and events.
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