Shiny, sexy, soft: a curious choice of words to describe an artist’s work but ones that seem perfectly befitting to characterise the dreamy and shimmery pieces on display in DaddyBears’s first ever solo show at Roman Road. A dimly lit space with the blackest of blacks flooring houses several unique and upholstered found object sculptures, while the walls are adorned with floor-to-ceiling textile photographs documenting a domestic space decorated with blurred stock photos of female nudes. Through her immersive exhibition, DaddyBears seeks to reappropriate one man’s interior design choices into a new and fantastical room of her own.
Shiny Sexy Soft presents a fragmented glimpse into the world of sex work, and the projected glamorisation and stigmatisation it habitually assumes. Drawing on the interior spaces of sex work, or those that are conceived and created to impart a desired delusion, the show communicates a broken fantasy, destabilising the imagined experience
Two home environments (or worlds) of reverie – one invented and dreamlike, the other real and teeming with desire – are stitched together, recreating and materialising an installation that at once evokes feelings of familiarity and cosiness, otherworldliness and unease. The artist’s laboriously handcrafted satin sculptures recall everyday household furniture and items while the draping stretched wall photographs, printed with a grungy green filter, envelop and situate the viewer within a curious dwelling. Ideas surrounding different perceptions and perspectives, the gaze and the gaze of others come into play, as DaddyBears reconceptualises snippets of her lived experiences within a space that creatively explores how people choose and present their habitats, what we can project onto a setting and what is projected onto us.
Despite being legalised in the UK, and in around 50% of countries worldwide, the sale of sexual experiences is a contentious issue, and a prevalent industry that still remains taboo and enveloped in uncertainty. DaddyBears is hoping that when visiting Shiny Sexy Soft, we contemplate the link between what we ascribe onto others and the environments they may find themselves in, whether through choice or force.
DaddyBears (b. Bradford) is a British artist working with textile sculpture and installation. She received her MA in menswear design from the Royal College of Art, London (2017), and her BA in fashion design from Middlesex University, London (2015). DaddyBears was invited to take part in Palazzo Monti's spring 2022 residency in Brescia, where she subsequently had her first duo show Can’t Stop Can’t Let Go (2022). She was also recently selected for Roman Road’s first studio programme in London (2023). Her work has been shown in group shows at Asylum Studios, Suffolk (2020) and Bad Art Presents, London (2019)
69 Roman Road
London E2 0QN