Veronica Kent: I get nervous at bulls and eagles represents the artist's first solo exhibition with the gallery and comprises new collaged sculptural assemblages incorporating painting, photography, mirrors and found elements.
The exhibition’s title is drawn from Ovid’s The Erotic Poems:
I got nervous at bulls and eagles
Trying to figure what shape Zeus might take for sex
When it could be your turn next.
Kent’s practice incorporates extensive research into myriad periods of art history and visual culture. She is fascinated by the revival of the gods and demigods of antiquity during the Renaissance, and in 2015 undertook a five-week residency in Rome researching the idea of ‘Spolia’ (from the Latin, ‘spoils’). Spolia refers to the use of pre-existing building material or decorative sculpture on new monuments. What struck the artist most during her time in Italy was the conjoining of figure, landscape and narrative and the way in which 3D figurative sculptures operated in spaces with trompe-l’oeil wall treatments (such as at the Villa Borghese). These intertwining of architecture, art and archaeology occur for a variety of reasons – including cultural imperatives – and actions such as the relocation of symbols through the methods of collage and appropriation are also central to Kent’s practice.
The collaging (often for purely decorative reasons) of iconic narratives from ancient Greece and Rome – together with the way in which these stories are performed and given form in figurative sculpture, painting and advertising – have been central to the development of Kent’s extraordinary, mysterious new works at Sarah Scout Presents