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The Possibilities of Touch in Peckham Safehouse

Jenny Klein and Erika Trotzig met on the MA Fine Art at Central St Martins and after graduating during the 2020 lockdown knew they had to find some creative momentum in a year that had wiped out their final degree show, writes Michael Holland…

Together they developed the concept and the title for a group show with fellow graduates from their year: The Possibilities of Touch. 

‘Our need to touch has become more apparent than ever,’ says Klein. ‘Its possibilities, its limits, and the way our imaginations respond to what we cannot touch is a particularly potent theme in a climate where touch and its traces have become fraught and loaded.  

‘Taking this idea as its starting point, the show is not only a response to the challenges of graduating during the pandemic but also a step towards rethinking ways in which new interactions can take place.’  

Jenny and Erika contacted the other artists whose work evokes different ideas about touch and tactility, and asked them to respond to the theme. Now, along with Alexander Dixon, Giulia Federici, Emma Louise Moore, Ellie Niblock, Jacqueline Nicholls, Brian O’Callaghan, and Sara Shishkova, plus Arts Council funding, the artists have secured Safehouse 1 & 2 for an exhibition of their work in June.

Jenny recalls 2020 being ‘a difficult time to graduate due to the sudden cancellation of the final degree show, which we had all been working towards for several months.’ Nevertheless, since then the graduates have managed to continue with their practises and had some significant success.  

For example:

·      In 2020 Alexander Dixon’s work was featured in White Cube’s Tomorrow London online exhibition and he was shortlisted for the ACS Studio prize and the Hix Award.

·      Emma Louise Moore is a finalist for 2021’s National Sculpture Prize.

·      Jenny Klein, Giulia Federici, Alexander Dixon and Jacqueline Nicholls were included in London Grads Now at the Saatchi Gallery in September 2020.

Emma Louise Moore

The artist says, ‘The Safehouse spaces were chosen because these are atmospheric spaces with a tactility all of their own… Receiving the Arts Council Funding has been a terrific boost.  It has enabled the expansion of the show to make it both more exciting as an exhibition and also much easier to facilitate social distancing and to be Covid-safe.  Because of Covid, there will not be one specific opening night, instead, there will be artists present every evening to welcome visitors.’

The Possibilities of Touch is on at Safehouse 1 & 2, 137-139 Consort Road, Peckham, SE15 3SN. Dates: June 10th – 13th. Times: 12 – 8pm. Admission: Free.


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