Poppy Whatmore at work

Statement

The installations I create address struggles of lived experience. I am interested in the potential of language as a reflective means to address how we experience the everyday. I explore tensions especially between the public and private. Fragments of memories are woven into material enactments or even a chosen site. These frozen moments include instances of jeopardy, entrapment and concealment, undermined or overwhelmed in outcome.

One consistent theme is weight: both real and psychological. The weight of material relates to the body. I often characterize and animate selected materials into anthropomorphic or zoomorphic arrangements. In Tropic of Cancer, there is a pair of concrete cast boots, connected with a V-shape iron bar, like pin legs. One boot is straddled on top of the desk, and the other poised in step. The work feasibly portrays the conquering of an aftermath of a conquest or a subversive sexual act in an office.

The pieces evoke moments of explosive force, or kinds of resistance. I aim to create work that escapes control. In its precarious nature the work investigates the uncertainty of our age, the interior lives of others and makes plain inequalities – positing new worlds and forms of resistance. My concern with subverting power dynamics and structures, focuses on deconstructing feminine stereotypes. I reconfigure settings from the everyday, often drawing from domestic materials as a tool applied for corrupting systems. In doing this I consider notions of misuse, questioning our reading and framing of objects.

For me, familiar objects connect with memories, in particular, selected conversations. My titles often introduce the content of the work, referencing former dialogues. What people believe in can be revealing: I am intrigued in the myths we create. My favourite baby-sitter told far-fetched tales. Years afterward I understood her stories could not be true, yet I still admired how she kept me spell bound. Say Yes to a New Adventure, is a pair of female high heeled boots carved in foam and wrapped in black tape, standing on a twig bundle propped up high by a found wooden bar. They appear on the edge of a precipice. We are unaware whether these black boots are on top of the world, or about to fall down from a great height

A friend at primary school was a compulsive liar, who gripping stories beyond the backdrop of the boring. In the work, Deadline, a cascading, vertical row of office wheelie chairs, explodes into an existing office ceiling. The form echoes an office worker potentially trapped in a corner desk burdened by a pending ‘Deadline’, which might appear to push a person to the edge. In Broken Wings, found, reconfigured wooden blinds, are laid out like wings, fixed together in each slat with hinges, imagining the disappointed worker, where fleeting future dreams are beaten down before taking flight

Through my sculptural works, the real and the unreal can meet at different forks in a path. I transform everyday objects as a point of departure to create agency beyond the routine.

Biography

Artwork achievements include an Arts Council Award 2012-10, and won the Aesthetica Art Prize in 2013. She was nominated for Adrian Carruthers Studio Award, 2012, and commended for SculptureShock, Royal British Sculptors, 2015. Selected group exhibitions include: Middlesbrough Art Weekender, Middlesbrough, 2019; AUTO//FICTION, Royal Collage of Art, London, 2019; Mimesis; Narrative; Against hegemony! (an exhibition celebrating 10 years of Peer Sessions), APT Gallery, London, 2019; Radical Residency III, Unit1 Gallery, 2019; Recreational Grounds V DATEABLE ART, 2019; Near Thing, APT Gallery, London, 2018; Little Clown, My Heart, Arthouse1, London, 2018; Creekside Open, APT Gallery, selected by Jordan Baseman and Alison Wilding, London, 2017; I Really Miss You Until You’re Here, White Conduit Projects, London, 2017; Secret Agent, Guest Projects, 2016; A Woman’s Place, Sluice Art Fair, London, 2015; Hix Awards Finalists, Cock’n’Bull Gallery, 2014; Hankering for Classification, Federation house in collaboration with Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, 2014; Academy Now, Bologna, Italy, 2014; Collyer Bristow Gallery, 2013; Exchange Project, funded by Arts Council A.P.T, London, 2013; Limoncello Gallery Stand, London Art Fair, 2013; New Contempories 2012-11 (works chosen for Saatchi Gallery’s Public Collection). Selected solo shows include Nobody Really Cares if you don’t go to the Office party, Stone Space Gallery, 2018; Wounds of the City, Underground Car Park Projects, Glasgow, 2014 and Slip into the World, Good Job Gallery Projects, London 2013.

Education

2012–2010
MFA Fine Art, Slade School of Fine Art, University College London
2009–2008
PG Certificate of HE for Art & Design, CLTAD, University of the Arts, London
2008-2005
BA (hons) Sculpture Fine Art, Camberwell College, University of the Arts, London

Awards and Grants

2013
Aesthetica Art Prize, Aesthetica: The Art and Culture Magazine
2012-2010
AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) Award, Arts Council
2012
Nominated for the Adrian Carruthers Studio Award

Exhibitions

2019

AutoFiction, Royal College of Art, London
Recreational Grounds V DATEABLE, Aylesbury Estate, London

2018

Mimesis; Narrative; Against Hegemony, (An exhibition celebrating 10 years of Peer Sessions) APT Gallery, London
Little Clown, My Heart, Arthouse1, London
Reunited, Exhibition of Atina Residency, Camberwell College of Arts, London

2017

Zero Gravity, MC3 Projects Sculpture Trail, Sussex
Drawing for Sculpture, 2021 Visual Arts Centre, North Lincolnshire
Antennae, Lubomirov/ Angus-Hughes, London
Creekside Open 2017 Selected by Jordan Baseman and Alison Wilding
I MISS YOU UNTIL YOU ARE HERE, White Conduit Projects
#51 remember her, Off-Site Project by Elements Curate by Rebecca Feiner Towner Gallery Community Church, London

2016

Secret Agent, Film Screening, WhatmorePager, Guest Projects, London
Stockwell Acme – Glassyard, London

2015

Bread and Jam III, London
The Wedding Party , Goodman’s Stile, London
A Woman’s Place, Sluice Art Fair, London
Limited Editions, Lubomirov-Easton, London

2014

Hankering for Classification, Federation House in collaboration with Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
Hix Award Finalists, Cock’n’Bull Gallery, London
Continuum of Ceaseless Change, Exhibitor and Curator, A.P.T. Gallery, London
Academy Now, Art Defender, Bologna, Italy
The Wounds of the City, Underground Car Park, Renfrew Street, Glasgow
Slip into this World, Good Job Gallery, Bermondsey Acava Studios, London
Hix Award Finalists, Cock’n’Bull Gallery, London

2013

Exchange Project, PART 1: Overt Exchange A.P.T Gallery, London
Antechamber: On the threshold of the domestic, Collyer Bristow Gallery
Aesthetica Art Prize, York St. Mary's
London Art Fair, Limoncello Gallery, London
Academy Now, Hamni Gallery, London
Tattoo City: The First Three Chapters, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester

2012

Temples 2 The Domestic, Clifford Chance, Canary Wharf, London
Weighbridge Place, Jersey Arts Trust, Exhibitor and curator, Channel Islands
Slade School of Fine Art Masters Show, UCL, London
MA & Other Postgraduates, Atkinson Gallery, Somerset

2011

In the Presence, New Contemporaries Bloomberg, ICA, London
New Contemporaries Bloomberg, Site Gallery, Sheffield
ArtNW10, Acme Studios, London

Residencies

2019
Grymsdyke Farm Artist's Residency, Buckinghamshire, UK
2019
Radical Residency III, Unit 1 Gallery, London
2017
Atina Residency
2015
Milton Court Farm, East Sussex, UK
2015
Grymsdyke Farm Architecture Research Facility, collaboration, BUCKS
2015
Artists Studio Bursary, Short list, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
2014
Federation House in association with Castlefield Gallery, London
2011
Merz Barn, Littoral Arts Trust, Ambleside, UK
2011
Artists-in-residence at HEAL’S, London, UK
2011
Grymsdyke Farm Artist's Residency, Buckinghamshire

Teaching

Present to 2015
Contemporary art lecturer and tutor, Sculpture, Drawing, Painting and Mixed Media: Mary Ward Adult Education Centre
Freelance Artist Tutor, University, A’Level and portfolio preparation for scolarships
Present to 2011
Freelance Artist Tutor, A’Level, GCSE and portfolio preparation for scholarships
2014
Artists’ talk with Lecturer, Glasgow School of Fine Art, A.P.T Gallery
Children’s workshop, A.P.T Gallery, London
Artist led childrens’ workshop in relation to exhibition, Cock’n’Bull Gallery, London
2013
Artists’ community workshops, Workshop 305, London
Artist’s Talk in relation to themed exhibition, A.P.T Gallery, London
Artist’s Talk in relation to Bruce Nauman and Artist’s Practice, York College
Artist’s Workshop on curation, York Museum
Practice based workshop, Salon Vert Gallery, London
2011
Artist’s Talk: Modernism, A Sentimental Myth, ICA, London
Visiting tutor, Architectural Association, London
2008-2009
Teaching Assistant, St. Martin's, University of the Arts, London
2002-2005
Adults with special needs, Kensington & Chelsea Borough, London
2003-2005
Children’s Activities Support, Tate Britain

Public Collections

2012
The Saatchi Gallery

Press and Publications

2013
VISUAL ARTS: Antechamber The Independent, London p.44
BBC News - In pictures: Aesthetica Art Prize BBC News NEWS Entertainment & Arts
Aesthetica: The Art & Culture Magazine, Issue 51, Aesthetica Publishing, York p. 95
Fine Art graduate Poppy Whatmore receives Aesthetica Art Prize Award The Press, York
2012
The Guardian Guide: exhibitions, The Guardian, The Guide, London, p.41
Works on Violence, Tengen, a London Writing and Arts Magazine,Tengen Magazine, London, pp.23
2011
Review, an Magazine, The Artists Information Company, Newcastle, pp.28
Bloomberg New Contempories 2011, Bloomberg, Bloomberg, London, pp.90-93
The Guardian Guide: Exhibitions – Bloomberg New Contempories Sheffield The Guardian, The Guide, London, p.41
Slade Postgraduate Research, Slade Research Centre, London, p.8
4 hot young British Artists to Watch From the ICA London’s New Contempories Show, Art Info, Blouin Art Info, New York. pp. Slideshow, p. 1