Press Release: Hearth and Heat, The Florence Trust, 22 - 26 June 2015
In its 25th year, the Florence Trust at Highbury's St Saviour’s is hosting a comprehensive solo show by an alumnus of its unique artist residency programme. Micha Eden Erdész’s solo project reconstructs Hampstead Heath as a context of sole speculative experience harboured by and remoulding material context.Focusing on physical clearings within seemingly overrun sections of the quasi-natural heathland, this new work recalls Erdesz's fictive anchorite persona and imagined withdrawal from the world within St Saviour's Lady Chapel adopted for his 2005 Florence Trust studio residency. Referring to the Heath's imagined encroachment by both water and private ownership within the present and past, Erdész has produced immersively scaled prints on silk over an array of mass produced contemporary chrome bathroom fittings. Influenced by contemporary human designs to counter the flooding risk of Hampstead Heath’s chain of ponds, the ascription of Erdész’s landscapes to imagining potential scenarios suffuses them with enhanced meaning. Taking their cue from the treatment of figure in landscape in John Singer Sargent’s painting of Margaret Hyde Countess of Suffolk (1898) at Kenwood House, works environmental in scale recast the Heath's landscapes as a theatre of latent water echoing Sargent's gestural use of white. The chroming of Victorian bench ends nods to the Industrial Revolution alleging a loop between the Heath's history and energetic properties. Another work, an array of personal air ionisers, spatialises the subaltern flow of Heath springs towards the river fleet within the church confines.