Beneath | Margaret Ambridge

Exhibition 19 July – 16 August
Opening event: Friday 19 July, 6-8pm
Artist Talk: Saturday 10th August, 2pm

Beneath, is a major solo exhibition to be held during the 2019 South Australian Living Artist Festival (SALA) at Praxis Artspace,exploring the consequences of laying your head on a pillow next to someone else.

Companions to our most intimate shared experiences; solace in troubled times, these pillows and sheets are imbued with our sweat, our scent and our tears.

The fabric itself is infused with our very essence and it fights back as I apply the charcoal forcing the image in directions I cannot sometimes control.

These are intimate domestic portraits and whilst intensely individual the experiences are universal.

In Beneath I investigate relationships through drawing, using cast off, found and treasured pillows and sheets, together with interviews and the self-reflection of subjects.

By breaking down the usually voyeuristic nature of the gallery space I have established an immersive work in which visitors navigate floating images to arrive at fragments of recollection, conversation and desire.

The images are a response to my interviews with participants whose memories and lovers names are posted, depersonalised into a ballot box, ultimately to hang amongst the drawn works.

These are intimate sharings, on public display, safely anonymous, but universally recognised.

-Margaret Ambridge

Margaret Ambridge, Installation view of Pillow Portrait Series, 2019, charcoal on gifted, vintage, and antique pillow cases, dimensions variable. Photo by Mark Fitz-Gerald.
Margaret Ambridge, Memories Bed, 2019, rice paper scribed by participants, pinned to charcoal on cotton queen size bed sheet, dimensions variable. Photo by Mark Fitz-Gerald.
Margaret Ambridge, (Left) I am not going to let this one go, 2019, charcoal on cotton bed sheet. (Middle) Not afraid anymore, 2019, charcoal on vintage cotton bed sheet, (Far Right) Installation view of ‘The First Kiss’ Series on handkerchiefs. Photo by Gabi Lane

BANNER IMAGE: Margaret Ambridge, Installation view of ‘Meriani’ with pillow portrait, 2019. Charcoal on polycotton hospital sheet, 270cm x 150cm, charcoal on aged cotton pillowcase with handmade lace, 75cm x 75 cm x 20cm. Photographed by Mark Fitz-Gerald