Collectible, first and foremost, is a deftly-curated compendium of artistic talent. Having the work of 66 artists assembled in a small gallery/studio space sounds overwhelming. Yet, somehow, the scale of the art in Collectible makes for a welcome cross-disciplinary exploration. The artworks that thrive most in the current show are those pieces that are meticulously and minutely crafted.
The show’s curation is a measure of the talented eyes of the show’s organizers Rosalind Davis and Annabel Tilley, who, together, form ZeitgeistArtProjects (ZAP). Both have artwork in the show displaying the same amount of close attention as was paid to the show’s organization. Tilley’s Legs from Old Masters depicts, in ink and wash, a whimsical historically-inspired collection of disembodied legs of the eighteenth century, complete with breeches and buckled shoes. Equally attentive in execution, Sharon Leahy-Clark creates fascinating and slightly macabre figures in works of ink on fabric in Black/Flesh and Grey/Red. Her brother (?) Simon Leahy-Clark masterfully reinvents collage using strips of newspaper; the more I looked at Ship, the more I became engrossed in the micro worlds of its constituent parts.
The stunning graphic compositions from Kate Bowen and Virginia Verran set the tone for a show dominated by themes of structure and geometry. Also notable was Alyson Helyer’s portraits, at once figurative yet resplendent in vibrant abstract patterns. Tom Butler’s minutely repainted antique postcard was equally captivating; Butler covered a man’s head in a patchwork of gouache to haunting effects. Finally Jack Hutchinson’s Fiery Clash was expertly juxtaposed with Nick Kaplony’s Asleep Somewhere; the first, a square of paper, textured in its fabric, featuring very light and miniscule graphite drawing, the second a translucent piece of mylar with what appeared to be the shadow of the lashes from two shut eyes.
Ranging from promising to mid-career to established professionals, the group of artists joined together in the name of accessibility offered their work for £50-500. In a city where the Affordable Art Fair caps off at £4,000, it was refreshing to see an assembly of art that aimed at true affordability. All in all, Collectible hits all the right notes and has been living up to its name in success and reception.
Collectible runs until April 28 (Th-Sa 1-5pm) at ASC, Bond House, Goodwood Rd, New Cross, London, SE14 6BL. For events related to the South London Art Map (SLAM) and other talks, consult ZAP’s website and Twitter feed.