Extended Field

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Finding a View by Matthew Swift

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Paintings

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Am I A Tree? by Matthew Swift

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Things That Are There

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Things That Are There – Work by Ana Vicente and Matthew Swift

Things That Are There is the eponymously titled first exhibition from the collective Things That Are There (now Ground Collective), Tom Banks, Sam Hodge, Mike Sims, Mark Sowden, Ana Vicente and Matthew Swift. The exhibition pays attention to details and views that normally go unnoticed. There is an almost anthropological element to the findings each artist makes. In this sense landscapes concern these artists, not as verdant representations of grand vistas but as sites of investigation that allow particular encounters to occur. Things That Are There creates a meeting place where each artist, mapping particular geographies, brings their divergent findings and places them alongside each other for further examination and consideration. The Margate Pie Factory’s weathered walls and floors formed a sympathetic backdrop creating an ideal sense of place for further discourses between works to occur.

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By The Way

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By The Way – Visitors walking through exhibition

By The Way is the second exhibition from the ongoing project Things That Are There (now known as Ground Collective). This exhibition at Lewisham Arthouse brought together six artists, Madi Acharya-Baskerville, Tom Banks, Joost Gerritsen, Sam Hodge, Mark Sowden, Matthew Swift and a writer, Mike Sims. They all make work that emerges from engagements with the landscapes they inhabit and move through on a regular basis. By The Way has multiple readings, partly alluding to things that are glimpsed and noticed when moving along pathways and through spaces. It is also a nod of recognition to the location of the gallery along Lewisham Way. However, most crucially, it acknowledges the relevance of the meaning of the phrase ‘by the way’, when used in conversation, introducing a new tangential adjunct, or thought to the topic being discussed, reflecting the various exploratory working practises of those involved. By The Way closed with a successful event highlighted by a performance from Dinner (Ana Vicente, Fionnuala Kennedy, Helle Tviberg) performing Orange; poetry readings from Mike Sims and Julia Bird and a discussion with the artists about their work.

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24 Hours of Everything

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24 Hours of Everything, installation view – Starting with Matthew Swift, left, ending with Paula Stuttman, right

24 Hours of Everything (2018) is Paula Stuttman’s and Matthew Swift’s sequel as creative collaborators to 24 Hours of Cable (1998). This incarnation of ‘24 Hours’ acknowledges the seismic change from analogue to digital that has occurred during the intervening two decades. The opportunity to utilise the redundant waiting room on platform one of Whitstable Station during the Whitstable Biennale was the perfect venue to curate an installation where their artworks would overlap and visually engage with each other. Stuttman presents shimmering and intensely produced drawings made with iridescent marker pens of disjointed bodies, political motifs and everyday references alongside Swift’s Concrete and ceramic sculptures, collages and small-scale canvases.

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Incubator of Ideas

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Incubator of Ideas – Tom Banks and gallery visitor examine collected pieces by Mark Sowden

Incubator of Ideas was a self-directed residency at APT in which Ground Collective consolidated its identity. It was an astonishingly creative and collaborative experience, made the more potent by occurring between Covid lockdowns and restrictions. Madi Acharya-Baskerville, Tom Banks, Sam Hodge, Joost Gerritsen, Mike Sims, Mark Sowden, Matthew Swift, Marcia Teusink and Ana Vicente inhabited the gallery as a shared workshop for a week. The immediate area of Deptford Creek became a site of investigation and the gallery a place of research, scrutiny, and creative experiments. It gave the collective the opportunity to consolidate plans for Ground Work (taking place the following year) also at APT Gallery. It showcased the start of our partnership with Bonus Pastor Secondary School, highlighting artwork made by GCSE year 10 students engaged in a visual dialogue with Ground Collective.

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Ground Work

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Ground Work – artwork from left to right Mark Sowden, Ana Vicente, Mike Sims, Drawings from Meet Me At The Albany, Mark Sowden, Madi Acharya Baskerville, Tom Banks, Joost Gerritsen

Ground Work at APT, was born out of Ground Collective’s residency, Incubator of Ideas that happened in the gallery space a year previously. The same nine artists, Madi Acharya Baskerville, Tom Banks, Sam Hodge, Joost Gerritsen, Mike Sims, Mark Sowden, Matthew Swift, Marcia Teusink and Ana Vicente continued to be involved with this project. Ground Collective’s interest lies in finding objects and making observations from the everyday landscapes they travel through, reconfiguring these discoveries into artworks, performances, poems and installations. They celebrate a slowing down and a closer scrutiny of things that are overlooked or forgotten. A prime concern for Ground Collective during their time at APT was to engage with people living locally, to discover their journeys, discoveries and thoughts and how these might manifest in objects, writing and artworks that express something of who they are in relation to the spaces and places they inhabit. Displaying the responses of Older People from Meet Me At The Albany and Younger People from Bonus Pastor Secondary School’s GCSE Year 11 Art Class added a crucial layer to the final exhibition. Matthew Swift initiated and brought the different threads of the project together, but it was only with the incredible support from all in Ground Collective the project was able to succeed. The final curation was carried out collaboratively with the curatorial team of Sam Hodge, Mark Sowden, Matthew Swift and Marcia Teusink.

Ground Collective consolidated its identity. It was an astonishingly creative and collaborative experience, made the more potent by occurring between Covid lockdowns and restrictions.

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Recent Work

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Cloud Landing by Matthew Swift

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