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'Amber', the latest body of work from Hazel Brill at Workplace Gallery

Updated: May 6

Rooted in her research around prometheus narratives in gothic fiction and sci-fi, Amber, an exhibition of the latest body of work from Hazel Brill, combines an assortment of mechanical and organic materials taking inspiration from how biomimicry and biotechnology in architecture blurs the lines between living and non-living.

'Amber' is currently on at Workplace until 25th May, 2024.

The title references Brill’s interest in the dual seduction and fear around transformative technologies, as amber lights can be both a warning and acalming, protective presence. Amber has further significance as the resin holds the non-living in stasis, not allowing organisms to decompose, leading to mythologies around it holding the essence of life. Brill uses microscopic images of ancient plant fragments and fossilised insects found inside amber in the designs of her sculptures as well as incorporating pine resin and amber in the materials.

Congregating in the centre of the gallery, alluding to a surreal laboratory gone awry, the works are created from internal mechanisms, such as simple rotating devices, lightbulbs and speakers, as well as strange prophetic dioramas. Modest in size yet intricate in their construction, they embody a sense of motion and agency, like tiny hybrid creatures that have emerged from other worlds.


Hazel Brill, 'BioGem', 2024, Steel, silicone rubber, latex, magnet, motor, card, wire, LED light Including artist made plinth: 100 x 40 x 45 cm (39.3 x 15.7 x 17.7 in)
Hazel Brill, 'BioGem', 2024, Steel, silicone rubber, latex, magnet, motor, card, wire, LED light Including artist made plinth: 100 x 40 x 45 cm (39.3 x 15.7 x 17.7 in)

Her most recent body of work sits between the grotesque and seductive, creepy and tender – expanding upon theuncanny presence of puppet theatre, clockwork animatronics and other forms of beings that navigate the line between living and dead. Bacteria features in the ‘belly’ of one of the sculptures, further alluding to histories of technology imbuing inanimate objects with life – a pygmalian and Frankenstein-like narrative which increasingly underpins storytelling around science and touches on the role of emotion in scientific research.


The sculptures embody an ominous presence and ambiguous sense of agency, acting both as protagonists and portals.Abstract narratives are weaved across the surface and material, appearing on metal, clay, glass, pine-resin, resin 3-d prints, as well as an imprinted on the wall-based works.


Join us on 9th May at Workplace for the Fitzrovia Lates extended hours event, and visit Hazel's exhibition in the low light of the evening. For more information on Hazel Brill or Workplace Gallery, please email kate@artscopeintl.com.

 

 

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