C U S P
Curated by Nico Kos Earle
6th - 11th June 2022
We are on the C U S P of summer, watching for the sun to rise in a new era. We are on the C U S P of war or peace, of maturity or dementia, of climate breakdown or a new ecological order, of the digital world subsuming the real. Whilst we live on the C U S P, we do not often give enough time to this moment, so full of possibility. And yet - between two things, there is always the potential for a third. Often, artistic production hovers in this metamorphic space. In a dance between hand and imagination, materials are chosen and touched, cut and handled, and transformed into something else. C U S P is a moment expanded between two artists - Aigana Gali and Kate Braine - who work with strikingly different materials, but share a mutual joy in the intuitive, physical process of making.
“At the start of any human connection, there is always a moment of clarity where you can see it grow, stretch through time, evolve as it will evolve and end as it will end - all at once. It’s easy to see because in fact the whole relationship is already captured in its own beginning, just as the shape of all things is already contained within their first manifestation…” - A thread, a wizard, three cracks (1992-1995) Sandro Veronesi, The Hummingbird.
By inviting us across the threshold and into her studio home with C U S P, Braine is giving us a rare insight into the oft hidden site of artistic production. A space that has been co-curated over two decades between art making and family raising, this is a house in which every room holds the memory of what was imagined and what was made. Every doorway is a portal, every chamber another dimension. For C U S P Braine, who works as a potter and has a kiln in the garden, has co-curated the space with Gali, a multidisciplinary artist who works across a wide range of media, from canvas and paper to textiles and bronze, and has an ongoing couture project called Manifestations. In this intimate collaboration, both artists are exploring rich new seams of possibility; tracing this C U S P with the arched tentacles of vision.
Many of Braine’s ceramics begin with clay that is rolled out into a flat sheet that visually resembles fabric in both texture and tone. Just as Gali takes scissors to the fabric she uses, Braine then cuts into the clay, in curvaceous forms, to produce a body for the pot which she then folds and bends into shape. Importantly, she allows gravity to intervene whilst the clay hardens, so tentacles fan out naturally. This movement is also present in the swing and swish of Gali’s coats: mysterious creatures shimmering in the folds come to life when adorned. Both Gali and Braine create these works following the thread of intuition, guided by shapes in the natural world; both artists leave a space for the viewer or wearer to complete the story with their own imagination.
C U S P is a point of mutuality, one that encompasses multiple themes: a society on the brink of change; our need to be present to the moment; a time of physical transformation (both from childhood to adulthood, and the second half of our lives); living between the real and imagined. C U S P is a point which holds two things, and from which new forms will emerge; an exhibition for anyone interested in the process of making, or wanting to move through a creative space and imagine what will come next.
About the artists:
Kate Braine is a London based artist, who practices a wide range of mediums, including pottery, sculpture and design. Born in London and having studied sculpture at City & Guilds School of Art, Kate’s career centred on bronze portrait busts and body casts. Portrait busts of well-known figures include Sir David Tang, Ian Board, Francis Bacon and a full-scale body cast of music legend, David Bowie, later shown at The Gallery, Cork Street, within his one man exhibition. Kate subsequently studied ceramics at the Park Walk and Marlborough schools, which led to a lifelong passion for pottery and clay. Having produced ceramics over the past two decades, Kate’s works have featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, most recently, The Violet Hour, Ladbroke Gardens, London (2019), Carry on Creativity with Cynthia Corbett Gallery (2020), Lisa Norris Gallery (2020), Crean and Company Gallery (2020) Blue Minds Festival, in addition to the Argile Gallery, Art for Mayfair and The Mall Galleries and multiple sculpture sales at Christie’s. Her house, and meta-studio, has been the site for several exhibitions, most recently House of Pots, and now C U S P.
"I have always been fascinated by what lies beyond the visible, such as the many sea creatures that live beneath the ocean’s surface. I allow my imagination to run wild, to what could be lurking in the depths, and my pots are based on these biomorphic fantasies. To me C U S P is a point - an apex - and in this context it describes an artistic exploration between my clay and Aigana’s painted fabrics, embracing the transition between two such different mediums. This show allows us to exhibit and merge our works in unexpected ways, it is the beginning of something very exciting.” - Kate Braine
Aigana Gali is a multidisciplinary artist who works across a wide range of media, from canvas and paper to textiles and bronze, in a dynamic process guided by the ancient philosophy of the Tengri. Born on the crossing of the Great Silk Road in Almaty, Kazakhstan, to a Georgian mother and Kazakhstani father, Aigana’s formative years were spent in the wild, open cradle of the Eurasian Steppe. This rich cultural heritage is an infinite source to her work and Gali’s paintings are invested with subtle historical or mythical references. Over the past decade she has developed an important body of work, delineated by series: Creation Myth, Steppe and Tengri. Each representing a metaphorical chapter in her evolution as an artist and thinker, and an attempt to translate her cultural milieu. Expansive and beguiling, her works explore the mysterious forces - ancient wisdom, nature’s cycles and cosmic order - that shape our lives.
“Manifestations is an art project that honours the value that our ancestors placed on fabric, and cloth. In the steppe, which can be harsh and unforgiving, the coat is your most valuable possession. Just as the Saka buried treasures in the endless plains of the steppe, I wanted to make something precious, like an heirloom, that would also transform the wearer. Like a magical cloak, this is a work of art you can carry with you, and live inside.” - Aigana Gali