PENNY GORING Escape from Blood Castle
Campoli Presti, Paris
until 14 July 2020
Campoli Presti presents Escape from Blood Castle, Penny Goring’s first exhibition with the gallery. A series of drawings, paintings, sculptures and videos respond to personal and universal traumas such as grief, violence, addiction, ageing, chronic pain and fear, increasingly exacerbated by the incessant expansion of economic relations into our private realm. The exhibition title evokes a “solve it yourself” puzzle adventure book from the 80s and the impossibility to think our experiences outside capitalist terms.
Goring’s drawings and paintings are based on autobiographical experiences yet reference symbolist traditions within her own gloomy, girlish universe. Her “Art Hell” drawings expand on recurrent motifs such as malevolent landscapes, anthropomorphic flowers, scatological weeping and the double figure of Penny and Amelia, an ex-lover who died young from a heroin overdose. In her paintings, precision is key: flat backgrounds become fields of colour, trapping dismembered or distorted female figures at various stages of attempted escape.
Made with fabric and vintage thread, all sewn by hand, Goring’s doll sculptures reference, amongst other things, children’s imagery and our attachment to transitional objects. The dolls of Escape from Blood Castle are manifestly marked by their damage, amputation, and mending, referencing the body as a receptacle and target for trauma and suffering.
The poem Escape from Blood Castle continues Goring’s raw, confrontational style, and operates as a marker for the exhibition itself. The juxtaposition between the text, the videos, the works’ titles and their reappearing motifs recall the arrangement of her works online, in which all her media perform without hierarchies, resisting strategy.
Penny Goring (born 1962 in London, UK) graduated in 1994 from Kingston School of Art in London with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art (Painting). Goring makes drawings, paintings, sculptures, videos, and poems that access recurring personal trauma visions, and by layering these with grief, anxiety, imagination and rage, the subsequent invented mythologies become explorations of the contemporary state of emergency – where violence is commonplace, structural, intimate, where loss of freedoms is forgotten or keenly lamented, and there is no rescue or escape. Goring has exhibited at, amongst others, ICA, London;; Tate St. Ives; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw;; South London Gallery and Arcadia Missa, London. Goring lives and works in London.