Displaying Fragments is not the title of this show, yet it could have been. I am borrowing it from a recent commemorative exhibition in Beijing in which the heading alluded to the impossibility of capturing any complete version of the past in the exhibition format. It seems to me that the combination of “displaying” and “fragments” is also a possible way of describing the inevitably incomplete visual dialogue happening at the Herbert Read Gallery between the sculptures and installations of Susan Fletcher and the paintings of Alain Urrutia.
Another way in which the borrowed title could have worked is by separating the two words. Indeed, both Fletcher and Urrutia are interested in displays, in how we show things and hide others. And they are also attracted towards fragments which are physically or temporarily disconnected from the whole. In their interchange, one artist seems to cover what the other is about to discover. There are devices to look through, and obstacles that deny complete pictures; bodily parts in red wax next to fragmented narrations in black and white. What is visible or invisible? How do we reconstruct the parts that are missing? And what is the relation of the (re)presented fragments to the whole? Every exhibition is a display of fragments or a fragmented display; this one too is the partial reconstruction of a past conversation.
Susan Fletcher started her studies in Theatre Design, moving on to Fashion and Textiles, which she studied at Birmingham University. She worked with designers Yorke and Cole in Paris and Joe Casely-Hayford in London and went on to run her own fashion design business, Fletcher Joyce. Fletcher also holds an MA in Fine Art from UCA Canterbury. On graduating, she was selected as a national finalist for sculpture at the 2013 Signature Art Prize London. She has also exhibited at the Brewery Tap, Folkestone, and was commissioned by the Griffin Gallery to make an installation for the Crypt Gallery in London in 2015.
Alain Urrutia (Bilbao, 1981) lives and works in London. He graduated from Fine Art at the Basque Country University and Academia Brera in Milan in 2004. He has received awards from the Diputación Foral de Bizkaia and the Basque Government, as well as residency fellowships at the MA Studio in Beijing and at Rogeland Art Centre of Stavanger (Norway) among others. Urrutia’s works have been exhibited at international museums, including at the Boston Centre for the Arts, CA2M in Madrid, Artium in Vitoria, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.