Lexicon: responses to an exhibition by Alida Sayer at Marsden Woo Gallery

Wednesday March 16th 2016 at Marsden Woo Gallery - 23 Charlotte Road, London. EC2A 3PB
Featuring Fabian Peake, Christian Patracchini, Giovanna Coppola, Iris Colomb & SJ Fowler

An event that celebrated the work of Alida Sayer, and her remarkable exploration of language's very essence - its material, its glyphic presence in her Lexicon exhibition- through brand new responsive works by a host of poets and artists based in London. A vital exchange across the sculptural and physical, and the live and performative, this wa an event that transposed fundamental ideas about language, and in turn the language arts, through multiple artists and practises. Press Release http://www.marsdenwoo.com/press.htm

A note on curating the night by SJ Fowler Such a beautiful experience, to curate a night of new poetry and performance responding to Alida Sayer's magnificent exhibition at Marsden Woo Gallery. We did it all on quite a tight timeframe, really through my friendship with Marsden Woo curator Siobhan Feeney and an immediate passion I felt for Alida's work. She is interrogating, in sculpture, what I am interested in digging into in poetry - language, its instability, its material qualities, its graphic glypic abstraction. So I asked Giovanna Coppola, Fabian Peake, Iris Colomb and Christian Patracchini to come and see the work and we all presented this on a really enthusiastic evening, on March 16th (2016), in the gallery. 

Photos by Philip Sayer. 

A sequence of glyph-like forms reverberates throughout Alida Sayer’s second solo exhibition at Marsden Woo Gallery. Extracts from the vocabulary of an unknown language, perhaps, or moments of human thought and activity crystallized into material fragments?

In Lexicon, Sayer extends an ongoing investigation into methods of apprehending intangible structures of meaning and ways in which the formations and traces of human experience become translated, impressed into and suspended within matter and communicable forms. As she migrates the undulations and distinctively organic characteristics of traditional Korean hanji paper through a series of transformative processes, she explores the syneasthetic qualities of the cast and the scan as well as the linguistic qualities of rhythmically recurring forms.

The exhibition draws upon an immersive experience of contemporary South Korean culture during a research residency in spring 2015, as well as a recent encounter with the archeological sites at Pompeii and Herculaneum, in order to consider ideas surrounding the contemporary relationship to historic ritual.

ALIDA SAYER graduated from The Royal College of Art with an MA Sculpture in 2014 and previously studied Architecture and Visual Communication Design at Glasgow School of Art to 2009. As well as exhibiting in solo, group and touring shows in the UK, USA and South Korea, she has also worked on a broad range of collaborative, curatorial and production projects and given lectures and seminars to both public and Higher Education audiences nationally and internationally. Her work is featured in numerous books and printed publications worldwide and she has both received and been shortlisted for several awards, including the D&AD Best New Blood Award (winner, 2009) and the Royal College of Art Varley Award (winner, 2013).

In Spring 2015, Sayer undertook a three-month research residency at INTERVIEWS Studio in Andong, South Korea, which culminated in her first international solo exhibition, Skeins of Now, at Gallery Sagakhyung, Seoul (June 2015). She was also selected as a 2015-16 Associate Maker at Firstsite, Colchester, through which she received an artist development bursary to fund a research visit to Venice and Pompeii (October 2015) and a production residency at Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Aberdeenshire (November to December 2015). Examples of Sayer’s work are currently touring venues across the USA into 2016 as part of the award-winning group exhibition Stereo Type, which began at Boston Society of Architects in September 2014.

For more information, images, or to arrange an interview with the artist please contact Siobhan Feeney or Tatjana Marsden
tel: +44(0)20 7336 6396


Iris Colomb has lived in Paris, Brussels, Rome, Moscow, and is now studying graphic design in London at Camberwell College of Arts. As a performer she has featured at poetry events in Paris and London and her visual work has appeared in the French literary magazine ‘Mogmag’ in 2013, a collective exhibition in Donetsk called ‘We Fiddle While Rome Burns’ in 2014, and an auction in Versailles in 2015. She is now focussing on merging her design and poetry practice and curating events linking poetry to other disciplines and challenging the traditional context of the poetry reading.