Friday, 3 February 2012

HARK for JaguarShoes Collective.

The HARK for JaguarShoes Collective exhibition opened at the Old Shoreditch Station on Thursday. The much anticipated first collaborative project between Andrew Macgregor and Audrey Roger promised to be “one of the most ambitious installations that has ever been attempted at The Old Shoreditch Station” and it certainly lived up to its expectations.

The impressive exhibition featured beautifully hand crafted paper objects which manipulated shape to form two and three dimensional pieces in an explosion of colour.

Inspired by the pair’s mutual fascination with geometric patterning and interest in nature based themes, the designs depict abstract creatures such as beavers, bears, eagles and sharks. The exhibition has an iconographic element in the sense that the forms created are symbolic and present spiritual elements.

On being asked how the collaborative exhibition came together Audrey Roger commented: “Andy Macgregor and myself started the project by talking about our mutual inspirations and skills which led to the idea of creating an installation of 3D paper abstract totems.

“We wanted something referencing spiritual and nature based themes and using colour, geometric shapes and patterns. We also wanted something quite tactile and 3D.”

The geometrical patterns with their strong use of symmetry and angular shapes, are reminiscent of mosaics which can be found in Ancient Aztec art. Similarly to HARK’s designs often these ancient mosaics consisted of angular designs with repeating patterns. The main function of Aztec art was to express religious and mythical concepts, for example the image of an eagle symbolized the warrior, and these influences can be seen in the HARK designs.

Two-dimensional HARK designs

The exhibition presents the figures of animals by manipulating shape and form, through a range of different angular shapes. Bold colour blocking combined with sharp geometric form is a style which became highly recognized during the 60s, and this influence is reflected in the HARK designs, with their distinctively strong and vibrant colour ways.

Interestingly, the objects were arranged sporadically around the exhibition room, with some three-dimensional pieces protruding from the walls and ceiling. The use of mirrors to enhance the symmetrical element of the display was particularly intriguing.

How the project began...

The HARK collaborative project was initiated a year ago after Audrey saw a wall installation Andrew had designed on the Supermarket Sarah website, having created a wall installation herself she contacted Andrew, they discussed ideas and the project came together.

‘We started talking about our respective work and things we liked and Andy suggested we collaborate on a project together. Fast forward a few months later when I met Vickie from the Jaguar Shoes Collective and told her about a possible collaboration between me and Andy. She suggested we put on a show at one of her venues which was extremely exciting! We then got to talking with Andy about how we could combine our styles and what we could put on as a show.’

Although the design process started a year ago, the actual production of the paper crafted creatures did not begin until July. ‘We chose to make up some pyramid shapes to workout the different colour ways. They’re beautiful objects and we even considered using them for the show but decided not to for compositional reasons.

‘We knew pretty early on though that we wanted to work with stackable shapes and so we decided to combine our interests in Totem Poles, Children’s blocks, Central & South American and African art, and of course Mother Nature herself.’

A selection of HARK prints can be purchased from JaguarShoes Collective here.

The HARK exhibition is running from 27th January - 18th March 2012

Old Shoreditch Station
1 Kingsland Road,
E2 8DA

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