Heywood & Condie | The Greenhouse
20 June 2016 - 28 October 2016
RBS Sculpture Forecourt,108 Old Brompton Road London SW7 3RA
Heywood & Condie’s The Greenhouse (2015) has travelled directly from Jerwood Gallery in Hastings. Constructed from 18th and 19th Century stained glass, its Christian iconography dismantled and reconfigured to present a world of chimeras, mythical creatures and folkloric hybrids – part plant, part human, part insect – evoking an archaic, more primitive world.
In this past, Nature held a symbolic place in people’s lives: we respected our dependence on the natural world, its natural and planetary systems. A spirituality, designed to integrate the human and the natural worlds, developed with shamans, medicine people, preachers, healers and priestesses taking on the spiritual role of mediating between the human and natural worlds through the use of images of the cycles of life, birth, growth and the sacred life-giving body of woman, of regeneration, magic and mystery.
The walls of The Greenhouse are adorned with reconfigurations of these ancient symbols and patterns which humans have used for thousands of years to celebrate the cycle of life from times when human, plant and animal fertility was the central focus of sacred concern. Once inside, the greenhouse is a sanctuary and a space for introspection which demands a meditation on image, concept and nature endlessly reflected in the infinity floor. The forms and images at play spring from the eternal themes of birth, death, regeneration and harmony with nature.