Malene Hartmann Rasmussen | Rui Matsunaga | Nadege Meriau | Mimei Thompson

Tuesday 15th - Saturday 19th September 2015
83 Kinnerton Street, London SW1X 8ED
12pm - 6pm

Drinks Reception: Thursday 17th 6 - 8pm

ANIMISM presents work by four artists who create parallel universes - bizarre, mysterious, and at times unnerving worlds - that question the nature of our own reality. They take the familiar and turn it on its head. In particular, they share a preoccupation with the idea that animals and plants have souls, and that rivers, mountains and rocks, if not actually alive, are in some way sentient. It is not anthropomorphism. It is a way of thinking that emerges from a close connection to nature, and is thus associated with primitive societies. However, to dismiss it as a belief system borne out of sentimentality or ignorance is perhaps to miss the point that an affinity with, and intimate relationship to, our environment may actually be of value in how it teaches us to respect non-human entities, and not to treat them as mere resources.


Malene Hartmann Rasmussen works with mixed media sculpture, making and arranging multiple components into complex narrative tableaux of visual excess. Her surreal installations create “a place beyond reality, a deceitful echo of the real world, that bends the perception of what is real.” Malene studied at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts School of Design in Denmark, and at the Royal College of Art, London. She has has exhibited in Denmark, UK, France, Italy, Croatia, Sweden and Belgium. Malene won the Jerwood Makers Open 2015 (currently touring the UK) and was shortlisted for the British Ceramics Biennial Award 2013 and the Perrier-Jouet Arts Salon Prize 2015. She has been Guest Artist at the International Ceramic Center Guldagergaard in Denmark and undertaken several public commissions.

Rui Matsunaga’s practice is founded in Asian folklore and story-telling. Her paintings are a window into a fantastical realm, a world inhabited by frenzied and at times grotesque characters - foxes, rabbits and ogres, drawn from traditional Japanese myth but immediately familiar to Western eyes - as they dance, play, revel, and cavort. Born in Japan, Rui studied a the Royal Academy Schools and the Central Saint Martins College of Art. She has exhibited widely, including in the John Moores and Celeste Art Prize. 

Nadege Meriau takes organic subject matter - food, plants, insects, vegetation - and re-presents it to disorientate the viewer. Utilising photography, sculpture and installation, central to her practice is the concept of dwelling, drawing out parallels between manmade and organic architecture. Exploring in particular notions of the sublime, her work shows nature creeping into the cracks in contemporary urban living. Nadege was shortlisted for the Bloomberg New Contemporaries and the Conran Award in 2011, nominated for the Arts Foundation Fellowship 2012, the Arles Prix Decouverte 2012 and more recently the Prix Pictet 2014. 

Mimei Thompson paints the underdog: the overlooked, the humble, and the ridiculed; the disgusting and the discarded. There is no hierarchy in Mimei’s practice. Wise owls and humanoid apes sit alongside a chorus of snails, moths, and flies. Weeds are painted alongside rhododendrons. Each is painted with the same empathy and gentle humour, drawing out their intrinsic nature of her subject. Mimei studied at Glasgow School of Art, Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art. She has been selected for Jerwood Contemporary Painters and the Marmite Painting Prize, and three of her works were bought for the Arts Council England Collection. She lives and works in London. 

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Above image: Ape, Mimei Thompson, 2013, oil on canvas, 24 x 30 cm