The ONCA Gallery is currently open Wednesday – Saturday. The ONCA Barge is open on Fridays for Dresscue and Community Afternoons, and for one-off events. See below for more information.
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Mary Martin & Paccha Turner Chuji: To Mar or Enroot
9 June – 25 June
To Mar or Enroot: Choosing the Path for Seeding the Pluriverse is an exhibition by emerging artists Mary Martin & Paccha Turner Chuji.
About the exhibition
The Pluriverse, as the Zapatistas describe it, ‘is a world where many worlds fit’ in autonomous coexistence, celebrating our differences and working together towards planetary harmony. The totality of the physical, spiritual and liminal realms of life are embedded within it. There are myriad universalities within the pluriverse – cultures, perspectives, voices, dimensions – instead of just one, which is the dominant idea that lies at the core of the ideological glitch that is capitalist globalisation.
To Mar or Enroot: Choosing the Path for Seeding the Pluriverse explores various potential impending byproducts of the Anthropocene, and many which have already been imposed onto our hurting world. Through the liminal reach, neither utopian nor dystopian, species transform to adapt to our rapidly changing and disrupted internal and external worlds. This process of metamorphosis – both obvious and hidden – surrounds the human and nonhuman worlds, whether evolving or disfiguring, as the symbiotic codependency of humanity and the rest of nature is neglected. Chuji and Martin play with the balance of seemingly beautiful and disturbing, giving voice to perturbing phenomena that urgently need to be heard.
There is an urgency to tackle this disconnection between the source that birthed us and the anthropocentric constructs that have been imposed onto the world’s majorities. To Mar or Enroot can be read as protest and commentary on the underbelly of our hegemonic society in which, on the surface, all appears to still function. However, under its shiny plastic veil, the system lies completely broken and is interrupting the harmonious flows of the pluriverse.
It is this imposed disconnection from – and disregard of – our Mother Earth and ancestral Indigenous roots that has led the artists to express our changing worlds through metamorphosing, surrealist dreamscapes, whilst taking a new atavistic stand. We choose the path for seeding the pluriverse – enrooting harmonious ways of coexisting, while reviving and nourishing our internal worlds in order to enrich the external ones.
About the artists
Mary Martin is an Irish visual artist and a 2021 Fine Art Graduate of Brighton School of Art.
Through paint, Martin constructs an alternate reality; a heterotopia. Her playful approach to language and interpretation together with her vibrant and surreal compositions belie a serious reflection on the Anthropocene where she presents a future evolutionary state where it is unclear if humanity still exists.
While Martin’s paintings appear playful and theatrical, their serious undertones address the growing disconnection between hyper capitalist society and the natural and liminal worlds and its effect on the Anthropocene, with fish forms mutating into mermaid-like hybrids, secretly advancing in the natural world without our knowledge.
Recent shows Gormworm, Tapir Gallery, Berlin (2022), Hu[manned] Mission, Lumen Crypt Gallery, London (2021) and FUSE, Regency Townhouse Gallery, Brighton (2021) show Martin’s confidence in paint and print; these and her upcoming residency on the ONCA Barge reflect an exciting emerging artist with her finger on the pulse of a reality in crisis.
Paccha Turner Chuji is an Indigenous emerging artist and activist, whose work explores ontological debates such as the nature of human-nonhuman relationships and the socio-historical constructions of our understandings of the world, especially from the perspective of her Kichwa Amazonian identity and culture.
She uses art as a bridge between the physical and the spiritual, and as a space that allows the subconscious realm to speak and to reveal itself. The interconnection between all forms of existence, and the challenging of hegemonic ideas of the rational in contrast to the relational, are some of the fields that she navigates and explores, both within her artistic and non artistic work.
Wednesdays 1 – 6pm
Thursdays 1 – 6pm
Fridays 1 – 6pm
Saturdays 1 – 4pm
**Please note the gallery will only be open 4 – 7pm on Thursday 9 June for the launch event, and will be closed from 4:30pm on Friday 10 June for a private event**
Image credits: painting by Mary Martin (left) and digital collage by Paccha Turner Chuji (right)
Image description: a composite image of Mary Martin & Paccha Turner Chuji’s artwork. On the left a painting by Mary Martin portrays a surreal fishy scene. A large dark brown fish head floats disembodied in the top half of the composition, its open mouth intersecting with the light turquoise outline of a mermaid’s purse that stands in a anthropomorphic fashion in the bottom right. Within the outline of the mermaid’s purse is landscape of earthen tones that differs to the main landscape in the background of the painting. Coming in on the bottom left is another fish head which appears to be emerging from or walking with the body of a mermaid’s purse. The background is made up of loose areas of colour representative of a rocky landscape with a river and cloudy sky. The second part of the composite image is made up of an artwork by Paccha Turner Chuji’s, a digital photographic collage. An outstretched hand with red stained finger tips reaches down from the top of the image offering several black round seeds. Radiating out from these seeds are several tracks of light and organic looking forms that swirl around repeatedly to form layers of patterns and movement on top of each other. The background is dark green and blurry but suggests vegetation or organic matter.
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