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Exhibition: chance + CONTROL: The Art of Letting Go | Slash Arts, London, 2021

In April 2021 I was invited to take part in a pop-up group show with fellow UAL MA Fine Art Digital graduates Betty Leung and Eugenia Shishkina on the Slash Arts gallery boat.

Slash Arts is a new physical and virtual accelerator gallery, dedicated to showcasing and nurturing contemporary fine artists emerging from leading art schools. Slash Arts aims to work collaboratively with artists to conceive its programme of exhibitions and events, including performances, art talk salons, and pop-up shows in the UK and across Europe, always encouraging conversations and creativity across disciplines. Slash’s London base is a widebeam narrowboat on a tranquil mooring in Kings Cross next to Central Saint Martins.

With the exhibition taking place in June 2021, we had only 7 weeks to both create a concept for the show and develop our work. Watch the below video to see what we were able to achieve in that short space of time.



Private View: Friday 11th June 6 PM – 8 PM, Limited admission. Invitation only.

Exhibition dates: Saturday 12th June through Sunday, 13th June 2021. Open to the public from 11 AM till 6 PM.

Location: SLASH ARTS Gallery Boat, Regent’s Canal Tow Path, Accessed via Muriel Street, London N1.

Download the exhibition catalogue below...

Download PDF • 339KB

This thought-provoking exhibition showcased works from artists Danielle Jacques, Betty Leung, and Eugeniya Shishkina in a unique exhibition environment within a domestic houseboat. This unconventional exhibition inverted the houseboat into an immersive experience, where visitors were invited to hop off the towpath and explore the collection of prints, sculpture, projection, and installation.

‘Objective chance’ is described by André Breton as the ability to place oneself in a “state of grace” with chance (Jensen, 2011). The surrealists saw chance as a tool to reach the borders of the conscious mind. The belief that there are experiences of great significance happening automatically and outside of conscious control is central to the surrealists and objective chance. To get to these margins of the conscious mind, the surrealists used several chance procedures such as automatic assemblage, collage, writing and drawing.

Chance introduces uncertainty and contingency to the work, but it is not a matter of uncontrolled impulse or sheer chaos. Rather, chance occurs only in predetermined conditions, like throwing a die. Central is the desire to embrace the unexpected. As the artist relaxes agency, the work grows more independent of its creator. Rather than being purely an expression of the artist, the work takes on a certain life of its own, deriving its meaning from its material, context and situation.

Artists have employed chance as an artistic process since Dadaism, Duchamp and surrealism. It is central to practices ranging from the readymade, collage-based art, performance, and more recently digital art. It is this emphasis on serendipitous discoveries that link the works of Jacques, Leung, and Shishkina. Their approaches are as many as they are varied-feedback loops, kinetic sculpture, ceramics, and the fluidity of experience. From human minds to AI minds, these works sit at the edge of consciousness in a balance between chance and control.

The Slash Arts gallery boat | Moored on Regent's Canal Towpath between Kings Cross and Angel, London


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