Testing Tropes at Kestle Barton

23 May — 12 July

Testing Tropes brings together six young artists working in London and Cornwall to Kestle Barton: Rural Centre for Contemporary Arts from 23 May through 12 July.

Starting from the idea of a 'trope', a commonly recurring structure or motif used in art practices: the figure, the minimal, the classical, the exhibition explores the relationship between these formal structures of the past and how they might be re-considered in the present.


Working across a variety of media including sculpture, painting, print, photography and film, these six artists all display an ability to stretch, question and reinvent our histories and heritage.

The resulting work is both familiar and unknown, mapping out patterns between
times, places and disciplines.

ATOI, Kira Freije, Lauren Keeley, Ruaidhri Ryan, Ben Sanderson

Cornwall based artist duo ATOI (Amy Thomas and Oliver Irvine) work across sculpture, photography and live performance. ForTesting Tropes the artists will be showing a fragment of a previous work made for a nature reserve in Co. Derry, Northern Ireland which was recently vandalised.

Kira Freije is a young sculptor currently working and studying in London at the Royal Academy Schools. Freije's compositions are often derived from the everyday - the basic structure of a window, or the grab poles on the London Underground - which are then negotiated with an idea of a figure.

Lauren Keeley is a painter and printmaker living and working in London. Her work brings together various processes and materials such as printmaking, laser cutting, woodworking, relief and assemblage to create composite 'paintings' that sit somewhere between an image and object.

London based film-maker Ruaidhri Ryan makes films that test and question the construction of the image and the artifice behind film production. For Testing Tropes, Ryan will be showing a new work Contrapposto, which explores the prevalence of a sculptural format that poses man in his most idealised form. Rooted in classical sculpture and still visible today, Ryan tracks this idealised pose through history, culture and philosophy.

Cornwall based painter and printmaker Ben Sanderson navigates the discipline of painting through the heroic figures he portrays and the array of processes he develops and explores. Sanderson's work demonstrates an exciting ability to discover, chart and reinvent, finding unusual new spaces in the discipline of painting, a discipline that often feels so well trodden.

Kestle Barton is open 10:30am -5pm Tuesday through Sunday. Closed Mondays generally but open Bank Holidays. Free admission and light refreshments available in the garden.

More Information about Kestle Barton...