In this solo exhibition of photographs and mixed media works on paper, Carrie Foulkes explores notions of defence, taking inspiration from three sites: the sea, the desert and the garden. The show brings together new and older pieces that represent the artist’s abiding interest in the meeting places of bodies, architecture and the living world.

Reflecting on the myriad ways in which plants protect themselves, Defence Mechanisms presents portraits of Mexican cactus, Suffolk foxglove and Spanish desert thistle. These are viewed in dialogue with a picture of a coastal nuclear power station’s cooling apparatus. Beach pebbles are gathered in the arms of a figure that merges with the shoreline. Anonymous hotel room interiors become symbols of contemplation and refuge.

Working with analogue photography, drawing, painting and collage, the artist considers the interconnectivity of internal and external structures, viewing the image as a conduit between the material and intangible, conscious and unconscious spheres. Her work with paper echoes the barbs and bright toxicity of flora.

Autobiographical strands are woven throughout the exhibition, positing the making of images as a strategy of self-defence and method of survival.

On the 23rd September the artist will host a Live Night from 7-9pm featuring literary contributions from invited guests, the creative community being another vital source of sanctuary and support. Open to the public and free to attend.

Copyright Carrie Foulkes 2023 

[Here is my archive]

My heart is a vacuum of horror;
I want to run amok but I am too civilized