Pump House Gallery and Czech Centre London present an exhibition of new and existing work by sisters Pavla and Lucia Sceranková. The artists' first major exhibition in the UK brings together a body of work reflecting the constellations of visual, material and conceptual references that inform their practices. Highly responsive to context, Pavla and Lucia Sceranková have developed the show in response to the unique architecture of the gallery and its setting in Battersea Park.
Pavla Scerankova’s sculptural installations and video-performances are characterised by minimalism, subtle humour and sensitive relation to their surroundings, playfully inviting the spectator to interact and explore the relationships between perception and the perceived world. Lucia Sceranková creates photographic and sculptural installations, often from her immediate surroundings, manually transforming reality into illusion and fiction.
In addition to the exhibition at Pump House Gallery a new, temporary public artwork will be sited in Battersea Park’s Pleasure Garden fountains. This kinetic sculptural installation expands and extends the exhibition into the public space of the park, drawing upon a pool of conceptual and aesthetic references including the artists’ recent research into the history of the fountains as part of the 1951 Festival of Britain. Following a site visit in summer 2016, the artists were inspired by British modernist architect Edward Mills and his Abacus Screen, originally created in 1951 for the Festival’s Southbank site.
Accents of this research are picked up in the work on display at the gallery where sculptural, photographic and installation works intervene in the architecture. Tension is at the heart of the exhibition: the tension between two artists’ work that is being presented at such close quarters, the physical tension within many of the works and the tension of the artists inviting the audience to interact with certain works.
These elements of risk and tension within the exhibition create a connection through the park that invites audience members to explore the site as a whole and contemplate the concepts of the exhibition in the specific setting of the park.
Pavla Sceranková was born in Kosice, Slovakia and lives and works in Prague, Czech Republic. Between 2000-06 she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, where she also completed her PhD in 2011. Together with Dusan Zahoransky she co-directs the studio for inter-media arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. Selected solo exhibitions include Veritas, Drdova Gallery, Prague (2015); Constellation, Moravian Gallery, Brno; Old Light in the Department Galaxies, Fait Gallery, Brno (both 2014); and Woman in the Moon, Prague City Gallery, Prague (2013). Selected group exhibitions include Apparatus for a Utopian Image, EFA Project Space, New York (2016), Beyond the Obvious, curated by Zita Sárvári, Deák Erika Gallery & Inda Gallery, Viltin, Budapest; The Soft Codes. Conceptual Tendencies in Slovak Art. curated by Vladimír Beskid, Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, Wroclaw; Model, curated by Ladislav Kesner, Gallery Rudolfinum, Prague (all 2015); Europe Europe, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Thomas Boutoux and Gunnar B. Kvaran, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo; 9th Biennial of Photography and Visual Arts, Liege (both 2014).
In 2015 Pavla was a finalist for the Jindrich Chalupecky Award. She won the Vaclav Chad Award at the Zlin Salon of Young Artists in Prague in 2009 and the Cyprian award at the Trnava Biennial in 2007. Her works are included in public collections including the National Gallery in Prague, the Slovakian National Gallery in Bratislava, Prague City Gallery, and a number of private European collections.
Lucia Sceranková was born in Kosice, Slovakia. She lives and works in Prague, Czech Republic and London. She has an MA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (2009-11) and a BA from the Department of Intermedia and Multimedia at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (2004-09).
Selected solo exhibitions include VOGL (with Klara Hosnedlova), hunt kastner gallery, Prague (2016); Lucia Scerankova, Zahorian & Van Espen gallery, Bratislava; The Edge Is a Surface (with Katarina Hruskova), gallery OFF Format, Brno (both 2015); The Old Light in the Galaxies Department, Fait Gallery, Brno (2014); Sun in the Showcase, Fotograf Gallery, Prague (2013). Selected group exhibitions include Arc of Memory, Zahorian & Van Espen Gallery, Prague (2017); The Hidden Language of Plants, Kinsky Palace, National Gallery Prague (2015); Jindrich Chalupecky Award, National gallery, Prague; About the Chair, 9th International biennial of photography and visual arts, Liège (both 2014).
Lucia was nominated for the Vaclav Chad Award at the Zlin Salon of Young Artists in 2015, the Jindrich Chalupecky award in 2014 and Czech Artist of the Year in 2013.