Nicole Kelly Westman, 2017.
Those isles of yours that wait for me
Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay
Nicole Kelly Westman
May 20 to May 25, 2017
Cultural Centre, Charilaou Trikoupi 121, Athens, Greece
Curated by Natasha Chaykowski + Tarin Hughes
AKA artist-run + Untitled Art Society
Those isles of yours that wait for me, an exhibition of work by Calgary-based artist Nicole Kelly Westman and Ediburgh-based artist Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, takes up the irresolute feelings of longing for a place, a time, a connection, a person. Romance – but not just romantic love, to be clear – threads the works in this exhibition; Westman enkindles notions of running away, the impossibility of being in a place, and the unrelenting impetus to connect to those afar, despite the unbreachable distance between her and such imaginary others, while Nemerofsky Ramsay unfurls the inherent intimacy of exchanges across time and place, both written and floral.
Nemerofsky Ramsay’s work takes as its inspiration the legendary correspondence between the French author Colette and her Swiss publisher, Henri-Louis Mermod. Mermod sent Colette weekly floral bouquets, to which the author responded with floral essays, eventually published in 1949 under the title Pour un Herbier. Here, the form of this correspondence is reversed, as the artist sends personal letters to Athens-based writer and composer Kiriakos Spirou, who interprets the themes of the writing in floral bouquets.
Through the use of Google image-sourced tones of tourist-captured Grecian sunsets, and the evocation of ubiquitous romantic yet trite mise-en-scenes of silk curtains blowing in the salty Aegean wind, Westman traces the contours of desire and expectation, suggesting that perhaps they are more seductive than reality.
Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay is an artist, diarist, and correspondent. His work in video, sound and text has exhibited internationally and is part of the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Canada, the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, and the Thielska Galleriet Stockholm.
Nicole Kelly Westman is a visual artist of Métis and Icelandic descent. She grew up in a supportive home with strong-willed parents – her mother, a considerate woman with inventive creativity, and her father, an anonymous feminist. Insight and inspiration for her work are culled from these formative years. Creating work that exists beyond the binaries of a specific medium, Westman finds inspiration through the plumbing of archives and through deep research.