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All the Frequent Troubles of our Days  |  Four Corners Gallery | September 2022


This exhibition was guest curated by Rita Silveira Machado

It borrows its title from the book “All the frequent troubles of our days” by Rebecca Donner, Canongate Books.

The starting point of this exhibition was an open submission for the members of the regroup Collective. From these submissions, the idea was to find a common thread that could link such different artists and mediums. But more than it being thematic or visual, a connection of shared problems and concerns started to form, a somewhat uneasy way of looking at the current world. The exhibition tries to map these concerns with the use of themes such as portraiture or landscape which are starting points for conversations around shared issues of identity, memory, and our relationship with nature. In conversations with the regroup artists, I was reminded of how art school inherently shaped the collective thinking of the group, leading to their conceptual similarities despite the visual result being so diverse.

The first group of works in the smaller space are rooted in concerns about the fragile relationship between humans and nature. Francisco Timóteo’s small paintings of clouds evoke a feeling of contemplation and lightness that echo throughout the space. This is particularly clear in connection to Marta Zanatti’s juxtaposed landscapes and Alex Long Yuan’s “Floating Rock” sculpture, the weightlessness of the latter concealing a deep apprehension about the consequences of human action on the environment. This concern is also shared by Loraine Monk’s etchings of a changing stream recorded in her daily walks. In a changing world, Sarah Chalkie Cloonan tries to make sense of her existence by capturing past moments in her collages and assemblages, this is also resonated by Margarida Pinheiro’s use of painted memories as a process of self-discovery.


As we approach the larger gallery, the dynamic of the space changes with the colour palette warming and the eye level lowered to the works on the floor. The large painting “Ephemeral Pulse” by Nicolau Garrido captures our attention with the evocation of ruins and the passage of time with this idea of decay also present in the intricate bronze sculptures of Pawel Tajer. On the floor we can find Maria Cohen’s sculpted painting “Unfolding Identity”, installed as if reminiscent of a prior moment and movement. This work has performative qualities and explores the artist’s sexual identity who recurrently covers herself with the painting. There is a very visual link to Jeremy Scott’s draping figures and his exploration of the codes and symbolism associated with clothes. These notions of ecology, time and identity continue through the paintings of Jo Gabriele Sheppard and the portraits of Leila Lebreton, which are charged with an interest in psychology theories and the inner life of its subjects.

In many ways, this is a very conventional exhibition because the artists worries are so human and universal, one that shows how the troubles of our days connect us and how we can share these strange moments of disquietude.

Rita Silveira Machado

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