no future without memory

Exhibition “no future without memory” | images: Marcelo Duarte @graphosbrasil | article by Wozen

Exhibition “no future without memory” | images: Marcelo Duarte @graphosbrasil | article by Wozen

NOV 9 2018 | no future without memory

The Expanded Eye project, formed by the London couple Jade Tomlinson and Kevin James after a transformative journey through Asia in 2009, has gained rapid renown in the international contemporary art world for the naturality with which its unmistakable language is able to travel through numerous different media, such as painting, illustration, sculpture, ceramics, installation and tattooing, to form a cohesive and surpringly eclectic artistic unity.

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Their deep sensitivity and genuine concern with every detail of the narrative presented translates into atmospheric works, capable of transporting the observer to a world of visual poetry, carefully imagined and materialised to convey an enthusiasm that precedes any word. The mastery of various techniques and the skilful manipulation and juxtaposition of materials allow Expanded Eye to produce intricate compositions of interconnected pieces at various scales, as parts of a puzzle that gives new meanings to items once regarded as ordinary.

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During their three-month residency at Wozen, Kevin and Jade deepened their investigation into the memory and identity of a given society at a given time, applying their efforts to the study of Lisbon and the growing socio-economic, environmental and technological pressures that distort the sense of private identity and gradually stifle the collective memory of a community.

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Impressed by the number of old artefacts discarded in the numerous renovations taking place in the city, the duo quickly found a relevant starting point for their research on the accelerated growth process of an urban ecosystem. Jade and Kevin embarked on the challenge of simultaneously preserving these physical fragments of memory, as they sought to spark a deeper discussion about sustainability, waste, over-consumption, gentrification, standardisation, and the loss of cultural identity.

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Their art can evoke a sense of nostalgia even in younger audiences, who recognise, albeit subconsciously, the subtle message for a return to the roots, appreciation for the simpler and more profound and direct connections between individuals amongst themselves and with nature, for the development of a healthy and responsible society.

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Three months after their arrival to Lisbon, daily routine has showed us that ideas are as beautiful in their heads as they become in reality. Disciplined, discreet and always conscious to the effect of their work in the environment in which it is inserted, Kevin and Jade are the art they produce: an Impressive creative talent at the service of a beautiful and enlightening message. It is a privilege for Wozen to be able to share this message, carefully prepared in the form of the exhibition "No Future Without Memory", with the Lisbon community that inspired them so much through all the creation process, and now has the opportunity to recognise itself in every piece of memory present in this space.

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