Pushkin: Pushkin’s Fold, Fairhurst Gallery, Norwich

Pushkin: Pushkin’s Fold, Fairhurst Gallery, Norwich

Pushkin’s Fold is the first solo show by artist Pushkin. Based in Norwich for the past 11 years, his exhibition at Fairhurst Gallery is his first venture into truly focusing and dedicating all his time to his art. Celebrating his childhood of growing up around a mother who professionally rushed and caned antique chairs, his show aims to portray his unbidden fascination for shape, negative space and balance to arrange his own version of order into a piece of work.

A slave to visual stimuli, Pushkin has spent his life working entirely whimsically exploring his ideas through cutting, tearing and collating using endless books and magazines for inspiration. He began his studies at Loughborough University as a sculptor, though graduated in multi-media textiles. He then went on to train as a taxidermist and learnt the skills of a Natural History Conservator. Collecting has always been his primary drive which lead to these life choices, most recently his love of assemblage . It was when he began working in a large studio space at Stew Gallery that he finally had the chance to fully realise his ideas.

Pushkin’s Fold is a show designed to express the beauty of seating, acclimatising the importance of space in our everyday lives; how chairs can work together in a room, but also as standalone objects. It captures the key principle of Pushkin’s work as a collagist and collector to place objects where he feels they need to be. He demonstrates the need for people to pay attention to what they are sitting on encouraging people to take notice of the world around them and appreciate the functionality and beauty of objects, appreciating their design; as Pushkin does with chairs.

The primary ideas realised in the exhibition were influenced by Columbian artist Doris Salcedo but also by the likes of Joseph Cornell for the way he collected his ideas, and also Annette Messager whose pieces make poignant statement in fascinating and often bewildering ways. Pushkin’s Fold has amalgamated the artist’s love of collage with the obsessive need for exact placement of a collector. Pushkin has transformed it into an interactive collation of 3D sculptures , 2D images and light boxes that act as a lesson to their audience, inviting them to have a new perspective with which to view the spaces and objects surrounding them.

Pushkin said: “I am a magpie by nature. I work in the chaos of a collector but always know where everything is. There is a world of abject beauty out there and I am very lucky to have access to it in the way that I work and the medium through which I am able to express myself.” He has thanked the staff at Fairhurst Gallery for their support and professionalism. The gallery is a perfect space for solo artists, and has represented many professional artists and local creators due to their relentless promotion which has helped talented individuals gain recognition from the public and art industry professionals and collectors.

Following this exhibition Pushkin will be re-locating to Bristol to continue his work and begin his next project, Flex, a series of black and white images of exercise and dance, focused around a book he found titled Recreation and Physical fitness for Girls and Women.

Pushkin: Pushkin’s Fold, ran from 4 July until 31 July, Fairhurst Gallery, Bedford Street, Norwich, NR2 1AR.

Lauren Knight

Find out more www.fairhurstgallery.co.uk.

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1. Pushkin, Fold 2, 2015. Courtesy of Fairhurst Gallery and the artist.