The first UK solo show of artist Jonny Briggs titled ‘Ancestral Home’ is presented at the Simon Oldfield Gallery 26 April – 21 May.Following on from recent successful and critically acclaimed international exhibitions, Briggs takes inspiration from his own family circle by examining connections between home, body and bloodline. photography, photomontage, tapestry and sculpture are presented alongside a laboratory incubator in which will grow mutated human cells throughout the exhibition.
Briggs explains, “Towards the end of my Grandmother’s life, it became increasingly hard for her to clean and maintain her home. The walls becoming ever more yellow with cigarette stains, they became inescapably linked to her lungs. Whenever I would visit, it would be like walking in to her body, and a daunting reminder of its deterioration; a reminder that we make our environment and our environment makes us. The home and the body are intimately entwined.”
As a first, Briggs has installed a laboratory incubator within the gallery, which will grow human cervical cancer cells in the form of a small house immersed in red liquid called ‘medium’ which feeds the cells, kept at 37 degrees Celsius, throughout the exhibition. This powerful piece, entitled Dummy, is a direct comment on how disease can invade our perceptions of self, family and home.
Jonny Briggs (b. 1985) lives and works in London. Since graduating from Chelsea College of Art and Royal College of Art (MA), Briggs has exhibited at Saatchi Gallery, London, 176 Zabludowicz Collection, London, Marta Herford Museum, Germany, Photographers’ Gallery, London, and FaMa Gallery, Verona. Awards include Saatchi’s New Sensations 2011 Winner, the Conran Award, the Lumi Honorary Art Award, Catlin Prize (Finalist) and NESTA Creative Sparks Award. Extensive press and features include the British Journal of Photography, The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, La Stampa, Arte Italia, Dazed, Wallpaper magazine, Time Out, Design Week Magazine, BBC, Channel 4 and Sky.