Alba Hodsoll returns to Cob Gallery this March with her new solo show, Seed. Following 2017's POV, this new exhibition sees the artist developing her interest in the interactions between sexuality, eroticism and aesthetic pleasure. Working in two and three dimensions, Hodsoll concentrates on producing moments of unexpected friction and flow between the synthetic and the bodily.
Having won wide acclaim for her use of abstraction to channel the explicit imagery of pornography into a compellingly implicit language of suggestion and restraint, Hodsoll takes a new turn in Seed. The exhibition's source material is gathered not from photography, but rather from the world of non-human nature. In particular, it is prompted by Hodsoll's interest in the Coco de Mer or 'sea coconut', an extraordinary and endangered variety of double-coconut whose distinctive form is here translated into a set of sculptural and painted works.
Seed is attentive to the way that the idea of 'reproduction' offers itself up to a variety of interpretations. Not only does the form of the Coco de Mer suggest sexuality: it is also, after all, a seed. Its twin sides, like a Rorschach test, seem to mirror or reproduce one another. And as an unusual, even unsettling example of the human form being replicated in in the non-human, the Coco de Mer seems like an uncanny reproduction of our own bodies. A fetish object that is simultaneously abstract and direct, implicit and explicit, balancing fleshiness with pure form.
Hodsoll's use of materials including plaster, resin and silicone is also significant: materials that are non-human but are often used either close to the body or within it, whether for medical, cosmetic or sexual purposes. In this respect, the exhibition develops Hodsoll's long-standing interest in sexuality as a meeting point of embodiment and disembodiment, immediacy and voyeurism. In Seed, aesthetic enjoyment is merged with carnality and lust, like coconut water mixed with absinthe: visual pleasure becomes a matter of attraction and provocation.
Alba Hodsoll (b. 1990) lives and works in London. She graduated from the Visual and Critical Studies course at the New York School of Visual Arts in 2015. She has had solo exhibitions at Cob Gallery (2017) and Alex Eagle Studio, London (2016). Recent group exhibitions include Ledbury Garages, Old Kent Road Studios, London (2017); 45 Quai de la Tournelle, Paris (2017); The Palace, Los Angeles (2017); Standard Hotel & Spa, Art Basel Miami Beach (2015); Celestine Eleven, London (2015); Old Street Underground Station, London (2014). Hodsoll has also completed residencies including 'Writing in Taos', Taos, New Mexico, USA (2016) and 'Girls Only Residency', Brooklyn, New York, USA (2014).
Private View: 15th March 2018