Exhibitions by Renee Spierdijk and Adam King

5 April 2018 - 29 June 2018

Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge

Exhibitions by Renee Spierdijk and Adam King

The following exhibitions will run from 5 April to 29 June 2018, organised by Art at the ARB


Renee Spierdijk:

Works are displayed on all floors of the Alison Richard Building.

Renee Spierdijk’s work responds to images of young women, mainly from found photographs. She chooses portraits that are taken in formal settings, with the individual often surrounded by political or religious artefacts. Spierdijk is interested in the conditioning and domestication which the children seem to be subjected to and in which they can appear patient, content or quietly mutinous as they wait and hope to become themselves.

Spierdijk’s earlier work, dealing with issues of conditioning and isolation within a variety of intimate home settings from different continents, has developed into work dealing with wider questions of identity and displacement. The current series is largely set in 19th century America during the civil war and its immediate aftermath; a time of upheaval when many were forced to search for a new identity or had a new identity imposed on them. At that moment in world history, immigrants from Europe and beyond arrived on a new continent via Ellis Island. They wore their traditional costumes but longed for acceptance in a new homeland full of hope. This is an experience which is both timeless and in an era of continued forced migration as contemporary as ever.

Renee Spierdijk is a Dutch artist, born in Amsterdam, who came to England in 1977. She studied Fine Art at the Byam Shaw School of Art and Goldsmith’s College and now lives and works in Cambridge, where she divides her time between being Joint Head of Art at Kings College Choir School and her studio practice.


Adam King:

Works are displayed on plinths on the ground floor of the Alison Richard Building.

In the spring of 2016, Adam King returned to the area south of Norwich, Norfolk, where he grew up. The semi-rural landscape is currently undergoing considerable road and housing development. Over a period of 14 months, King produced a series of constructions, along with related regular format drawings, in order to explore and make sense of the changes in the identity of a once-familiar landscape.

The works in this exhibition explore development in terms of media, form and ideas over this period. King returned to some earlier pieces in light of later developments e.g. incorporated fragments of charcoal drawings. The works are collaged from a variety of often quite light and ephemeral materials that include charcoal, print, foam, vinyl, spray paint and wire. These are held together with paper clips, a modern form of construction that enhances the overall feel of precariousness and fragility. The resulting malleable accumulations forms meld architectural and organic qualities. The use of pattern and colour in some pieces inspired by US sculptor Frank Stella enhance surfaces whilst transforming identity. This work first began as 2d linocut prints. King was making repeat patterns of abstracted houses and trees but became dissatisfied with the regularity of the format. He started to reconfigure them into free-standing structures that he felt brought together form and content more successfully.

Adam King was born in 1971 in Norwich, Norfolk. He received a BA (Hons) Painting from Brighton University (1994) and an MA in Drawing from Wimbledon School of Art, London (2003).
Recent solo projects include: Storm Field, Canal gallery, London (2016) and an installation of collages at Merton College, University of Oxford (2016), Recent group shows include: Rejuvenation, Shoe Factory Social Club, Norwich, (2018), Drawings for Sculpture, 20/21 Visual Arts, Lincolnshire, (2017) and PomoGaze Festival, Leeds City Art Gallery (2015). Private Collections include V22, London, International Collage centre, USA and Charles Saatchi.