‘Andy Dinan (MARS Gallery’s director) and I spoke about the exhibition almost a year ago, so the ideas have been brewing for almost as long,’ Abbey says. ‘I’ve been physically making the work for about seven months now which, truth be told, is the longest I’ve worked on anything before. It really gave me the space and time to develop the work to it’s true potential.’
Paths that don’t go where people want them to go’ is also the culmination of their extensive work navigating public spaces in their art projects, having created more than 40 murals for local councils, art festivals and major events.
‘The title alludes to the notion that there are many beautiful things in our everyday environment that just don’t work,’ Abbey explains. ‘These issues can be overlooked when the design is aesthetically pleasing.’
Abbey looked to these beautifully disguised ‘failings’ in urban design for inspiration behind the patterns and geometric shapes in their abstract new collection. The resulting pieces are filled with playful lines and bright contrasting colours, almost like eye-catching optical illusions with a hidden meaning within, exploring important questions about accessibility, safety and functionality.
The bold showcase features 25 pieces in total – 21 paintings, 4 metalwork sculptures and one mural created in collaboration with South Sudanese artist Atong Atem.
‘I really wanted to create something that could be viewed at any time, whether the gallery was open or not. Something that could guide you from the outside in and would last long after the exhibition ended,’ Abbey says of the mural.
‘The show is joyful but hopefully thought provoking. I want people to feel joy in viewing the work even if they don’t take a piece home.’
See ‘Paths that don’t go where people want them to go’ on at MARS Gallery from February 4 until February 25.
Download the catalgoue here.