Inhabitants is an exhibition of recent work by Marenka Gabeler and Sarah Douglas situated in the central living area of an original 18th century Huguenot house in Spitalfields. The vivid atmosphere provided by this unusual setting is used as a backdrop to explore notions of the everyday, and the ability of the mundane domestic object or image to deliver one to a space of contemplation.

Made up of paintings, drawings and objects, the installation explores how the personal and emotional significance we ascribe to certain inanimate objects or images allows them to transcend their ordinary physical make-up, becoming sacred, or other. The work on display is concerned with how these objects, as well as fleeting scenes, memories or experiences are able to take hold of the imagination, unlocking and generating an internal symbolic language and narrative.

Through their placement within the dynamics of the living environment, the works become temporary occupants of the house. The installation is organised so that the threshold is dissolved between the internal worlds depicted in the works, and the exterior world of the space itself. When these boundaries are merged and transformed, an alternative psychological space is revealed, where the real and imagined coexist and intertwine. Questions are raised about what is meant by reality; can the past be more real than the present, dreams more tangible than reality?

Inhabitants forms one stop along a route of shows and events taking place in Spitalfields to coincide with Zoo Art Fair, which is this year located in the liberty of Norton Folgate, between Spitalfieds and Shoreditch. Visitors to the fair will be able to continue their art viewing as well as explore other hidden gems from the local area by following the purpose designed map, ‘A Spitalfields Walk’. Made in association with Zoo and other participating spaces, the map details all related events and will be available at the fair.

Marenka Gabeler and Sarah Douglas are both recent graduates from the painting MA at the Royal College of Art. Their work has been widely exhibited and collected. Inhabitants is their first collaborative project.

Artist’s Biographies:

Marenka Gabeler completed an MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art in 2006 with distinction and was awarded the Parallel Prize for Painting. Her projects have taken her on residencies in Japan, Syria and Majorca. Exhibiting internationally, her work is held in high profile collections such as Alison Jacques Gallery, Caldic Collection and Torch Gallery, the Netherlands. In 2008 she was awarded Boise Travel Scholarship, with which she travelled to Indonesia. Exhibitions include: Longstories II, Torch Gallery, Amsterdam 2008; Solo Show, Museum of Installations, London 2008; Videoapartment, Dublin 2007 and Art Cologne Majorca 2007. Marenka Gabeler lives and works in London and Delft. http://www.marenkagabeler.net

Sarah Douglas completed an MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art in 2005 with distinction and was selected by Art Review Magazine as one of the year’s top 25 graduates. Since then she has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, and her work is held in several high profile collections including Deutsche Bank, London and the Joslyn Art Museum, US. Recent exhibitions include: Paperview, John Jones Project Space, London 2009; Metro-Land, Flora Fairbairn Projects, Merriscourt Farm, Oxfordshire 2009; ArtSway Open 08, ArtSway, Hampshire and the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2007. Sarah Douglas lives and works in London. www.sarahdouglas.net

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