Untitled Group Exhibition

For the group show Untitled, Francis Gallery brings together the work of British painter Luke Samuel, Franco-British photographer Charlotte Colbert, and Australian sculptor Ceara Metlikovec. The show was co-curated by Francis director Rosa Park and independent curator Emily Andrew of EKA Art Advisory. The pair were introduced in 2020, and decided to create a show together to cross-pollinate their ideas and experience, bringing together the work of three emerging and mid-career artists.


Luke Samuel presents a series of oil paintings on canvas, including his ‘Radiator’ series; these rectangular canvases are intended to hang just above the floor, and are composed of washes of oil and pigment over a thin, warped canvas, where small irregularities of seeping paint create a series of pockmarks on the surface. Samuel hangs these larger works as intended in his studio, and composes smaller canvases in relation to them. “The paintings are made along two different horizons,” he says. “Understanding the paintings as objects in space, and how they relate to one another, is really important to my practice. Sometimes hanging one painting next to another will generate a sense of potential; other times, it can spoil all of them. There is a push and pull in their making – they complete one another.”


While Samuel’s radiator paintings bring their presence into the room, announcing themselves as objects, Charlotte Colbert’s photographic works are exploratory portals into other spaces, including the domestic, the derelict, and those that hover between reality and fiction. In her ‘Studies’ series – captured in a dilapidated house in East London – long exposure shots play with the camera’s ability to make visible the passage of time. “It’s like a glimpse into the fourth dimension, where space and time collapse into one,” says Colbert. “This existentialism feels particularly relevant in these abandoned, ruined spaces: the human figures appear like ghosts moving through space-time.”


Colbert’s ‘A Day at Home’ series was also captured in a crumbling interior, and explores the relationship between the imagined and the real within the context of the home. “I am a writer and a filmmaker as well as an artist, and at the time I conceived of this series, I was writing a lot of screenplays at home. When I write, my sense of reality stretches and I start giving names to doorknobs and other things around me – so I wanted to explore that blurring boundary between reality and fiction in a domestic setting,” she says. “The mindscape of the home is both a prison and an absolute freedom: it can open into any sort of space, because you can create your own world in your mind.”


Installed on the gallery floor is Australian artist Ceara Metlikovec’s sculpture Ik Tara. The circular work is assembled of 5000 bricks, each one handmade by the artist. Metlikovec used ironstone clay to resemble the honeyed limestone of Bath for this iteration of the work, and scaled the small bricks so they could fit in the palm of her hand. The clay was cut into form, dried in the sun for a week, and fired in the kiln, producing unique irregularities in each brick. The individual pieces were then assembled by the artist into a rippling, tranquil circle, three metres in diameter. “I practise yoga, and a lecture I was listening to was discussing the yogic scriptures and their description of the Ik Tara: an electromagnetic field that surrounds all living beings, which is approximately three metres in diameter for humans,” says Metlikovec. “I wanted to see what it would feel like if you could experience this field as something concrete, like clay – something you could see and pick up and touch. The work might act as a measuring device, a way for people to imagine, intuit and calibrate their own Ik Tara.”