Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop is excited to present Itch!, a solo exhibition showcasing new work by Robin Mason, including collaborative works with Gabriel Gbadamosi, Anne Petters and Debra Allman.
Itch! is an exhibition conceived by Robin Mason as a reaction to a poem by Gabriel Gbadamosi, that simply would not leave him. Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop proved to be a space that would suit a site specific work that may just be the satisfying scratch to a long standing Itch! - The desire to work with the poem ‘Deutsche Schuld’ by Gabriel Gbadamosi, a poem that through its constant use of metaphor started an itch. Mason observes:
Nagging at my conscience for five years. ‘Dresden, Frankfurt. Completely burnt.’ It was the antithesis of the itch of 1983, when D.M. Thomas’s White Hotel mentored my images into desire and longing. The itch of Gbadamosi’s poem lingered, its exploration of the slip in language in translation eventually subjected me to an understanding of my own preoccupations with sublimating. This slip in language allows the decorative, the playful, the bejewelled sugar coating of darkness to enable the unspeakable to be spoken. Liberated from the wounding of initial reading, and through his careful crafting of language, a new mural-scaled painting in the studio, ‘Bedeckt’ became free to become its own being.
Robin Mason grew up in Porthcawl, South Wales. He completed the Foundation Course at Cardiff College of Art, going on to study Fine Art in Wolverhampton, winning the Northern Young Contemporaries. Following his MA in Painting at The Royal College of Art he established a studio in London. He has continued to exhibit nationally and internationally and his work can be found in public, significant private and corporate collections including those of the Government Art Collection, Simmons & Simmons, London Underground and the Royal College of Art. He lives and works between London and Porthcawl and is Head of Fine Art at City and Guilds of London Art School.
Debra Allman is currently leading the BA Jewellery & Silversmithing course at UCA Farnham. She studied MA Metalwork and Jewellery at the Royal College of Art (RCA), receiving the Garrard Award for work with precious metals. After graduating from the RCA, she established a studio in London and exhibited nationally and internationally. She continues to be a practitioner and her work is held in public and private collections. With nearly 20 years’ teaching experience, Debra is committed to the promotion and continued development of jewellery.
Gabriel Gbadamosi is an Irish-Nigerian poet and playwright. His London novel Vauxhall (2013) won the Tibor Jones Pageturner Prize and Best International Novel at the Sharjah Book Fair. He was AHRC Creative Fellow in British, European and African performance at the Pinter Centre, Goldsmiths, a Judith E. Wilson Fellow for creative writing at Cambridge University and Royal Literary Fund Fellow at City & Guilds of London Art School. Plays include Eshu’s Faust (Jesus College, Cambridge), Hotel Orpheu(Schaubühne, Berlin), Shango (DNA, Amsterdam) and for radio The Long, Hot Summer of ’76 (BBC Radio 3) which won the first Richard Imison Award. He presented arts and ideas programme Night Waves for BBC Radio 3, was a director of Wasafiri Magazine for International Contemporary Writing and is a trustee of the Arcola Theatre, London.