Egle Jauncems and Tamu Nkiwane: Some images, some manuals

9 December 2021 – 15 January 2022

OPENING Thursday 9 December 2021, 6 -8pm

PALFREY presents Some Images, Some Manuals, a show of new works by Egle Jauncems and Tamu Nkiwane.

Egle Jauncems visual analysis revolves around found imagery, textual fractions and overheard conversations. Working across painting, sculpture, and assemblage Jauncems works are surrogates for her research interests and roving eye. Men, more specifically historical depictions of men, frequently form the source material for her work. There is a bathetic quality to these figures, take Napoleon Bonaparte painted in full regalia, or Thomas Mann’s Aschenbach as such examples. Another, more recent, figure was Lithuanian cobbler Paulinas Kaluina (1933 – 2017). Forming the inspiration for Jauncems’ pieces in Some Images, Some Manuals are just a few of the 200 weaving patterns drawn by Kalunia, none of which were woven in cloth in his lifetime. It is these unrealised black and white patterns, evocative of contemporary QR Codes or mathematician John Conway’s ‘Game of Life’ which led Jauncems to cannibalise her previous paintings and weave her own take on Kalunia’s designs, making dense and robustly presented wall-based pieces. 

This same robust delivery and sense of urgency is evident in the work of Tamu Nkiwane. Nkiwane immerses himself and his surrounding environment – in recent years he has spent time living in Germany and Zimbabwe – and what resonates from these observations manifests as assemblages, musical compositions, and performances. Gathering materials discarded by others, materials perceived to be devoid of use, Nkiwane imbues a new value via his intervention and devising of his own material processes, such as making paper or crystallising items of clothing. What the viewer is confronted with has a casual, lo-fi resonance, deliberately keeping a degree of ambivalence of receivership in play. Nkiwane is not idle: just like Jauncems his hand and eye rests only for a brief time, each work fuels the next, nothing sits still for long. 

Some Images, Some Manuals sheers thought different centuries and different cultures to propose the gallery space as a machine of sorts, say a loom, on which Jauncems and Nikwane have woven the strands of their individual practices to create a fertile tension between the rational and irrational, contemporary and primitive, the relevant and irrelevant.

Egle Jauncems (born, 1984, Vilnius, Lithuania. Lives and works in London). Recent shows include: Patterns, Paulinas Kaluina House, Skapiskis, 2021; Re-Enchanted Matter, APT Gallery, London, 2020; GOLOSO, Slate Projects, London,2018; Laesae Majestatis; Siegfried Contemporary, Saanen, 2018; Malnutrition, Galerija Vartai, Vilnius, 2017; Dausuva; MartynasMazvydas National Library of Lithuania, Vilnius, 2017; Demimonde, Slate Projects, London,2015; Khobz, Marrakesh Biennial, 2014; Textile Triennial, Lodz, 2012. She was the 2015 recipient of the David Hockney Art Foundation Scholarship at the Royal College of Art. 

Tamu Nkiwane (born, 1990, London, Lives and works in London) Recent solo exhibitions include: Invite Focus, Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2018; EITHA UNGUSWI ZIM//CITY, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, 2018. Group exhibitions and screenings include London Short Film Festival, Regent Street Cinema, London (2020); ICA, London (2019); Kaunas Biennial, Lithuania (2019) and Artagon III, Les Petites Serres, Paris (2017).