Shield's new body of work opens up drawing and collage as a means of exploring interior worlds; with imagery encompassing references distilled from post-apocalyptic science fiction writing, dystopian dream projectors, seventeenth century alchemy and everyday encounters with political, societal and economic structures.
Conceived as a total installation, Amp Envelope extends from The Showroom facade to the interior walls and surfaces of the exhibition space; incorporating entry points for public, collaborative processes of production to unfold over the coming months.
A series of hanging textile banners demarcate thresholds; a publication production zone for workshops houses a Risograph printer, ink-drums, photocopier and scanner as an in-situ print studio for public use.
Shield’s new series of large-scale drawings punctuate the space; with images drawn in black synthetic bitumen ink overlaid on swathes of screen-printed colour and set against walls of wide, warping grids. They explore the blurring of inner and outer worlds, drawing resonances between individual perspectives and wider structural conditions.
The grid, a recurring motif for Shield, weaves in and out of the various spaces and timeframes of the show, creating a pattern of energies and tempos; a rhythmic network within which the distinct yet inter-connected elements of the exhibition are situated.
Existing between the functional and sculptural, the hybrid furniture in the exhibition extends the language of the installation and DIY ethos that runs throughout Shield’s practice. As a site and generator for critical reflection and creative exchange, the space is equipped with tables and work-spaces for workshop contributors, storage for print materials and a display structure for a selection of handmade zines and publications produced by Long Distance Press.
With special thanks to Sam Austen, Chenelle Hastick Bartholomew and Church Street Library team, Kathrin Böhm, Vanya Cantone, Mahsa Dehghani, Elliott Denny, Oana Damir, Elvira Dyangani Ose, Omar El Fassi and team, Alessia Franchi, Lily Hall, Anna Hughes, Ishqha Khidzr, Seema Manchanda, Campbell McConnell, Corie Denby McGowan, Paulina Michnowska, John Phillips, Gabriela Salgado, Alex Simpson, Kuba Szreder, We design for the community (Axel Feldmann and Marco Ugolini), Thomas Whittle; and to Richard Whitby & the team contributing to The Feminist Library On Loan at The Showroom in Summer 2018, for the prototype for the LDP mobile publication support structure.
A series of free creative drawing and print-making workshops ran throughout July-September 2022
First cycle: Saturday 23 & 30 July; 6 & 13 August
Second cycle: interconnected 2-day print and poster-making workshops: Saturday 3 & 10 September
For more information contact:
On the final day of Amp Envelope join us for a discussion with John Phillips from the Museum of Unrest.
The 1970s and 80s witnessed an unprecedented outburst of locally-based poster making globally. Today this tradition remains vital in certain contexts such as Chicano culture in the USA and the Hong Kong umbrella movement. As a poster designer at Paddington Printshop (1975 - 85 ) John frequently exchanged his own posters with fellow designers, which grew into a significant collection. John will bring examples from this archive to the discussion.
Informed by Adam Shield’s long-term interest in self-publishing and DIY production processes, Amp Envelope carries forward the possibilities of publishing and print-making to generate new spaces of experimentation, collaboration and exchange. For The Showroom Mural Commission he took as a starting point a period of research into local, radical grassroots print presses in North West London, including The Poster Workshop on Camden Road which ran from 1968-71; the Paddington Printshop and later londonprintstudio on Harrow Road, amongst others.
Read more here
Image: Adam Shield, Scanner (II), collage: ink on paper with painted frame, 2022. Courtesy of the artist.
Listen to a recording of Adam Shield introducing Amp Envelope, its economic underpinnings and working as an artist and technician. In conversation with NND on Resonance FM, September 2022.
With contributions from workshop participants, visual artist Félice Knol and multimedia producer Alya Kanibelli.
The Showroom is supported using public funding by Arts Council England
The Showroom Mural Commission – Adam Shield: Amp Envelope, 2022-23 is generously supported by the Abbey Harris Mural Fund
Adam Shield lives and works in London.
He studied at the Royal Academy Schools (2014-17) and BA Fine Art at Newcastle University (2007-11).
Since 2013 he has been co-running Long Distance Press (LDP) with artist Thomas Whittle. Working between Glasgow, Newcastle, London and Edinburgh, LDP started as a postal art project that quickly turned into collaborative works, publications and exhibitions.
Across 2023-24 LDP will develop a new public artwork with The Showroom as part of the programme of public art commissions in partnership with Lacuna, supported by Great Western Developments at Tanner Lane, situated between Paddington Square and St Mary’s Hospital.