Friday 17 April 2009 until Sunday 17 May 2009

Feed Thy Soul

Feed Thy Soul stages an encounter between artists Martin Gustavsson and Matteo Rosa, exploring the cultural and aesthetic significance of gardens, from seemingly contrasting viewpoints.

Departing from the ancient Greek myth of Hyacinth, a lover of the god Apollo, Martin Gustavsson examines the metaphorical and formal language of representation, allegory and form, painting the image of nature as a site of desire and decay.

As Peggy Phelan writes, “Gustavsson makes a bid for painting’s still urgent contribution to the representation of sex and death”. The results are baroque, disconcerting canvases that oscillate between the painstakingly beautiful and the grotesque.

Central to Matteo Rosa’s work is a phenomenological inquiry into the potential of human consciousness, within the context of minimalist aesthetics. In this exhibition he presents a series of videos and drawings, focusing on the contemplation of nature and impermanence.

Informed by Eastern philosophy, Rosa’s work can be seen as an endeavor to extinguish desire, separation and ego. For Rosa, the garden becomes a peaceful space, which enables meditation, spiritual communion and existential development.

Feed Thy Soul is an attempt at probing the split between nature and culture, reconciling the thoroughly human craving for pleasure with the quest for spiritual improvement.