bo.lee, in collaboration with JAMM Gallery, are proud to present Signs of Life, an exhibition by Turner prize nominee and RA David Mach and recently appointed Scottish RA Ade Adesina. The artists met in Aberdeen in 2013 and immediately found common ground through their work, sharing an engagement with ecological, cultural, social and political issues.
Their initial collaboration – a linocut on a grand scale, was made in 2017 and was first exhibited at the Royal Academy’s prestigious Summer Exhibition the same year. For Signs of Life Mach and Adesina have worked individually and in partnership to continue their body of large scale works in collage and linocut. The intricate, multi-layered images depict epic imagined landscapes within which we witness the consequences of excessive consumption and rapid development on the environment.
Mach draws on biblical narratives, lifting imagery from magazines and other ubiquitous printed matter whilst Adesina’s sprawling prints portray a haunting, baron tableaux filled with forboding references. Notable among the rich symbolism in his work is the regular appearance of the Baobab tree, hinting at his Nigerian heritage.
The collaboration begins with Mach’s collages providing the initial composition that Adesina reinterprets into spectacularly intricate linocuts. The works resulting from this process demand the closest scrutiny. Deep with a multitude of meanings and references the prints are profoundly relevant as a reflection on contemporary global society.
‘We both have a tendency towards the baroque because of a desire not to leave anything out. I think it would be true to say we want to include everything – history, geography, engineering, the natural world of skins and patterns, social and political issues. You name it. We want it in there.’ – David Mach
‘Issues such as pollution, climate change, religion, endangered species, human survival and adaptation are things that I have always focused on in my work. Collaborating with David I have seen the way that he has addressed these themes throughout his career. I think that our collaborative pieces successfully represent the key issues that we are both passionate about as artists.’ – Ade Adesina
David Mach is a Scottish artist based in London, known for his ambitious public installations comprised of mass-produced items such as coat hangers, magazines and car tyres. He studied at the Royal College of Art between 1979 – 82 and was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1988. In 2000 he joined the Royal Academy of Arts as Professor of Sculpture.
Ade Adesina was born in Nigeria in 1980 and currently lives in Aberdeen, where he completed his Printmaking degree in 2012. He works with traditional media such as linocut, woodcarving and etching, as well as painting and sculpture. Adesina is represented by JAMM Gallery.