Time Spirals: 
Vanessa Billy, Emma McNally
28 Oct–14 Jan 2023

Time Spirals is a two-person exhibition of new and recent work in sculpture and drawing by Vanessa Billy and Emma McNally, who exhibit together for the first time. While working in different media, their practices synthesise varied materials, intricate processes and opposing possibilities, resulting in sensory encounters suffused with ecological and philosophical concerns.

London based artist Emma McNally’s practice is an ongoing exploration of rhythm, complexity and entanglement across scales, spaces and times. Drawing for McNally is a troubling of boundaries and separations, into zones of indeterminacy where binary and hierarchic thinking is undone. McNally understands her drawing practice as an experimental ‘thinking with others’ – across fields such as ecology, philosophy, music, urbanism, and choreography – to generate the conditions for the emergence of new configurations and material enmeshments. McNally’s ongoing large-scale drawing series Choral Fields (2014–) relates to the philosophical idea of the chora, a peripheral space in which forms materialise.

Zurich based artist Vanessa Billy uses a wide range of materials and production techniques in her sculpture, variously incorporating waste products or disused industrial parts, as well as highly crafted self-made elements. Harnessing the intrinsic qualities of matter, her works provoke the senses and explore the recesses of an origin common to all living and non-living things. She draws parallels between physical and mental constructs to reflect on the impact of human actions on the planet. In Whiplash (2021) Billy transforms a tractor tyre into a gigantic, crawling organism. Fishbones (PET) (2021) is comprised of 3D printed elements in recycled PET, which are assembled onto a wire structure and cascade from its centre.

Describing her approach to materiality as ‘transformation, permutation, assimilation’, Billy points to a shared resonance across both her and McNally’s work – one not easily distilled or settled, instead, ‘a constantly flowing series of interactions.’

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