SOFT HANDS ON MOSSY ROCKS is an exhibition of research, ideas and artworks by Ellie
Barrett and Kerry Tenbey.
All of the things around us pulsate. Material stores energies, ripe for mining. Stuff we come into
daily contact with absorbs information about the places and people it interacts with. Objects
rumble with knowledge.
Hacking into this information could tell us more about our bodies, our identities, and our
Both artists explore overlaps between material, place, identity, process and information. Ellie
uses accessible materials – salt dough, tin foil and soap – to represent fragmented body-parts,
rock formations and industrial structures, suggesting an overlap between material and social
exchange. Kerry compares material information to data-mining with references to invasive
plants and familiar material forms, inviting us to perceive stored energies contained within. Both
artists navigate the blurred boundaries between the natural, the man-made and the handmade.
Objects in this space are alive.
SOFT HANDS ON MOSSY ROCKS not only presents sculptural and 2D works which explore
these ideas, but brings research into the gallery space. The exhibition is an immersive diagram,
mapping the various activities which both artists have collaboratively engaged in during the
development of this project and placing them in connection to the work. This includes exploring
specific locations, gathering material to make work and creating new connections between
physical sources of meaning.
Material Arts Network was launched as a result of this project, recognising the wealth of
research and activity in contemporary art practice surrounding material and the need to create
new connections between artists to share new knowledge.
You can visit SOFT HANDS ON MOSSY ROCKS by booking here:
Ellie Barrett is a sculptor and researcher investigating the ways in which material contributes
critical meaning to artworks as a means of widening participation in contemporary art. Ellie has
completed a practice-based PhD at Lancaster University. Recent exhibitions include Explain
Things to Me (Subsidiary Projects, London); Breathing Space (Lancaster Arts); More T’North
(The Harris, Preston) and Eminent Domain (ex-Robert Miller Gallery, New York). Ellie is also
co-director of GRAFT Lancaster CIC.
Kerry Tenbey is a queer artist based in Blackpool exploring individual and collective identity
through making. Kerry is currently completing their MFA at The University of Central Lancashire.
Recent exhibitions include Exhbit Gay (The Harris, Preston); Queer Contemporaries (Short
Supply, Manchester); Social Matter (Art B&B, Blackpool); SOFT//HARD (By-Weekly, Enschede,
Netherlands). Kerry is also Cultural Governor for Prestons Cultural Framework Board and
Programme Curator for The Birley, Preston.
This project is supported by Abingdon Studios and Arts Council England.
www.elliebarrett.com / @EllieCBarrett
www.kerrytenbey.com / @kerrytenbey
www.materialartnetwork.hotglue.me / @materialartnetwork