Tracey Eastham - Babel

Exhibition dates: 25 February – 1 April 2017 Private View: Thursday 23 February 2017, 6-9pm For her solo exhibition at PAPER, Tracey Eastham has created a new body of work based on the ancient fable of the Tower of Babel. Tracey’s interest lies in the aftermath of its collapse and the subsequent 'confusion of tongues' that led mankind to be scattered across the world. The exhibition consists of gold paper cut-outs displayed in a variety of forms: as silhouettes, in the bell jars, or as an installation. Tracey’s works themselves link to themes of ruin, preservation, and the artificial construction (and deconstruction) of national identity.

Tracey’s work appropriates representations of landscape by selecting and then layering together imagery found and collected from science fiction and romantic literature, the English landscape painting tradition, and heritage publications. The works are consequently delicate, precarious, and at times, in a part state of collapse. This precariousness speaks of our relationship with the natural environment, which we attempt to encapsulate and frame with constructs of identity, class, and ownership. To this end, the use of gold comes from an interest in history as a valorising force that engenders social and cultural connection and identity.

Although subject to different readings, the Tower of Babel was a collaborative attempt by all peoples of the world to make their proud mark on the landscape, and as a way of punishment for this pride, God segregated them by the introduction of different languages so they could not communicate with one another. The collapsed tower, then, speaks of the inevitable superiority of natural forces over human permanence. Tracey’s tower fable also has a contemporary reading by referencing the current political 'confusion' or disharmony between different cultures and languages that we are experiencing in a post-Brexit world. We are in a time where peoples of different heritage, faiths, and geographic locations are being portrayed as increasingly segregated and divided; thus, a collapsed aspirational tower feels apt.
The Emperor's Gold
Paper in glass bell jar
19 x 16cm
2015
£200
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Cradle of Civilisation
Paper in glass bell jar
25 x 17cm
2015
£250
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The Noise of the People's Babblings
Paper cut out
43 x 56cm
2017
£450
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Each with their own Language
Paper cut out
42 x 52cm
2017
£450
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The City and Its Tower
Paper cut out
38 x 56cm
2017
£450
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And From There They Were Scattered Abroad
Individual Paper cut outs
15 x 10cm approx
2017

Sold individually in a gold presentation box (selected at random)
£25 (each)
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Confusion of Tongues
Hand bound artist book made of 5 drawings with gold leaf detail
30 x 21cm
Edition of 1
2017
£500
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The Homes of Princes
Paper in glass bell jar
40 x 28cm
2015
£300
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Unremembered Pleasure
Paper in glass bell jar
25 x 17cm
2015
£250
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The Poetry of Parculiarised Place
Paper in glass bell jar
19 x 16cm
2015
£200
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Searching For England
Paper in glass bell jar
19 x 16cm
2015
£200
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England's Lost
Paper in glass bell jar
10 x 7.5cm
2015
£150
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One Must Look with One's Heart as Well as One's Eye
Paper in glass bell jar
10 x 7.5cm
2015
£150
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Installation Views
Photography by Tamenay Sheikh
Photography by Tamenay Sheikh
Photography by Tamenay Sheikh
Photography by Tamenay Sheikh
Photography by Tamenay Sheikh
Photography by Tamenay Sheikh
Photography by Tamenay Sheikh
Photography by Tamenay Sheikh
Photography by Tamenay Sheikh
Photography by Tamenay Sheikh
Photography by Tamenay Sheikh
Photography by Tamenay Sheikh