Lynn Wray

Civilisation

Charlotte Road   |   Solo Exhibition   |   20.08.08 – 06.09.08

Ludwig II: Unraveled
Lynn Wray, 2008
Soft pastels on Fabriano ingres paper
39.5 x 30.5 cm
The Sun King: Eclipsed
Lynn Wray, 2008
Graphite and pencil on Fabriano cotton paper
25.5 x 44 cm
The Squirrel: Fouqued
Lynn Wray, 2008
Dip pen and ink on Fabriano watercolour paper - antique dark wood frame
38.5 x 48.3 cm
Conceptions that easily associate themselves spiritually in a single grandiose vision
Lynn Wray, 2007
C-type print on Fuji archival paper
30.5 x 40.6 cm
Edition of 10

FERREIRA PROJECTS is proud to present Lynn Wray’s first solo exhibition in London – Civilisation. Wray’s iconoclastic new body of work deconstructs varying ideals of civilisation and challenges the way these ideals are objectified.

Wray takes the formal garden as a subject to start this investigation, as in the beginning there was Eden and since the dawn of civilisation, humanity has endlessly sought to recreate this vision of paradise. The garden is a symbol of the often disharmonious marriage between nature and culture and of Man’s struggle to either perfect or dominate his environment. The formal garden then becomes a metaphor for civilisation, of man’s increasing dominion over nature, exemplified most prominently in André Le Notre’s gardens at Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte. Wray uses the language of the formal garden (perspective, symmetry and grandeur) in her work to depict the distance between this kind of cultural rationalism and our more instinctive and expressive selves. Drawing and painting are used as a process to investigate the impact of limiting creative expression to formalistic and regimented rules.

The exhibition will also showcase Wray’s textual and photographic work about the Esposizione Universale di Roma or World Fair of 1942 and the present EUR district of Rome. The Esposizione was commissioned by Benito Mussolini and was intended to be an ‘Olympics of Civilisation’ that would demonstrate the supremacy of the Italian people and vindicate the increasingly aggressive fascist regime’s colonialist aspirations to become a modern-day Roman Empire. However, the reality of the day that should have seen the fair open to the public was inevitable military defeat for Italy and the beginning of the end of the Fascist regime. The site instead lay dormant and in ruins – a spectral vision of the destructiveness of the quest for empire.