First Major Solo Exhibition For Acclaimed Artist Elizabeth Eade

I know you are but what am I, neon, length 300 cm, 2019. Courtesy the artist. Photo — Laylah Garner

The acclaimed British artist Elizabeth Eade will present a new series of installations in her first major solo show, I know you are but what am I, at HIX ART, opening on 17 January.

Eade won the celebrated HIX Award, judged by the likes of Tracey Emin and Gavin Turk, in 2018 with her piece Die Liste — a ten meter long hand written list documenting the deaths of 33,305 refugees who died trying to claim asylum in Europe. Of the winning work Eade stated:

Die Liste, Ink on paper, 1000 x 150 cm, 2018. Courtesy the artist

The artist’s latest exhibition continues Eade’s exploration of her own attitude towards a range of social and political issues through a new series of installations, some serious, some frivolous. This oscillatory approach is embodied in two of the featured installations.

People who’ve pissed me off is a kinetic installation, which sporadically produces the names of people who have pissed Eade off. Included amongst the thousands of people featured in this work are the Kardashians, Piers Morgan, almost all of her friends and Pol Pot. Each name is given equal weight and eventually disappears from view. Playful and acerbic, it invites the viewer to share or re- but Eade’s subjective prejudices, whilst also creating a portrait of herself — or, as she puts it, a visual display of ‘a mind at boiling point’.

people who’ve pissed me off (detail), mixed media installation, dimensions variable, 2019. Courtesy the artist. Photo — Laylah Garner

An altogether more serious note is struck by Net Realisable Value, (NRV). The artist was compelled to produce this piece in response to the deaths of 26 teenage girls who, it is believed were being trafficked from Nigeria into the sex industry. All were found drowned off the coast of Italy in 2017. It is comprised of an identical number of clay and copper figures, which were immersed in sea water, an interaction that resulted in the formation of green crystals on the surfaces.

Two of the girls were pregnant, which is revealed in the sculptures. On another, Eade has engraved “I’m super happy”, the upbeat slogan that featured on one of the girl’s T-shirts. ‘NRV’ is a term used by insurance companies for lost and damaged goods, and chillingly, the artist shows the method of calculating this loss — the net realisable value — to accompany the installation. The final sentence reads ‘This is what the inventory was worth to you’.

Net Realisable Value (N.R.V) (detail), media various including copper corrupted with seawater, dimensions variable, 2019. Courtesy the artist. Photo — Laylah Garner

Since winning the HIX Award Eade has completed her MA in Fine Art at The University of Brighton and exhibited her work in numerous groups shows while working towards this inaugural solo exhibition. The upcoming show and accompanying body of work promises to be compelling and deeply powerful, a testament to Eade’s talent. Of the her practice Eade says:

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