LAURA CUCH, Ealing Christian Centre, Spiritual Flavours: Meals 2015.  Photographic print, 75 x 50cm


‘Digs’ is a slang term for describing home, and for this exhibition is understood as broadly encapsulating the shared human desire to materially inscribe place into space. Presented through the work of five local and international artists—Laura Cuch, Spencer Harrison, Jaime Powell, Tariku Shiferaw and Lisa Waup—this exhibition speculates upon the nature of material expression and spatial arrangement in the formation of personal places of habitation. As a curatorial proposition, DIGS considers some of the many ways that spaces are provisionally materially transformed into places using placeholders, architectural interventions, keepsakes and décor. Echoing our shared human desire to somehow create a sense of home, artists engage in the practice of creatively selecting, arranging and manipulating objects drawn from the continuum of lived experience to create experiences of place meaningfully delineated from everything else in the world. With this curious confluence in mind, the artists presented in DIGS variously explore the materiality of placemaking through printmaking, filmmaking, drawing, painting, animation, sculpture, and sculptural installation, and in doing so, reflect something of their unique cultural and social backgrounds. As anthropologist Michael Jackson put it in his 1995 book At Home in the World, the idea of home is lived as both a relationship and a tension. With this relational quality in mind, DIGS asks: How do we mark the places in which we sleep and eat? And in what kinds of ways do we ‘make do’ with that which is available to hand to construct a sense of home?

Curated by Cūrā8

The Artists

Laura Cuch, born in Barcelona and based in London, is a visual artist, researcher and cultural geographer working with photography, film and installation. She completed a practice-related PhD in Geography (UCL), exploring the relationship between food, spirituality and everyday practices of faith communities in West London.

Spencer Harrison is a visual artist whose work distils colour, form and space into ordered abstract structures that reflect on our lived urban experience. His visual language draws on the world around us, referencing design, architecture, science and the built environment.

Jaime Powell is an Indian-Australian artist who uses lithography and mark-making to investigate what our mind does when the body extends into space. The examination of belonging is at the heart of Jaime’s practice.

Tariku Shiferaw is a New York based artist who explores mark-making addressing the physical and metaphysical spaces of painting and social structures. For Shiferaw, the act of making a physical mark is a performative utterance of his existence, which inevitably alters the immediate physical space and simultaneously introduces new ideas and boundaries.

Lisa Waup is a mixed-cultural First Peoples multidisciplinary artist and curator born in Naarm (Melbourne). Waup’s practice spans diverse media, including weaving, printmaking, photography, sculpture, fashion and digital art.

TARIKU SHIFERAW, Change (J. Cole) 2022. Wood, lacquer, wall paint, 269.24 × 355.6cm. Courtesy Tariku Shiferaw and Galerie Lelong & Co., New York. Photo: Lucy Foster.