The winner Aspex Gallery’s ‘Emergency’ 2015 Maya Ramsay returns to the gallery for her solo show ‘Countless’ this April.
Maya uses unique processes to lift surfaces from historically and politically important sites. For the past ten years she has been focussing on lifting surfaces from sites that have a relationship to conflict, bringing the materiality of conflict closer to the viewer.
For ‘Countless’, Maya has made twenty-nine rubbings from the graves of migrants who died at sea whilst trying to reach Europe. The first recorded shipwreck of a migrant boat in Europe occurred twenty-nine years ago. The rubbings were taken from four cemeteries in Sicily. The majority of drowned migrants’ bodies remain unidentified and their graves are marked with a number instead of a name.
Ramsay said: “We are used to seeing images in the media of migrants’ bodies packed into boats and migrants’ bodies packed into body bags. How many of us see those migrants as people, as individuals, rather than as bodies or as numbers? And what happens to the bodies of migrants who die at sea?”
The exhibition includes photographic images and video footage from the cemeteries, as well as works from Ramsay’s ‘Wall Talk’ series. ‘Wall Talk’ is an ongoing project in which the artist has been using a unique process to lift surfaces from sites relating to conflict.
‘Wall Talk’ was awarded the London Group Solo Show Award (2013) and was shortlisted for the Artraker Award (2014). Maya Ramsay completed her BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art & Design in 1998 and an MA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art in 2009. Ramsay won ‘EMERGENCY’, Aspex’s international open submission competition for artists, designers and makers in 2015.
Director of Aspex, Joanne Bushnell said: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Maya again and proud to show this deeply thought provoking body of work”.
‘Countless’ opens on Saturday 1 April, 4 – 6pm, and remains open until 4 June 2017.