Sam’s Eden

01 Jul – 09 Sep 2023

Centre for Contemporary Art Derry~Londonderry , 10–12 Artillery St , Derry~Londonderry, BT48 6RG

An exhibition investigating three different responses to the queer body occupying the physical and virtual realms, and reflecting on the importance of sanctuary.

Curated by Thomas Wells, Jerwood Curatorial Accelerator Fellow, SAM’S EDEN is a new exhibition featuring work by artists Yarli Allison, Suds McKenna and Michaela Razafima Nash.

SAM’S EDEN began as a queer arts publication founded by Thomas Wells in Belfast in 2020; this exhibition marks a shift from publication to physical exhibition for the first time.

The exhibition will investigate three different responses to the queer body occupying the physical and virtual realms, and reflect on the importance of sanctuary. The title SAM’S EDEN refers to Derek Jarman’s prospect cottage – eden – based in Folkestone, England as a space of queer sanctuary for the artist and filmmaker.

The exhibition brings together a wide variety of newly produced and pre-existing works around these themes:

Suds McKenna’s work includes three airbrushed works on painters’ canvas suspended from the ceiling, alongside framed ink drawings and plaster works and airbrushed text.

Michaela Nash presents a new work, creating an archipelago made using pigments developed from rock and mineral samples. This work refers to the timeless experience and collective nature of the queer community globally.

Artist Yarli Allison builds upon experiences of displacements, composing ‘what-ifs’ fictitious scenarios as methodological playgrounds that explore “how humans/things live” in utopia/dystopia systems.

This exhibition is a legacy project of Jerwood Curatorial Accelerator.

Suds McKenna, a familiar plough into the knot of a tie (2022). Ink on paper. Image courtesy of the artist.