John Henry Newton, Laura Reeves, Himali Singh Soin: An Avalanche Of Subtlety

Private view Friday 10th July, 18:30 - 21:00
Curated by Adrienne Groen

Pi Artworks is pleased to announce the first exhibition of its summer programme. An Avalanche of Subtlety presents a discussion with thirty-two boxes, each containing objects meticulously ordered by an unknown collector, that have been repossessed by the artists to create a new history. 


A box is a space like a house: it has a floor (the base), four walls, and a ceiling (the lid). In similar ways, a box protects and keeps something safe, hiding what is inside from light, from warmth, from cold - from sight. Like a house, or a room, a box can be opened or closed: revealing or concealing its contents. The content can be something or it can be nothing; whether this space is empty or full, it can tell a story. The story could be about the nature of the space or the content, or about the meaning - old or new. Whether the content is or isn't there, it won't affect its container: a box is still a box with or without it. Packing boxes is not as uncontrolled an action as it may seem. Moving an object from outside to the inside of a confinement constructed from cardboard is controlled by the decisions of the person, the packer, but the box has equally a similar power. Its dimensions determine the maximum size of an object, how the object is placed inside the box, and how many of a kind. Packing, then, involves both person and box, a mutual relation between the two that is often unacknowledged. The act of opening boxes to see what is hidden or stored inside could be seen as opening up windows or a door of a house. This way, a box as a window opens up to different segments of time or of one's history (an object as well as a person).

Thirty-two boxes were discovered scattered throughout four of the eight rooms of the house that hadn't been entered for more than fifteen years, except by the individual who had inhabited the space. From the outset, the house didn't appear any different than the rest of the neighbourhood, its worn-out state camouflaged behind brightly white painted bricks, with the front door's threshold like a balancing point between two different worlds. It revealed a dark interior on the reverse with the cloaked contents and furnishings locating past times, like an entry into a confused time capsule, a clock stuck without a running battery. Upon opening, the boxes introduced their various inhabitants that were all neatly structured by a meticulous system: twigs, wine corks, slides amongst, and a collection of tools without the necessary hands for activation.

An Avalanche of Subtlety is a discussion with these articles. They have left the perimeters of their modest cardboard boxes to be re-examined within the exhibition, in a space that is similarly a container albeit expanded with brick replacing cardboard. Through their practice, artists John Henry Newton, Laura Reeves, and Himali Singh Soin pick up the leads of these stagnant objects and repossess them to create a new history, providing new hands to the previously inactivated tools. Just as every box represented a particular window into a past time, the exhibition also frames a specific moment in the journeys of these objects before they will be redistributed again, scattered to be interpreted in new settings by other figures - perhaps even finding new boxes to reside in.

During the private view and on selected days, Himali Singh Soin will present The Clockmaker's Reverie - a performance exploring the in-between time of daydreams in response to the time spend accumulating by the unknown collector. The performance will take place on the following dates: 10 july 18:30 - 21:00; 23rd July (time tba); 8th August (time tba)


John Henry Newton (b. 1988, UK) lives and works in London. His work has been exhibited internationally, including shows at FRUTTA, Rome and MOSTYN, Wales. Recent exhibitions include: Sun Bleached Stills from a Number of Films, CASS Bank Gallery, 2015; Nouveau Festival, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2015; Trust me, I'm firing an all cylinders, Frutta, Rome, 2015; and 30 Years of the Future, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, 2014.

Laura Reeves (b. 1987, UK) studied Fine Art at Cardiff School of Art & Design, specialising in sculpture. She won the Eisteddfod Young Artist Scholarship, and was selected for Master Class, Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2013. Previous exhibitions include: Uprisings, MOSTYN, Wales, 2015; SMALL Rome, Frutta, Rome, 2014; Trading Post, Eastside Projects, Birmingham, 2013; and The Students of Mr D Brook, Motorcade/FlashParade, Bristol, 2012.

Himali Singh Soin (b. 1987, India) is a London-based artist and poet, graduating with an MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London, this year. She performed at Performa 13 with the Raqs Media Collective (NYC) and has shown her text-based art on Eclectica and Hoax Journal (online), Kona and Devi Art Foundation (Delhi) and forthcoming at Latitude Festival, Ha Ha Gallery (London) Sector 2337 (Chicago) and Bucharest Art Week (Bucharest). She will be at a residency at the ICA in Moscow later this month.

Adriënne Groen (b. 1988, the Netherlands) is an independent curator who graduated from the Goldsmiths' MFA Curating programme. Previous exhibitions include: …instead to meet strangers who might change our minds (solo show with Dorine van Meel), Swiss Church, London, 2014; A Sense of Things, Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2014; Stanley Kubrick: the Exhibition, EYE, Amsterdam, 2012; and God Save the Queen: Art, Squatting, Punk 1977-1984, Central Museum, Utrecht, 2012. She is co-founder of fourFOLD, a London-based curatorial collective.

Supported by MFA Curating, Goldsmiths, University of London