joe sweeney finds the poignant in the banal

Black-humoured and distinctly British, the young London artist’s second solo show explores the concept of gentrification through the prism of what gets left behind.

by Violet Conroy
19 December 2017, 12:46pm

26-year-old British artist Joe Sweeney is back with his second solo show Loose Change, featuring new sculpture, print and light works. Forever searching for “the poignant hidden in the banal”, his work is poetically black-humoured and distinctly British. “A mix of the sardonic, melancholic and subversive,” Joe tells us.

His second solo show, Loose Change, just opened at Cob Gallery, and explores the gentrification of our beloved city by focusing on the detritus left behind -- plaster casts of plastic bags, newspaper cuttings, and the kind of calling cards you might find on the floor of a telephone box. The centre piece of the exhibit is the monumental The World’s Your Oyster Card. A sculptural life-size 3D double of the artist himself, turned oyster card blue, wearing a bespoke suit made of receipts. A personification of the transaction involved in our everyday commute, reminding us that commerce and mobility are intrinsically linked whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.

Accompanying the exhibition is a limited edition book cataloguing the artists original works as well as a selection of poetry, found imagery, artwork from Janey Milner, photography form Kingsley Ifill and Tom Beard, and essays from curator Jessica Draper, writer Harriet Verney and the iconic, iconoclastic British artists Gilbert & George.

Loose Change is showing at the Cob Gallery until 14th Jan

cob gallery
joe sweeney