Julie Derbyshire | Possession
15 May to 2 June 2019
Wednesday – Sunday 12-5pm
One Paved Court | 1 Paved Court | Richmond TW9 1LZ
Julie Derbyshire presents a new body of photographic work alongside her fabricated objects that inspired it.
Informed by personal experience, Possession is the culmination of the artist's research into the social and legal implications of scamming and its impact on elderly victims, bringing a new voice to this increasingly disturbing issue.
Drawing on the vanitas tradition to convey the tension between the temptation and emptiness of worldly possessions, Julie Derbyshire employs still lifes as a commentary on modern consumerism, its excesses and pitfalls.
Iterations of wealth, value and exorbitance range from a beguiling chandelier made from imitation jewellery to more conceptual objects that make reference to the conflict between the lure of perceived beauty and the unsettling and ugly effects on those vulnerable to coercion.
A series of paper porcelain envelopes bearing extracts of text commonly used in scamming schemes makes reference to the relentless and insidious nature of correspondence that victims of such practices are exposed to. Made from a material historically prized for its combination of strength and fragility, the envelopes allude to the transition from seemingly harmless words to the secrecy and complicity engulfing their recipients.
The behaviour of victims who succumb to scamming is typically characterised by excessive spending and a secretive obsession with the purchase and hoarding of items, often motivated by false promises of friendship and future prosperity. With perpetrators often based abroad and away from UK jurisdiction and complex legal provisions regarding issues of mental capacity, family and friends are left to watch on, powerless.