skip to content

Faculty of Classics

 
A Twist of the Hand, exhibition by James Epps, 18 June - 4 September 2021

A twist of the hand

An exhibition of contemporary art, by James Epps

18 June - 4 September 2021

 

A twist of the hand is an exhibition of wall drawings informed by the use of pattern and colour in ancient Greece and Rome. Preserved architectural details, remnants of colour, geometric mosaics, and objects all serve as points of departure for the creation of new works, carefully sited among the Museum of Classical Archaeology’s cast collection. James Epps evokes the colourful worlds from which the ancient sculptures derive, inviting new relationships of pattern and colour.

Epps' works are bright, playful and mounted directly onto the Museum’s breeze-block walls. The mountboard is arranged in patterns, formulated to sit within the architectural features of the museum’s gallery itself, or in dialogue with casts from the collection. Visitors can gain a unique insight into Epps' working methods in his arrangement of the museum’s pottery sherd collection alongside materials and research sources from his own practice.

 

In my practice, the physical qualities of the materials and location are instrumental in forming the work, be it folding paper to create a shape or intersecting the architectural features of a space with a line. For the large scale works I have made in-situ, the site shapes the drawing and the drawing engages the viewer with the site.

James Epps

 

Epps’ work creates a compelling and complex dialogue between our contemporary moment and the historic past. Plaster casts such as the Loacoön Group, where the figure’s arm has changed position over a lifetime of repairs, are emblematic of how these casts and their originals are not fixed but like all artworks change across time.

 

James Epps, The hand speaks (copyright: the artist)

 

About the Artist

James Epps creates both large scale site-site specific works and smaller paper- and object-based works. The physical qualities of the materials and location are instrumental in forming both, be it folding paper to create a shape or intersecting the architectural features of a space with a line. Epps considers his work within the practice of drawing, which is a methodology that allows for thought processes and physical actions to be manifested together.

It was as artist-in-residence at the British School at Rome in 2017, immersed in the city's ancient geometric mosaics, that Epps fully realised how artists and makers have always worked with colour and pattern: ‘Here in Cambridge I have continued this interest, but now with the unique opportunity to have my works in direct conversation with casts from ancient cultures.'

 

Acknowledgements

James Epps would like to thank Catrin Huber, Jonathan P. Watts, Susanne Turner and everyone at Museum of Classical Archaeology for their kind help and sharing their expertise.

The exhibition design identity is by Adam Pugh.

The development of work for this exhibition was supported by Arts Council England, Developing your Creative Practice.

 

 

Further Information

 

Every cast tells two stories.
One ancient. One modern.

Admission is free.

 

We are open

 

 

Opening hours

Tues-Fri: 11am-2pm
Sat: 2-5pm (univ. term-time only)
Sun and Monday: Closed

Closed on Bank Holidays

 

Saturday Opening

We are currently closed on Saturdays.

Please note: We are only open on Saturdays during University of Cambridge term time.

 

Visit us

Museum of Classical Archaeology
Faculty of Classics
Sidgwick Avenue
Cambridge
CB3 9DA

We do not have an entrance on the road. Find us inside the Sidgwick Site.

 

Join our mailing list

 

 

Get in touch

Tel. +44 (0)1223 330402
Email 

 

Find us on social media:

     

 

 

We're good to go

 

 

Copyright statement

All images and material on our websites are ©Museum of Classical Archaeology, University of Cambridge unless otherwise stated. If you would like to reproduce our images, you can now do so for non-commercial use at no charge.

See also our Copyright Notice and Take Down Policy.