Fenella Elms solo show: Flow

Contemporary Applied Arts in collaboration with Circus

CAA have collaborated with boutique management consultancy Circus to create an external solo exhibition of Fenella Elms’ work as part of cultural programme ‘Circus Performance’ in the Circus exhibition space on Marylebone High Street, London W1.

Fenella Elms creates sculptural panels and vessels from small porcelain beads that are remarkable for their intricate structures and textures. Patterns emerge, flow through the pieces and shift before our eyes – delicate illusions that belie their hard porcelain forms. 

The work on show is based on the interaction of similar parts and the connection that comes about through relationships and formations. The indiscernibly shifting components – the carefully hand placed beads – build up into a co-operative complex, a whole body. The pieces are constructed intuitively, with no formal plan for their composition, and the rhythmic structures emerge from the individual beads. 

In a former life Elms worked in mental health with psychotherapeutic groups, in which the interaction of several awakened the individual. Now she enjoys working with clay as it lends itself to inquisitive discovery, enabling ideas to become tangible. Porcelain has a particular appeal owing to its ability to hold intimate details in a state of fragile permanence. Her sharp powers of observation allow her to continually nudge the work forward: progress as evolution. 

Waves of movement ripple through these ceramic pieces. They capture the ebb and flow of performance, coming alive through the experience of the beholder. Separate bodies work together to create a spectacular whole that confounds expectations and inspires wonder.

Circus will be open to the public from 17th September, 10-5pm weekdays, until 28th October.

Visitors are very welcome – just ring the bell for entry. Circus is virtually next door to the Conran Shop and minutes from the Frieze Art Fair in Regents Park. CAA and Circus are connected by a quick trip on the Jubilee line from Southwark to Baker Street. 

58 Marylebone High Street, London, W1U 5HT



We occupy a lovely cabinet at Freshfields, 65 Fleet Street, where we showcase a changing selection of CAA members work…


'Untitled (Lichen)'

'Haeckel I' detail

The minutia of the natural world is central to Laura Youngson-Coll’s work, much of which considers ways in which we order and simulate the natural world in an attempt to understand its complexities. The texture, palette and material qualities of leather and vellum are used to convey the nuances of this world. Techniques of on-laying, paring and manipulating saturated leather are utilised, disengaged from their familiar function within book binding, and surprisingly employed within her intricate sculptural works. 

Laura’s work is designed to question assumptions about the aesthetic of leather and also to provoke a closer look and articulate the often overlooked details of the environments we inhabit. Initially trained as a sculptor and installation artist, Laura has worked with bookbinders and leatherworkers for many years, learning traditional techniques and taking these skills back into her sculptural work.

Laura was born in County Durham in1978. She has an MA in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art, London (2002-4) and completed her BA (Hons) in Sculpture at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, University of Dundee (1998-2001). She was for 10 years a leather and vellum specialist at Rooks Books Ltd., London.

Laura was the winner of the prestigious Perrier-Jouët Arts Salon Prize 2014, and the exhibition was hosted at CAA. She is now a member and showing work here one year on from the prize show.

For further information on Laura click here.

65 Fleet Street, London  EC4Y 1HS
020 7936 4000
(By Appointment)


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