McBride Contemporain is delighted to present the exhibition Shambling Mound, featuring a new collaborative body of work by Jim Holyoak and Matt Shane. Titled after a multivalent linguistic figure that refers to many images - from swamp horror monster and mossy, quasi-organic rubbish pile, to the movement of cities and human beings, and even that of the planet and its ecosystem itself - Shambling Mound proposes a complex symbolic examination and portrayal of life on earth, both social and external in its implications as well as internal and self-reflective.
Unpredictable and yet always strongly characteristic, the artistic collaboration between Jim Holyoak and Matt Shane is a growing and mutating generator of skillfully evocative, oddly resonating, and beautifully imaginative drawings. This collaboration provides a unique opportunity for these two artists to test out and express their ideas, but also to allow them to be modified and enhanced, by one another’s complementary input. In the case of Holyoak, whose work skews towards the lyrical and the fantastic, Matt Shane’s more logically driven and empirical nature adds a strong and centring element; while for Shane, it’s Holyoak’s dreamlike animism that unlocks latent potential, expanding his architectonic visions.
During the past year, the two have continued their collaboration, working at a distance and through the mail. Within their ceaseless interaction and mutual drive, they have responded to this era’s fears, hopes and concerns in their inimitable way, and have returned to propose a singular vision in this new body of work. The exhibition Shambling Mound includes five new works of discrete size and one larger piece, all with strong impact. A dark mood predominates in these works - but it is tempered by a pervasive sense of the innate power that human beings possess, to transcend the dangers that surround us, and also those that emanate from within. In these works, monster movies and science fiction novels mix their raucous and foreboding influences with the sensation of quietly walking away from all the commotion, into a ghostly wilderness.