Tanoa Sasraku – Liths

17 Feb-20 May 2023
PV 16 Feb 2023, 6.30-8.30pm


In February 2023, PEER presents the first major solo exhibition in a London institution by Hackney-based artist Tanoa Sasraku. Merging digital and handmade processes, Sasraku works with sculpture, tapestry, print and analogue film to explore place and memory in relation to British, Black, Ghanaian and queer cultural histories.

Influenced by affinities towards places that both capture and exclude human bodies, her exhibition at PEER builds on an ongoing series of works that comprise sculpture and print to examine latent memories, energies and mythologies embedded in rural landscapes.

In this series of work Sasraku quite literally grounds her process within a given place. Influenced by landscapes that are home to standing stones and pinnacles of rock, as well as textile traditions such as Scottish Tartan cloth and Ghanaian Fante Asafo flags, the starting point for her most recent works is foraging for earth pigment – a process that extracts colour pigment from clay, ground-soil, rocks and plants. 

For her exhibition at PEER, Sasraku presents a series of large, freestanding sculptures titled Liths (2022). Each sculpture acts as a framing device for details taken from her Terratypes (2022) series, which comprise layers of newsprint stained with ink and earth pigment that has been foraged from Dartmoor, Devon and Ise of Skye, Scotland, before being submerged in sea, river or bog water.  

Each Lith hosts two scanned and enlarged reproduced images from her Terratypes series, merging print and sculpture together in one work. Displayed in large wooden black boxes that line the gallery floor, the encased prints depict images of the layered, stitched and frayed edges of her Terratypes, focusing on the construction and texture of these works as if now seen under a microscope.

In combining monochrome imagery and the use of formulaic wooden cases, Sasraku’s sculptures, when viewed from a distance appear to project light from their centre, referencing both museum vitrine and Neolithic standing stone in one form. Each sculpture acts as a host structure for reproduced images taken from previous works, and in doing so invites a slightly removed experience from the works material origin embedded in earth pigment foraging in sites across rural Britain. Through this act of removal and reproduction, Sasraku’s sculptural works question how we inscribe meaning to land and nature, and in doing so, questions how cultures, places and histories are experienced and owned.  

A series of talks, events and workshops will take place throughout Tanoa’s exhibition. The events will be developed for young people, local communities and the general public, and explore themes of memory, place and tradition.

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