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image for Art Exhibition item typeAnna Reading - The Pothole at Kendaladd to shortlist

Art Exhibition, Sat 9 Nov - Sat 14 Dec 2019

An Anxious Fish Grows Its Own Scales, 2019

An Anxious Fish Grows Its Own Scales, 2019


Installed across a floor of vinyl collages, Anna Reading’s The Pothole presents a series of new sculpture and performance works developed over the past year as the 16th recipient of the major UK award.

Combining layers of surplus commodity materials, including shredded foam, gravel, oyster shells, bitumen, chip forks and cardboard, Reading creates a highly tactile and fragmented environment. Her sculptures appear familiar and puzzling at once, existing between life form and architecture, ancient and futuristic and decay and regeneration.

This new body of work continues the artist’s exploration into the absurd relationship between the organic and the synthetic. Reading’s sculptural structures appear as relics from an unknown future. She combines materials that cling to the sculptures ‘as if they’ve grown there without being cleaned away’, in an attempt to consider ‘what can grow uncontrollably out of moments of destruction and chaos’.

The work is installed across a digitally-collaged vinyl floor composed of Reading’s photographs of the Scottish Isle of Staffa, layering its hexagonal black basalt columns and colonies of white limpets in a disorientating camouflage. The island, for Reading, is at once an ancient sculptural outcrop as well as a host for organic growth.

Traversing sculpture, moving image and performance, Reading’s practice aims to foreground the illogical, the emotional and the sensory. Performances take the form of interactions with objects, simultaneously responding to their affect while also projecting meaning.

A limited edition publication entitled ‘The Pothole’ accompanies the exhibition and features writing by Reading, Hannah Regel (artist and writer based in London) and Carey Lifschultz (writer based in San Francisco). The texts are layered with images of Reading's highly textural sculptures and vibrant digital collages.

The MTSA is one of the most significant awards for emerging UK artists working in the field of sculpture. Offering £8,000 towards the making of new work, it rewards outstanding and innovative practice, with a particular interest in work that demonstrates a commitment to the process, or sensitivity to material.

The Pothole tours to Cross Lane Projects from Standpoint Gallery, London and will continue to Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre in Spring 2020.

About the artist

Anna Reading (b. 1987, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK) is a London based artist and a graduate of MFA Sculpture, Slade School of Fine Art (2017), where she received the Siva-Finestone Scholarship, and holds a BA (Hons) Fine Art, Central St Martins (2010). Her work was included in Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2018. Recent exhibitions include Sugar Mountain, The Silver Building, London, Shell Shelter and Raven Ravine with Pallas Citroen, The Bomb Factory Art Foundation, London, Everything, Assembly Point, London. A Field Guide to Getting Lost, The Art Foundation, Athens. Cloud Concrete, Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop, London. POND, Kaitak Gallery, Hong Kong. Loop, Lubomirov / Angus Hughes, London and Object 77B, Laure Genillard, London.

Reading was selected from 260 applicants from across the UK by a panel comprising Clare Lilley, Director of Programme, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Cathie Pilkington RA, Frances Richardson MTSA winner 2017-18, and Rebecca Scott, artist and Mark Tanner Trust.

Event details

Dates Times
Sat 9 Nov - Sat 14 Dec 2019 12:00 to 17:00
Open Wednesday - Saturday


  • Children welcomeChildren welcome
  • Disabled accessDisabled access


Plan route to Kendal using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: SD 515926  Lat: 54.32709 Long: -2.74708

Parking: free

Parking: with charge

Accessible by Public Transport: 1 mile from Kendal station

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