‘Precarious Tenure’ Andrea V. Wright’s first solo UK show was conceived during a month-long residency at PADA (November 2021) which is situated in Barreiro, a crumbling post-industrial estate in Lisbon. PADA allowed her to fully immerse herself in her studio practice and create a new body of work especially for this show continuing themes and works developed during the covid lockdowns.

Wright’s intuitive, process-led practice teeters on the peripheries of sculpture and painting. Her multi-disciplinary approach explores the meeting points of architecture, the human body, and the lived experience, investigating themes of transition, protection, isolation and defence. During the past eighteen months Wright’s work has drawn more on unwanted and discarded objects and materials found fly-tipped on the streets or hunted down on internet selling sites.

There is something about the tentative point between becoming and disintegrating that Wright captures in her work giving it a sense of power and tension. This threshold is a space which can be difficult to articulate, visualise or give form to but Wright has accomplished this with her meticulously created, tactile sculptures which beg to be touched. Forms have been lifted from architecture, fashion and the appropriation of found and utilitarian objects which are both subtly figurative and architectural, akin to structure and surface, bone and skin. These shifts in tension are as much a metaphysical journey as they are a play on our imagination and our anxieties. This need for defence and protection against the constant ambiguities of life, unseen and imaginary opponents has been materialised into Wright’s new body of work.

During the late 1990s and 2000’s Wright worked in the fashion industry as a stylist with artists including Bjork, and for the magazines The Face, Arena and Italian Vogue. She went on to work for her sister’s womenswear company in New York. This background is none more evident than in these new artworks, where the quality and surfaces of the materials she chooses to work with are considered as fundamental to the sculptures as the forms themselves.

Andrea V. Wright’s ‘Precarious Tenure’ successfully explores the “overlap between sculpture and other practices, disrupting expectations and defying categorisation” Jillian Knipe ‘Secondary Structures’, 2018. Wright has embraced three-dimensionality as the physical manifestation of her ideas, creating artwork that challenges us to look beyond what we think we know about painting and sculpture.