In a world increasingly driven by individual gain, it is important to pause and reflect on the concept of reciprocity. The practice of exchanging things for mutual benefit, reciprocity encompasses the ideals of balance, gratitude, and interconnectedness.

Reciprocity, a two-person exhibition of new artworks by artists Mandy Coppes-Martin and Anna Simson, aims to bring attention to this fundamental aspect of our existence. The exhibition, opening on June 28th and on view for a limited time through July 4th at Spring Cheltenham, will be viewable online at through July 26th.

The collaborative exhibition delves into the profound relationship between humanity and the natural world. Through their thought-provoking works, the artists navigate the delicate boundary between micro and macro, past and future, to offer a profound visual narrative on the interplay between mankind and nature.

Coppes-Martin's work, crafted from silks and heritage textiles, embodies organic forms that blur the lines between the manmade and the natural. By drawing inspiration from nature's wonders, such as butterflies in the Pacific that drink turtles' tears to absorb saline and diatoms housed in glass that provide every second breath we take, the artist invites viewers to explore the intricate and symbiotic relationships that exist in the world around us.

Simson's work showcases her intuitive approach to capturing the collective consciousness of themes and relationships. Using mostly porcelain paper clay to work instinctively, leaving fingerprint marks and weaving threads of emotion and inspiration, the artist draws on indigenous wisdom and the often-unnoticed reciprocal relationships between flora, fauna and man. Darwin’s Blind Spot is a term coined to explain the overlooked importance of living interactions or symbioses between different species. It is this sense of collaboration, along with man’s active involvement, the artist seeks to capture and elicit a response.

Reciprocity challenges the viewer to embrace the abstract nature of time and the complex interplay between past, present, and future. The exhibition invites individuals to confront their role in a world where human existence is intrinsically interwoven with the natural environment. It is a wake-up call, urging society to recognize our place within a wider ecosystem and to foster a sense of interconnectedness and stewardship.

As the artists beautifully encapsulate, the wider world is both intimate and borderless, always entertaining the dance between the internal and external. However, it often eludes our physical sight, much like the intangible concept of time. Reciprocity provides a glimpse into this elusive realm, reminding us that everything on this Earth has a purpose, that we are part of a larger system that has thrived for millions of years.

Mandy Coppes-Martin is a UK-based South African contemporary artist known for her innovative use of textiles and specific fibres such as paper thread, pulp and raw un-spun silks in creating organic forms that blur the line between nature and human craftsmanship. She completed her Masters Degree in Fine Art where she concentrated on the development of local and invasive plant fibres for the production of specialist hand-made papers. Coppes-Martin’s work has been included in numerous group exhibitions in Holland, England, Belgium, the USA and the Philippines. Her works Trembling Giant and Virgin Pulp were awarded the runner-up prize in the Sasol New Signatures 2012 Art Awards. These works can be found in the Sasol Collection.

Mandy Coppes-Martin is represented by Jenn Singer Gallery and her work is held in international private and corporate collections, including RMB Rand Merchant Bank, RMBH, ABSA, Sasol and the Whitman Museum (USA). The artist currently lives and works in Stroud, UK.

Anna Simson is a British contemporary artist known for her functional and sculptural ceramics exploring the intersection of micro and macro perspectives, examining the intricate relationships between species and the collective wisdom they embody. With an MA in Ceramics from Bath Spa University, Simson’s multi-faceted work is inspired by the natural world, using stoneware and porcelain to create her objects. In 2017 the artist was awarded the Association of Commonwealth Universities delegate gift. Anna Simson has exhibited throughout the United Kingdom, her work is held in international private collections and she lives and works in Stroud.