Liminal Gallery is delighted to present ‘Sanctum Futurum: Relics and Forbidden Desires', a solo exhibition by Henrietta Armstrong. This new body of work is an evocative exploration of religious iconography and the boundaries of sacred art.
A journey into a shrine-like space where old gods are left behind and new ones emerge. 'Sanctum Futurum' questions the historical authenticity and often gruesome nature of sacred objects, including reliquaries which traditionally house fragments of human remains and curios believed to be from saints or even Jesus himself. Often acquired through questionable means, history proves it is a lucrative trade. Armstrong takes these ideas and using plaster, wax and a touch of satire, rebuilds her own pseudo relics for a contemporary world. 'Sanctum Futurum' is a poignant reflection on the complexities of human desire. The works in the exhibition interweave themes of witchcraft, charms and apotropaic practices whilst exuding a queer sensuality. While the gallery itself will transform into a sanctuary-like space, 'Sanctum Futurum' forges a realm of new gods and ideologies. This exhibition forms a part of Margate Pride Art Map.
Henrietta Armstrong is a multimedia artist and curator based in London, specialising in sculpture, installation and public art. She looks at man-made objects and structures from everyday technologies that are often obsolete or defunct, and the symbolism or meaning that we imbue them with. Her most recent work continues her exploration of themes related to personal relics, the mystical unknown and ritualistic practices. Considering the hypocrisy between the Catholic Church's veneration of relics and its historical condemnation of witchcraft.
While relics, often mass-produced religious items with supposed divine significance, are celebrated and revered, the Church's stance on witchcraft has been one of persecution and condemnation. This contrast adds an intriguing layer to Armstrong's exploration of religious artefacts and their cultural symbolism, urging viewers to reflect on the complex dynamics of the symbols, rituals and shifting perceptions that shape human belief systems. Through her work, she encourages us to confront the incongruities within our societal norms, inviting us to question the malleable boundaries between the sacred and the condemned.
Armstrong was selected as a finalist for the National Sculpture Prize 2021 and awarded as a runner up for the Soho House Art Prize 2020/2021, where she created an exclusive print edition for Soho Home. She has recently completed a public sculpture commission for the village of Tytherington commissioned by Cotswold Homes & South Gloucestershire Council. Henrietta Armstrong BA Fine Art (Hons) at Sir John Cass School of Art, London, graduating in 2003. Recent exhibitions include Tideline at Messums Wiltshire, ‘I Took my Power in My Hand’ at Liminal Gallery, Margate. National Sculpture Prize Summer Exhibition at Broomhill Estate, 'Tilt' Summer Show at Hoxton Gallery, Art on a Postcard Summer Auction 2021 and Recreational Grounds: Off Site at Thames-Side Gallery. Her work is part of the Soho House permanent collection and is held in private collections around the world.