Working across sculpture, photography, and performance, Yorgos Petrou was born in rural Cyprus and has been working in London for the past decade. I take of places is his first solo show and it brings together a new body of works that are exemplary of the range of materials he explores and the ways in which meaning is articulated in his practice.
Images of fragmented bodies and landscapes recur across the works presented, either as recognizable figures or as evoked by texture and materiality. The sense of incompleteness conveyed by these objects is complemented by the idea of mirroring, in shapes and motifs that seem to find their double in works that are translated into different mediums.
Petrou has conceived the exhibition space as a kind of ‘open book’, creating a counter-intuitive display that invites viewers to experience the works along a continuous wall positioned across the left-hand side of the gallery. Having cracked open the moveable panels to create a linear surface, the artist incorporates the fracture and leftover plaster marks exposed by this gesture as part of the display.
The physical rift that splits the gallery walls reverberates symbolically across the works in the exhibition. These are pieces that draw on Petrou’s personal history, exploring his relationship to the land of his historically fragmented home country and the secretive nature of his queer identity while growing up in a rural setting. However, rather than creating a linear narrative the works are characterized by the artist’s experimental approach to materials and mediums through which meaning travels suggestively.