A new contemporary art space in Cambridge City centre: open by appointment

Sam Jury & David Kefford ‘Test Sites’
March 16th–April 7th 2024

Test Sites brings together two Cambridge-based artists—Sam Jury and David Kefford —for the first time and launches Quip & Curiosity’s new exhibition programme for 2024. The gallery will become a ‘test site’ during a short residency exploring ideas of displacement and dis-ease in both the landscape and the self. Through restaging multiple works on paper, small-scale sculptures and moving image, the artists will attempt to ask what it means to be ‘out of time’ and how this speaks to psychological and emotional states.

For Test Sites, both artists create an intricate series of shrunken worlds constructed from materials close to hand. Kefford creates his own ecology as a hunter-gatherer in his immediate environment—recycled photocopies from previous works, forms cut-out from lifestyle magazines or nature journals like National Geographic along with fragments of collected ephemera that is the thrown-away or discarded matter of contemporary life. Jury melds images and stills deriving from a liminal digital soup atop of collage, paint, and drawings. Freeze-frames of nuclear test films, found imagery of significant places in other people’s lives, photographs of expired military sites, and her own archived work that didn’t quite make the grade.

Both take the work through its own personal endurance test. Jury describes her postcard pieces as a kind of ‘woman-machine collaboration’ with a slowly dying printer with a faulty paper feed. The cards, thick with collage and paint, disturb its mechanisms—the ink gets blocked, the paper gets ripped. These scars, judders, misalignments and ink dumps become the expressions of a mis-purposed machine, representing a kind of chance interaction not replicable. Sometimes, but rarely, the printer kills the postcard. Kefford’s forms are born through cutting, scraping, smearing, slicing, over-lapping and layering. Sometimes, his sculptures topple over to create their own detritus. Through a slow and durational process akin to bonding and connecting, he makes forms that are touchable and (man)handled. Forms that seek a place or connection amidst a backdrop of chaos and mess.

At times, a melancholic humour imbues the orchestrations in Test Sites—the awkward dis-ease of Kefford’s fragmented forms suggesting anamorphic parts in comic flux against Jury’s asexual animal-human portraits wearing ridiculing headwear. Or Jury’s print of an upside-down weather balloon skewered on a pylon echoing Kefford’s 3D print of a deflated party balloon rendered in slate grey. Here materials transform into something other, unknown entities—unanchored from their original environment, beyond human, mutant-like and mutable. For Kefford there exists a Queer Ecology to these accumulations, for Jury, a sense of aftermath in the wake of unnamed events. Perhaps together they describe a world seen through the lens of the ruptured and discarded, once repressed now bubbling up to the surface anew.

Opening times and events

Fri 15th March: Open by appointment

Sat 16th March: 1–5pm, drop in

Fri 22nd March:

Opening event: 6–10pm More details

Including live sound and music event: 8–10pm with
– possible area [test table] group improvisation using objects, making processes and films responding to the show
– Gusty Ferro
– Pete UM

curated by bad timing and David Kefford

Sat 23rd March: 1–5pm, drop in

Other times by appointment until Thu 4th April

davidkefford.com   |  instagram.com/davidkefford

samjury.com  |  instagram.com/samjuryartist