It’s a bold move to invoke the mythical name of Neverland. For many, it already brings substantial associations pertaining to youth and imagination. And yet, graphic artist Emily Forgot (a moniker adopted by multidisciplinary artist and designer Emily Alston) delivers upon all that is implied with her “Neverland” solo exhibition, opening Thursday at Shoreditch’s KK Outlet Gallery. Colorful, structural wooden assemblage pieces, supported by a chair growing skyward and a carpet reflecting her architectural style, unite for a whimsical realization of years worth of Forgot’s sketchbook ideas. Neverland, here, means a place where forgotten ideas go—and Forgot has mustered up the time and energy to turn some of her favorites into tactile works.
A lot of the materials—and even the processes—used by Forgot aren’t typical of her work. “All the assemblages are painted wood,” she explains to CH. “I’ve used different thicknesses to play with the perspective and had a lot of fun exploring color particularly on these pieces.” With these works, Forgot pursued her interests in interior design and architecture. This “informs the whole show but some could also feel quite abstract to the viewer,” she adds. The balance of the real and imagined strikes a resounding note.
Accompanying the assemblages, different sculptural homewares and drawings are present. Forgot partnered with Charlie Mckenzie to construct a chair drawn from whimsy, and she worked with rug-makers Ceadogan to translate one of her images into a decorative throw. Yes, these are artistic sculptures but their functionality also brings to attention Forgot’s connection to the real world.
When defining her hopes for the overall energy of the show, Forgot says, “I think it will be playful and fun. The process of working on this show made me feel very nostalgic for my childhood, where I created images unfettered by what others’ expectations were, and simply made for the love of making.” She continues that it’s “a body of work by a 30-something who still isn’t ready to grow up.”
The name “Neverland” does address the aforementioned, but its origins are different. “It actually came about though a conversation with my boyfriend,” Forgot says. “I used the term in the context of things that will never happen, ie: ‘Yeah… in Neverland!’ I was already ruminating about doing a show at the time and I liked the idea of creating an exhibition around making all those unrealized thoughts and ideas that often end up in ‘Neverland.'” Fortunately for all, she has realized them and the charm is undeniable.
Emily Forgot’s “Neverland” will run 1-30 September at KK Outlet Gallery, 42 Hoxton Square, London. The gallery and Forgot’s exhibition will be included in the Shoreditch Design Triangle multi-venue festival of creativity.
Images courtesy of Emily Forgot