Art Swap!

One of the benefits of creating your own artwork is that you can trade it for other pieces, as I did recently with one of my mugs in exchange for a scarf from UK duo Roxy Topia and Paddy Gould. Today, I want to introduce you to these two artists and their very distinctive work.

Roxy Topia and Paddy Gould work collaboratively on all of their projects, with their practice encompassing drawings, sculpture, prints, textiles, and installations. Their work explores sexual and social anxieties of twenty-first century life, but in a very playful, fun manner.

I met Roxy and Paddy in 2015, when they were on the Roswell Artist-in-Residency grant. I appreciated their quirky humor and sense of fun, which clearly comes through in their work. During their time in Roswell they created a series of large, satin sculptures with digitally-printed designs based directly on their collaborative drawings.

This sculpture is taller than I am (I'm 5'3") to give you a sense of scale.

These sculptures became the focal point of their RAiR exhibit, The Recovery Positions. The hardest part was not giving these works a hug every time I walked by them.

Since returning to the UK, Roxy and Paddy have continued pursuing their textile work on a smaller scale, producing scarves, handbags, and other objects that can easily be incorporated into daily life (because, as much as we'd all love to have a giant satin sculpture suspended in our living rooms, a handbag is slightly more practical). They have recently opened an Etsy shop that features all of their wonderful wares, and I highly encourage you to check it out.

(If you've begun to suspect that this post is a shameless promotion for these two, you're absolutely correct. Contrary to popular belief, artists can't live on air and unicorn tears alone, so support your art communities and buy their wares.)

Anyway, a few weeks ago we decided to do an art swap. I sent them my T-rex mug, one of the better dinosaur pieces I've thrown.

In exchange, I received this lovely scarf:

As both a curator and an art historian, scarves are a cliche within my wardrobe, but what I especially like about this piece is the personal connection. I not only know where the design came from, but the artists who created it, and that personal history makes it all the more special.

Now go check out their Etsy shop, if you haven't already done so.