Transition Two


Strange Coast

Cathie Pilkington & Marion Adnams

25 May - 23 June 2019

Preview: Friday 24 May 6.30-8.30pm

Gallery opening hours: Friday-Sunday 12-6pm


Cathie Pilkington, Pieta 2, 2018
Marion Adnams, The Water is Wide, 1940, © Estate of the Marion Adnams


Strange Coast takes its title from an atmospheric lithograph of the Dymchurch coastline made by Paul Nash in 1920 and is an intimate dialogue reflecting the meeting points between the work of two artists. Cathie Pilkington is a sculptor whose practice combines intensively handmade and found objects in readily assembled, site-specific interventions and Marion Adnams (1898-1995)was a painter of distinctive surrealist dreamscapes inspired by everyday objects and paper dolls.

Pilkington was first drawn to Adnams' work when she encountered it in Dreamers Awake, a show curated by Susanna Greeves at the White Cube, London in 2017. Fascinated by Adnams' northern heritage, she visited the Derby Museum to see more of her paintings where she discovered that many of the objects in the museum collection were the starting points for Adnams' intense dreamscapes. There is a feeling of intense claustrophobia, bristling energy and sublimation in these images. Adnams' written account of isolation and deprivation during the war and her search to find the materials and objects she needed to make her work, amplifies this singular, subjective vision.

I am attracted to things which create an atmosphere or period of time such as skulls, shells and objects from the natural world and it is always their form which fascinates me as though I were a sculptor. My unusually vivid imagination causes things to become active in my mind and when I begin to paint 'seriously' I am always drawn to some particular thing which I paint out of its proper setting and my original subject is relegated to the background.

Marion Adnams


Strange Coast, photo Perou


In Strange Coast, Marion Adnams' paintings and selected objects from the Derby Museum merge with Cathie Pilkington's provisional constructions and assembled doll-like sculptures. By exploring a peculiarly entangled female response to the material transformation of observed objects, the compact spaces of Transition Two form a framework for the shifting registers of domestic, studio, museum and gallery space where paper dolls cross the shores of the conscious and unconscious mind.

Read Cathie Pilkington, Notes from the bunker: talking with Marion


We are happy to be able to offer two limited edition prints by Cathie Pilkington - Shelf Life and Messenger. More details here.