Three artists, each with very different practices – Aaron McPeake, Sally Booth and Hugh Huddy – have collaborated to put on a show of new work entitled ‘Same Same but Different’ at London’s Guest Projects space from 14 to 19 November 2017.

The instigator of ‘Same Same but Different’ – artist Aaron McPeake, who won our prestigious flagship art award, the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary, in 2013 – was offered this space by Yinka Shonibare MBE, Patron of our annual exhibition, the Shape Open who allows artists to make use of the space for the year.

Over the years, Aaron McPeake has exhibited widely nationally and internationally. Aaron applied for the space with the idea of getting visually impaired and blind artists to exhibit their work together in a way that showcases each artists’ varied practices. “One wouldn’t know that [the art] is by visually-impaired artists as all of the works are quite different,” explains Aaron, “There is nothing subjective about it.”

Among the works on display will be Sally Booth’s ‘Drawing the Lines’, an installation inspired by the artist’s journeys on the London Underground, comprising on-the-spot drawings created over one or two stops of a tube journey. Sally is also known to Shape, having been the recipient of the 2009/10 Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary.

Visitors will be encouraged to interact with and listen to Aaron McPeake’s ‘Same but Different’, a pair of bronze identical bells appearing the same visually but producing very different sounds when struck.

Hugh Huddy will present ‘Silent Pipe’, a sound sculpture utilising physical materials and space to suspend curious conversations and fragmented stories told by AI chat bots in mid-air. Listeners can eavesdrop through gaps in a pipe which conveys an audible signal through the space, its visual form concealing an invisible purpose.

“We are all registered blind but the way that we all approach artistic practice is completely different from each other,” Sally Booth tells Shape, “People get very puzzled about visually impaired people making visual art or any sort of art but there is quite a real variety towards our approach as they are all completely different”.

As each artist entered the space, they gained individual understandings of how to approach the exhibition. Hugh’s first thoughts were to create a sound installation in the form of a vertical corridor, Sally wanted to create an installation based on her site-specific drawings, whilst Aaron had an idea to add lava sculptures, topographical paintings, and castings of Icelandic landscapes to his display. In gaining the use of the space, each artist has been afforded plenty of creative freedom to express their ideas in their own particular, subjective way.

Describing the space as an “elbow room”, Sally explains that having use of it “forces you to focus, even though there is all this other stuff in life that gets in the way”, literally giving the artist “the room to think”.

“I hope everyone who visits and spends time in the space is struck by something in what they hear, see and feel in there,” Hugh comments, adding that he hopes that, when a visitor leaves, the experience “maybe shapes a creative thought that they are working on or thinking about.”

Same Same but Different’ is supported by Shape, and runs from 14 to 19 November 2017, open daily from 12 to 6pm; the Private View will take place on 14 November from 6 to 8.30pm.

The exhibition, including the Private View, is free for all to attend and fully wheelchair accessible.  British Sign Language support is available for the private view. 

Guest Projects is located at 1 Andrews Road, London E8 4QL.

Image: Sally Booth - 'Footfall at Piccadilly Circus'