Chris Thompson: Old Bones

9 Jun-9 Jul 2022
PV 9 Jun 2022, 5-9pm


Old Bones is a show interested in using gendered ideas of materiality, artefact, DIY culture and violence as a means of unpicking the masculine ideals my generation grew up on, as well as being an experiment in material excess and density. It seeks to think through the relationship the male ideal has to both being a container of, and a perpetuator of, violence.

It’s a peculiar space, sort of in-between. Not really dissimilar to the sort of squashed one-bedder that landlords turn their garages into. It’s not quite sure if it’s coming or going, beneath those sheets. Is this old-hat-tat on the way out, or has this just been put in? Either way, whose god awful idea was that pinewood?

Violently, this tableau becomes punctured by the intrusion of an old man, crawling. Solid Snake, the stoic protagonist of the infamous Metal Gear video game series, has one last job to do. He’s been stabbed, shot, watched his mother die, killed his own father, had his face burnt in a nostalgia fuelled Mecha battle with his dead brother, come back to haunt him.

He’s good at enduring.

It’s all he has to offer, at this point. His body failing him through artificial ageing, he crawls as he is cooked alive by microwaves as his friends suffer in war, their lives dependent on his capacity to just keep going. He must be exhausted. I’m exhausted just watching it. The space seems exhausted.

It’s warm, vaguely nostalgic yet also so misguidedly ugly, violent even, like the DIY skills of the builder. (I mean look at that wiring job!) Hazardous to health, whether that be from plaster inhalation, electrical fire or just the overload of orange. The structure of the space seems to be offering up old bones. Something seeps through the floor. That flickering light, the cabinetry is shifting into a memory of itself”.

Chris Thompson (b, 1991, Teesside) is an artist and curator working in sculpture, painting and installation.

Chris is interested in making art that appropriates, reconfigures and antagonises a diverse cast of materials, objects and references to build speculative, anthropological inquiries into cultural memory and the contradictions embedded within contemporary existence.

Recent solo exhibitions have included ‘👀’ at Brockley Gardens (2019) and ‘instrument’ at Thames Side Studios (2020). He was a prize-winner at the APT Creekside Open (2019) selected by Brian Griffiths. He has received grants from the Gilbert Bayes Trust for Sculpture, the Freelands Foundation, the Eaton Fund and The Oppenheim John-Downes Memorial Trust.

He studied Painting at Camberwell College of Arts (2013) and SUNY Purchase, State University of New York (2012) and Is currently completing his MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College. He lives and works in London.

Chris Thompson: Young Artists in Conversation

Chris Thompson: Floorr Magazine 

Private view: Thursday 9 June 5-9pm



Selected works

Installation views


Chris Thompson: Old Bones press release

Back to top