P_E_A_K_A_Y_ – Artists in Residence
The artist duo P_E_A_K_A_Y_ formalises the collaborative practice of London and Austria-based artists Klara Vith (AT) and Paul Wardski (UK). Vith and Wardski have been working together, attending residencies and exhibiting for a number of years. In 2023, they are taking
a year-long sabbatical to fully focus on residencies, research and development, and engagement with new environments and other artists.
P_E_A_K_A_Y_’s work explores objects and memory – both the individual connections humans build with objects, as well as shared memory between people. They are interested in what people keep at home to individualise their rooms, to make them sacred spaces and to create connections to their past and their past homes. They ask questions like why we form attachments to ultimately meaningless things, why we give them importance in our lives, and why we humanise many objects.
Working across painting, installation, textiles and printmaking, they incorporate domestic, everyday materials and motifs. Elements of humour and defamiliarisation come from playing with scale and materiality. Anything from tea towels to hoovers to avocado plushies with cute faces can evoke feelings of familiarity.
Their surroundings have a great impact on how they go about creating work, and the same is true for their time at Salzamt. Collected impressions from Linz, from the tiling of the local indoor lido to infamous Leberkäse Pepi, crept into the works of the past weeks. These weeks were also a way to merge pre-existing ideas from the past six months without access to a studio space with their new environment and to finalise any unfinished work.
Focusing on painting, paper objects and tufted rugs, a single-use Hellmanns Mayonnaise as well as an extendible Soreen malt loaf draft excluder are pointers to their last months in London, while the hand-tufted rugs depict objects that they had used to create an Austrian presence in their past home.
The current crisis of living in the UK has been a constant influence and presence, with text fragments and motifs from articles such as the Heat Or Eat diaries in a large national newspaper; a daily struggle bordering on the surreal.
Apart from working in the studio, they also invited artist Georg Vith to install a camera obscura in the Salzamt studio space to document the work and living situation, bringing the outside view into the space using the room itself as a pinhole camera.
P_E_A_K_A_Y_ are currently working towards a small showcase of work in the Friseursalon Linz which will run from February until March 2023.