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Exhibitions Practice makes Practice

Abel Shah: Exodysis II

23 February 2022 - 25 March 2022 NewBridge Gallery

Artist duo Abel Shah return to The NewBridge Project throughout February and March . This exhibition and programme concludes their Practice makes Practice residency, culminating in an exhibition of their new body of work Exodysis II in the NewBridge gallery space.

Back in March 2020, Abel Shah facilitated a series of weekly group discussions and activities at The NewBridge Project, exploring ideas around collaboration, problems encountered working this way and strategies to open up exchange and dialogue. Unfortunately these sessions were cut-short due to the covid-19 pandemic but the group continued to develop their discussions online.

In the time between then and now, Abel Shah led a conversation with members of Into The Wild, Chisenhale Gallery’s artist development programme, on accessibility and sharing information online in relation to their wiki page Mesh: A Sharing Hub for Emerging Artists. They also hosted a series of informal gatherings called ‘Sharing and Caring’ where participants were invited to share something they care about with others in a receptive space that aimed to emulate the daily physical encounters we were all missing so much during the national lockdowns.

All of this research on collaboration, sharing, caring for and with each other, accessibility, hosting and communality, has informed and developed Abel Shah’s practice. Their new body of work Exodysis II will be exhibited at The NewBridge Project from 23rd February to 25th March. This is the second iteration of their sculpture installation, first exhibited at the Swiss Church in London in 2021. Influenced by thinking around bodies as archives, the sculptures are reminiscent of skin- or vessel-like objects. Some fragile, awkwardly balanced or shedding their layers, the objects are in parallel states of destruction and repair. Constructed from everyday materials that have been integral to the developments of the 20th and 21st century’s, including urban housing, high-speed transportation, healthcare technologies, information storage and control of movement, the objects start to act as “shells” of our everyday environments and recent histories.

With collaboration at the core of their practice and an interest in the gallery as a space of facilitation, the body of work has developed alongside ongoing dialogues with fellow practitioners and collaborators by thinking about how meaning and relationships are built through language and exploring alternative ways of communicating.

Key Dates

Throughout the residency, Abel Shah have invited other practitioners and groups to interrupt the installation throughout the exhibition.

Sarah White and tyroneisaacstuart, as part of Exodysis I at Swiss Church, London, embarking on a 90 minute movement performance amongst the sculpture installation.

21 Feb – Incursions walk and food 

INCURSIONS will host a walk in the afternoon, beginning at The Laing Gallery and ending at NewBridge where Abel Shah and INCURSIONS will host a dinner together for the walking guests amongst the exhibition.

24 Feb & 3 March 12 – 1pm – Slow Response Sessions 

This is an invitation for visitors to join Abel Shah to take a bit of time to sit with the work in the gallery and respond to the themes present. They will provide drawing and writing prompts for visitors to engage with the work and respond themselves.

23 March – Shieldfield Youth Programme 

Abel Shah will host a session with Shieldfield Youth Programme 

4 March 6 – 9pm – Exodysis After Hours with interruptions by Incursions and Aaron Tan 

Aaron Tan and Incursions will both be presenting works made during Abel Shah’s residency period in collaboration and in response to the residency.

About Abel Shah

Abel Shah is an artist duo consisting of Alex Bell and Giulia Shah, both currently based in London.

Collaborating since 2016, we share similar interests in “authorship”, the (re)presentation of “things”, generation of knowledge and structures of power. We have been developing a dialogical approach to art making, and found that alternative ways of communicating, language, meaning and translation are the core subjects within our practice.

As a duo, our practice is embedded in a plurality of experience and voices. We construct objects, texts, images and sound that often manifest into multi-media installations, and build frameworks for dialogue and collaboration (amongst ourselves and with other practitioners).

The relationships between image-object, physical-virtual, verbal-nonverbal, past-future, regeneration-decay are highly significant in our practice, reflecting our approach to the ongoing exchange and multitude of experiences that exist when making art as a non-singular artist. We do not think of these in binary or opposition, but in a constant state of flux, push and pull, and in this tension we try to blur notions of hierarchy and obstruct linear readability.

We are also extremely interested in finding other forms of exchange outside of a “studio” practice. Since 2018 we have been running Residency 11:11 from our home in London which we see as a parallel to our practice and a direct reflection of our ambitions to find alternative forms of “exchange” and community.

Exhibitions Practice makes Practice

The NewBridge Project
Shieldfield Centre
4-8 Clarence Walk (off Stoddart Street)
Newcastle upon Tyne


The NewBridge Project is accessible. You can find out more here, or feel free to contact us prior to visiting if you require additional information regarding access and facilities.