16.11.19 - 23.11.19

Open by appointment

Private View: Friday 15th November


Vauxhall Gardens Community Centre

5 Glasshouse Walk, Lambeth, London SE11 5ES



Details of tenderness 


For the first edition of our Open Call Residency, Subsidiary Projects is proud to present London based artist Alex McNamee’s new site-specific installation. 


Alex McNamee’s practice is highly physical and shaped by the surroundings that it inhabits. Her work explores identity’s mutable qualities within oneself and the space around us. 


Understanding language as a tool, she focuses on how labels modify objects - the way they perform shifts with each word we use. Through utilitarian materials such as sand, plaster, concrete and wood she points towards the functionality we associate with objects; poking them to expose deeper, truer versions of themselves.


For this exhibition, Alex has occupied Subsidiary Projects’ studio for four weeks generating a new body of work. “These are details of tenderness, read from left to right or right to left or right, left, right. Objects become a sentence or a list of drawings separated by commas, they are sore/tender and tenderly comforting moments, they are tender matter, the drawings break in half, they fall into inanities, it happens. We are matters that live and die in matter, matter turning into objects and then a sentence and then matter again.”



Alex McNamee


Objects, whether they are in a landscape, on a screen or in the hand, change in appearance, meaning and function any time anyone looks at, thinks about or touches them. I lived with three smokers and any object that had a dent in it became an ashtray. They saw a seashell completely differently to me. They turned matter into what they wanted it to be. They could change the name and purpose and shape, they could say ‘pass the ashtray’ and I would grab the seashell. My work investigates language’s link to matter, how we label objects, determine how they perform, functionally, and aesthetically. 

Alex McNamee (b. 1990) is a British/Canadian artist who lives in London. She received a BA from The Slade School of Fine Art, London, graduating with a first-class degree in 2013 and was selected for the 2014 edition of Bloomberg New Contemporaries. She was shortlisted for the Nigel Greenwood Prize in 2018 and has been an artist in residence at Antony Gormley's High House Residency (UK, 2017), Fljotstunga Artistic Residency (Iceland, 2015) as well as Tacita Dean’s Research Laboratory, Fondazione Antonio Ratti, (Italy, 2014). 


Alex’s work has been exhibited internationally, including Casa da Dona Gisele in Brazil, the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh, OUTPOST Gallery in Norwich and SPARK, New York.


Open by appointment from 16th to 24th of November ~ PV. 15th November 6:30 - 9:30 pm