A wall to wall collage of images, drawings, notes, documentation and mindmaps. There is a lot of energy, colour and other people involved. The images are on a white wall and image taken into a corner of a gallery space.

HERE FOR A GOOD TIME
NOT A LONG TIME

HERE FOR A GOOD TIME NOT A LONG TIME was a retrospective exhibition at SET Studios Project Space, New Cross, London in August 2021.

How do you draw an art practice to some kind of close? You can't really.

 

Neither of us know how to put into words exactly what forging this friendship and partnership has given us, done to us, but we both know we are forever changed by it. And we can't believe how lucky we have been really to work with the people we have, and pursue this wild and weird way of making with others. 

 

This exhibition marked a shift. Our current way of working together is ending, life beyond art needs tending to and the next chapter will be split between Perth, West Australia and the UK. So watch this space for the best postal art project you've ever seen...

Two white women hug whilst crying and laughing. One has long brown hair (Kerri) the other short blonde hair (Sophie). The backdrop has swirly red spraypaint on a wall and there is some bright green foliage in the foreground.
molejoy the band play live in the window of a whitewalled gallery space. Sophie on the left with her bass wears white tank top and pink short shorts. Kerri on the drums in the centre stands up playing with a orange smock tee. Giles on the right plays guitar in a blue and maroon DIY jumpsuit. There are microphones and amps at all angles and bits of paper strewn on the floor. In the background a banner reads 'molejoy' on a gingham table cloth.

What follows is an account of the moment. But first here is our 'press release' we sent to friends, family, collaborators, mentors, champions and fans (mostly of molejoy). Setting the tone for and precluding a very sweet, funny and strange celebration of 6 years of art and noise making together.

'Anglo Australian artist duo Sophie + Kerri (1990 / 1986) were the daughters of their mothers who became remarkable British art icons. They came to international prominence in the mid 2010’s with their groundbreaking workshop ‘FUCK IT LET’S MAKE A BAND’, at the influential and contentious Antiuniversity Festival. This seismic event gave birth, with astronaut Giles Brunch, to their platinum selling, grammy award nominated punk band - molejoy. It was also then that they became fond of caps lock and making demands, both attributes that would serve the rest of their long lasting collaboration.


Celebrated as sculptors, musicians, softies, dancers, writers, cooks, political neusences, costume designers, kill-joys, friends and filmmakers, with some of the most instantly recognisable works of contemporary art; everyone remembers the 'Jeremy Deller Fucking Himself’ print that sold at Sotheby’s for over £10.

A selection of bright, handmade costumes fill the gallery floor. Many materials, some in sets of 3 or 2, some one-offs. There is blue silky painted jumpsuits, orange curtain-like applique smocks, football club tees with moles drawn on them amungst other things.

After locking eyes drilling the same piece of wood

 

in a DIY art shed-come performance pavilion in a south London back garden, they joined forces. Never looking back, they forged their uniquely controversial and critically acclaimed amateurism in the steaming rubbish fire of pre, mid and post Brexit Britain. Their reputation was built on their power to have lols and this landmark exhibition spanning nearly 6 years worth of artwork includes well-known and influential pieces such as ‘Guttural Living’, ‘Idle Acts’ and ‘Oracular Theatre’. Important pieces made with other long standing provocateurs and infamous collaborators in art, dance, literature, agriculture and film.

Close up of a collage of documentation, notes, drawings and ephemera from art projects. There is photographs of people making together, post its with notes and newspaper articles alongside abstract drawings in pastel and pen.
Close up of a text on a aqua table with the head of a green and purple plaster womens face as a paper weight. The text is titled 'WRITE YOUR MANIFESTO IN MARKER PEN ON THE WALL.

Popularly radical and radically popular, this is the first major solo retrospective of Sophie + Kerri in the world. ‘HERE FOR A GOOD TIME NOT A LONG TIME’ highlights the full extent of the artists’ work, which has encompassed a diverse range of juxtaposed techniques and ideas. In a career in which they have continuously innovated and re-invented their style, each corner of SET Studios New Cross Project Space will capture a different moment of their rich journey. Through unparalleled access to their disoeuvre (Allen, 2019), it includes rarely seen notes, drawings and bits of stuff from their varied archive.

Close up of a sculptural object made of wood. It is a modular table at different heights and the table legs go right through the top. There are drawings and notes drawn onto the surface.
Wooden table where the the legs poke right through the top and there are various levels and surfaces. In the background is 6 framed images from different art projects. Some are drawings some film stills and documentation.
Wooden table in the foreground where the legs poke straight through the top. The legs are long and some angular. In the background you can see 3 1/2 framed prints of different project work. Marigolds with red paint on the fingers, colourful text on a film still and a cgi bubble in a interior space.

This exhibition, organised in collaboration with and funded by each other, is the

 

first full-scale retrospective of any artist duo whose career spanned 6 years by 2 female artists with fringes in the known world

 

and promises to be, the ULTIMATE Sophie + Kerri experience.


"Brave! No retrospective in the history of female-fringed duos will delve as deeply and unhindered into the artist's process and mind. From one duo to another, their ingenuity is unparalleled by any other duo and is a gift to us and humanity. They say three is a crowd, well two is a whole bloody village. Duo-conic! Unstoppable from start to finish!" -SamOne SamTwo'

Photograph of a projected film in gallery space. In the picture you can see table legs, a wooden floor and gingham table cloths. Under the tables two pairs of legs are visible one wears deep purple trousers the other purply blue tie dyed leggings. The trousers legs are flat on the floor on the left, the leggings walk out the image to the right.

The exhibition featured: a timeline wall of all our gumph, drawings, quotes and photographs we have carried like talismans from studios to residencies to attics along the way.

 

Stretching into ourselves

 

through the many Antiuniversity events, the formation of molejoy, experiments in choreography, singing into pumpkins, personal journeys with ourselves, to playing in playgrounds, building furniture and improvising sci fi... 

molejoy played, of course, on the opening night. Every single song we ever wrote in an outer body experience of, some would say self indulgence - hopefully others would say

 

riotous joy.

 

Our EP is still available to purchase via bandcamp and our shop >>>

 

Alongside a selection of 6 different limited edition archival prints, a re-print of the Mum Q's book 'Private Insurrections to Loosen Public Ground' and a collection of stubbie holders with our artworks on. 

The Table was assembled for the weekend with Sophie's Dad, who is quite experienced at it by now. Displaying memories and motifs of our time in Beeston. 

Next door we had a show reel of our films FUCK IT LET'S MAKE A BAND, Edge Gestures, Guttural Living, Idle Acts, Oracular Theatre and Low-fi Sci-fi. Watched nestled amongst cushions from What Happened Beween? On the walls we had drawings and paintings from those works, alongside our PLAY ACT CARDS.

A minty green luminous projection lights up a white walled gallery space. Captioned text at the bottom reads 'keep a hold?'
Photograph of an art installation in a white walled gallery space. There is a bench and colourful odd shaped cushions in the foreground. Visible in the background is a large projection you can see people playing instruments sat on grass, The caption reads 'is that she'd take a phrase and so you go, 'to-ma-toes''.
Photograph of an art installation in a white walled gallery space. In the foreground is a old bus bench with odd shaped cushions on and around it. There is a projector on a shelf behind this with various drawings in constellations high up on the wall behind.

Outside the Sympoetic Tools were nestled in the courtyard, crawling around and over the frame, like the grid... as Ocean Vuong says in his beautiful book 'On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous':

 

"Remember: The rules, like streets, can only take you to known places. Underneath the grid is a field - it was always there - where to be lost is never to be wrong, but simply more."

Specially commissioned texts for the night can be found on the project pages: musings on The Table written by Marsha Bradfield, And then reflecting on Low-fi Sci-fi by Zuleika Lebow and a sort of metaphorical book end by Beth Bramich Sophie and Kerri aren't dead ... on the show itself and our collaboration.

 

It was attended by those dearest to us and it felt like the right way to celebrate what was, what is and to say goodbye, for now. 

A rusted metal grid structure on a diagonal obscures the view of a range of hand held objects on a concrete floor. The objects are black and purple ceramic or bronze. They vary from squished shapes, to what appear like fixtures, massage tools, play things and appendages.

Thanks a million to Amy Pennington our saviour, bar manager and angel, Spud aka Andrew Walker for the superb bar work also. To the band Barry for lending drums, Rubie Green for supplying almost every other bit of kit and making it so people could actually hear us on the night.

 

Thanks to SET for letting us use the space for free and all the interlopers along the way - DIY til we die. 

Follow your gut.

Start a band.

Be in a duo.

It's the best.

Small bronze shape with fingers or little bunny ears is perched on a rusty metal frame.
Two different people's feet stomp on and smash a plaster sculpture in a doorway. The sculpture is aqua green and purple and in the foreground a hand holds the remaining head which is a older lady.