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Maia Conran, This island, and its buildings, is our private paradise.

19 September - 24 October 2015

PV 18 September 2015, 6 - 9pm


Those lights across the water. That’s the mainland. The people sleeping. That light across the water. Is it moving? […] Stars and satellites. They’re coming closer [1]



We are proud to present Maia Conran’s first solo exhibition in London, resulting from a six-month residency at Kingsgate Workshops. 


Kingsgate Project Space becomes the island of the exhibition’s title through a process of breaking down and partial re-construction of the materials, mechanics and structures of filmmaking. Key elements in a film’s pre-production – the screenplay, the lookbook, the set – all remain present and open to the possibilities of revision and reinterpretation within the gallery space.


A screenplay, co-authored with novelist Yannick Hill, centres around a lone islander and becomes three forms: an exhibition, an excerpt from a shooting script and a performance. One narrative configured three times with different emphases, serves to excavate gaps and slippages between forms. Selected and edited found footage offers possible ways to navigate these gaps, though these too feel at best provisional.


A YouTube-culled tourist film, shot from within a revolving restaurant, loops endlessly across a wall which has been curved, seemingly in sympathy with the plate glass which separates the diners from the nocturnal city outside. Just as the camera’s autofocus constantly and indecisively flicks between the windowsill pot plants and the lights of distant buildings, so too the elements that make up this show, propose unstable connections with one another. Connections which feel analogous with the desire to understand an alien culture or place, as we in turn, test our role as protagonist and island dweller.


Maia Conran lives and works in London. She graduated from the University of West of England, Bristol in 2010. She has recently exhibited at Grand Union, Birmingham; Phoenix Gallery, Exeter; and IMT Gallery, London; she has also been selected for national and international group exhibitions. Her work was published on DVD by Filmarmalade in 2012 and was the subject of a monograph entitled Here is the Yard published by Grand Union in 2014. Maia is a member of The Disembodied Voice research group. 


Maia has created a series of 50 signed limited edition risograph prints on paper for the exhibition. Working with artist framers, Lord and Duplooy, Maia has selected a frame specifically for this art work. For more information on availability and prices please contact:


The performance for This island, and its buildings, is our private paradise, took place on Friday 2nd October 2015, 7:30pm. Drawing on Maia’s core interest in process and transposition the performance re-staged elements of her exhibition. Sampling found footage with live digital navigation and enacted monologues, she created a temporary space to encounter an alternate version of the island. 

Actor Clare Barrett, and photographer Andreea Gruioniu


Maia was in conversation with Chris Fite-Wassilak on 22nd October, 7:30pm. 


Chris Fite-Wassilak is an independent curator, freelance writer and art critic. He regularly contributes to Art Monthly, ArtPapers, ArtReview and Frieze. In 2009 he curated Quiet Revolution (Hayward Touring) and recent curatorial projects include LtA… a subtitle for Maria Stenfors Gallery and Temple Bar Gallery and Studios are Dead for Temple Bar Gallery. In collaboration with Anne Tallentire, Chris organises hmn a roving platform and discussion forum for experimental and unresolved works. He is currently working on a book for the Copy Press ‘Common Intellectual’ Series, under the provisional title The ah ha crystal.


[1] Excerpt from the script for This island, and its buildings, is our private paradise., Maia Conran & Yannick Hill, 2015




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