Very Tender is a multidisciplinary artist-led studio founded in Leeds and now based in London, comprised of British photographer Oliver Grabowski and Canadian book artist Karen Correia da Silva. On March 17 Oliver will be spending the day in PICA studios offering portrait photography as part of their next project.
The project initially began in March 2017 with their first artist book collaboration, Opening Shortly. Initially conceptualised as a poetics and photography project that would be released on an imprint of Karen’s Toronto-based publishing press Steel Bananas, the project soon grew legs of its own and the two began to collaborate in different ways. Inspired by one of Jenny Holzer’s Truisms – “it is in your self-interest to find a way to be very tender” – they began to explore the ways in which their individual art practices intersected with one another. Since Oliver’s previous work focused primarily on music and photography, and Karen’s multidisciplinary practice focused on artist publications and visual/sound poetics, they wanted to harness shared curiosities to forge a transdisciplinary aesthetic. Very Tender is where the two artists put these outputs, and negotiate how our artistic lives intersect with their identity as a couple.
“it is in your self-interest to find a way to be very tender”
Their first exhibition, Secondary Objects, opened to rave reviews at 187 Gallery in Toronto, Canada, in December 2017.
Their next event will be held on 17 March at Pica Studios in York as part of Oliver’s ongoing Open Sitting series. Inaugurated at Secondary Objects, Open Sitting invites members of the public to sit for a series of free portraits documenting faces and their varied expressions. Photos from the series will be collected in the Faces zine and included in forthcoming exhibitions. As the pair are currently in the process of moving the studio to London for the end of March 2018, forthcoming events in London are imminent.
You can follow more of this exciting project and find event listings and more information on their website here.Very Tender