FOCO Gallery x DISPLACES // A language of space

Resulting from a collaboration between two artists fascinated by space – Clara Imbert and Divine Southgate-Smith, DIS(PLACES) is born from the encounter with a place – FOCO, 34 rua da Alegria à Lisbon – on the invitation of its artistic director, Benjamin Gonthier.

Recently graduated by Central Saint Martins in London and now living in Lisbon, Clara Imbert and Divine Southgate-Smith are also members of the art collective « ( ) Parenthesis » with who they created an installation inspired by Parisian playgrounds and commissioned by Hermès at the Saatchi Gallery.

For their first exclusive collaboration, they had one imperative: avoid their duo exhibition to be the result of the sole juxtaposition of their  individual works. Through conversation and exchange on their respective working methods, inspirations and approach of space, they have managed to transcend their differences. Becoming one, they have succeeded in constructing a harmonious space, within which objects respond to each other and participate to build a language of space.

Entirely thought site specifically and inspired by the unique features of the gallery space, this 4-hands-made exhibition explores the idea of the subtle interaction between object and subject, that is observing the object in a defined space. The FOCO gallery turns into a performative space in which the viewer becomes performer and enters in interaction with the different space’s components. If the mediums are different – from 2D to 3D, between prints, objects and installations, each artwork integrates the viewer from its conception.

If both artists work on the concept of space, intending to deconstruct it, their starting point differs. Clara Imbert starts by capturing an already existing space via photography in order to transform it and integrate it to another installation, often built from recycled objects. On the other side, Divine Southgate-Smith aims at deconstructing a space that doesn’t exist, except in her headspace to then physicalize it.

Geometrical and refined, the artworks displayed at FOCO subtly play with their own environment and the viewer’s perception. With « Space in Performance », Divine Southgate-Smith takes us to her imaginary spaces that in spite of their fixed and two-dimensional nature evoke narratives and movement.

“Space In Performance”, Divine Southgate-Smith, Digital Print, 84×82 cm

Also playing with natural and artificial lights, some installations of Divine Southgate-Smith are complete with the help of their own shadow as in “Untitled“.

“Untitled”, Divine Southgate-Smith, MDF, Paint 2

“Untitled”, Divine Southgate-Smith, MDF Paint











Clara Imbert, on her side, creates an illusion of the infinite in installations that she conceives with abandoned objects gathered along her walks as in “Endless Perspective“.

“Endless Perspective”, Clara Imbert, Metal & Convex Lense Magnifying Glass

In “Landscape Studies”, Clara Imbert highlights her process of photography decomposition which is often the starting point of her work.

“Landscape Studies”, Clara Imbert, Direct Print On Wood, 60x40cm, 80x60cm

To know more about Clara Imbert, go read her FOCUS.

Useful info :

FOCO gallery
Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 2pm to 8pm
Rua da Alegria, 34 R/C – 1250-007 Lisboa
Tel: [+351] 910 867 976