Sam Hutchinson
Allan Gardner
Jack Kennedy
Fern Lucia
Ed Carr
Michael Sangster

Harley Roberts

11th-27th August 2022

Chain Work 002 (Alamy Baptism), 2022
Flychain, acrylic paint, receipt sticker prints

Though in partnership since December 2021, this is the first physical Screw Gallery x Grove Collective collaboration.

I’d Rather Be Your Enemy, a collaborative exhibition between Grove Collective and Screw Gallery, brings together work by Allan Gardner, Edd Carr, Fern O’Carolan, Harley Roberts, Jack Kennedy, Michael Sangster and Sam Hutchinson

The featured artists are behind SCREW, an artist-led gallery and anarchic studio group based in Leeds. Existing in a loose form since mid-2020, they have occupied their current space in Leeds city centre since May 2021, with a curatorial programme focused on the intersection of art and subculture showing work by artists like Larry Clark, Alex Bag, Parker Ito and many more.

The title of this show comes from a Lee Hazlewood song, I think it’s about him loving someone too much to be friends with them when it turns out they don’t love him back. That’s a pretty juvenile idea, right? Storming off and riding into the night, not being able to accept that you want it to be one way but it’s the other way. Thing is, love is one of those things that doesn’t accept rationality - all the relationship counsellors on God’s Green Earth can’t make you love someone when you don’t, and I’m sure that everyone reading this has loved someone when all reason and logic says they shouldn’t. Everyone has a story about being kicked around by love and relationships (but please remember, that doesn’t mean we want to hear them).

When we were thinking about this show, that was the idea, work that explores relationships and their complexities in the broadest sense. These can be our relationship to media, political systems, religion, the natural world or just to other people - they’re all, to a certain extent, governed by the rule of love. If you’re reading this you probably have to work for money (if you don’t, please paypal screwgallery@gmail.com) and in doing that you’ve probably encountered somebody whose argument came under the auspices of their profession but was actually deeply personal. That sort of unconscious coupling of our internal and external experiences is the dirt and water combined to make the mud of humanity, those points where we act out, where we do something shitty because we want to and then we feel bad about it - or we convince ourselves we don’t with some other twisted up rationale. That’s the human experience.

In I’d Rather Be Your Enemy, Hazlewood says something childish because of an overwhelming emotion. A lot of the time, when we act in a negative way, even if it’s for a good reason, what’s driving us is that same sort of emotion - a feeling of being hurt, disregarded or excluded. That doesn’t need to be personal, we can be excluded by capitalism, disregarded by right wing governments intent on ignoring ecological and economic collapse, excluded from community by news media pushing a populist agenda but it can equally be soft, a lost relationship that hurts so much it builds into resentment. In I’d Rather Be Your Enemy, we’re trying to take an honest look at what drives us to pursue resolution through art, as well as what we might be trying to ignore.

Words by Allan Gardner