Dolly Kershaw “Mass and Momentum” 10.09.16 – 10.11.16 South Hill Park (Review and working with the artist)

Mass and Momentum is a solo exhibition by emerging sculpture and installation artist Dolly Kershaw.

Dolly’s practice is concerned with labour, fate and the individual in relation to society. Both mass-purchased and hand-crafted emblems of stability and movement such as weighing scales, marbles and castor wheels are assembled to create installations that are often participatory or precarious. In these playful works, items are utilised or bound by their physical qualities and properties so that gravity and mass often determine the outcome.

Dolly Kershaw graduated from Camberwell College of Arts in 2013 and has exhibited her work throughout the UK.

(From the Press Release)

This was a unique exhibition, as I had the opportunity to work alongside the artist installing the work. I was surprise at how much input Dolly took accepted from us. I am used to working with installations of paintings and prints and have rarely got the opportunity to work on such an exciting and hands on installation. A few of the pieces where new so they had to be tested and it was valuable to work with Dolly in finding solutions. Other aspects of the show had been shown before so we had the ‘simpler’ task of adjusting them to fit in the mirror gallery. Of course we came up against a number of health and safety regulations so the task became working within them without sacrificing the work.wp-1473680902100.jpg

I also had the opportunity to talk with Dolly about the work and insight that I would never have had if I was simply just viewing the exhibition, we found that there where similarities between our practices, with our desires to make, with themes of utility and functionality as well as the fact we both did not mind what some might call tedious tasks within our work. As there where so many elements to the show I helped with the creation of the pebble grid and pencil sharpening as well as with general technician work.


We discussed the need to be prepared to spend more money on your work instead of sacrificing scale to save money, when we ran out of gravel. This made me think as in my work I have defiantly sacrificed my work in the hopes to save a little which in hindsight i regret.

Viewing the exhibition was a totally different to other exhibitions, being involved on this level gave me great insight into the work different to the insight achieved when its your own exhibition. The fact that I have seen the exhibition through all of its stages of readiness, changes the exhibition, becoming a product rather than just a show.



Mass and Momentum is a fully interactive, sensory experience by solo artist Dolly Kershaw. The Exhibition expands across the entirety of the Mirror Gallery and into the Tall Hall. Each individual aspect of the exhibition is intriguing in its own right but contributes to a whole experience. Dolly deals with themes of labour, fate and our individual relation with society with her use of a combination of mass-produced and hand crafted objects as materials bringing with it a sense of nostalgia and familiarity. Each piece is interactive carrying the risk of becoming too playful however Dolly manages to bipass this due to her clever addition hard hitting ideas like boundaries in “Coloured Gravel”, 2016 highlighting peoples nervousness to blur boundaries and break down barriers symbolised through the coloured sections of gravel.


Dolly Kershaw, “Magnet Wheel”,2013.

Individually the different elements say varying things. “Mobile Immobility”, 2015, considers an the sacrifice of the few for the good of the many, represented through the use of Castor Wheels fixed together to form one larger ‘Wheel’ with the potential for movement at the expense of the individuals. Each piece not only works together but is linked with the common theme of balance, from the spirit level in “Breath” 2016 to the “Scales” 2014 every aspect appears to be in a delicate equilibrium between harmony and instability.


Dolly Kershaw, “The I’s”, 2013.

The work has an ever changing nature to it, tying in with the fluctuation between equilibrium and imbalance throughout the pieces. As the exhibition continues the work evolves with the interaction, unpredictably, however you imagine the outcome only revisiting will reveal the site specific conclusion. The location of South Hill Park and The Mirror Gallery’s position within it, enhances this element. After just a week the exhibition has already evolved significantly, and it remains to be seen how the remaining two months influences it.


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