Glasgow-based artist Matty Rimmer’s debut solo show Pet Rock explores the phenomenon of corporate aquariums. Generally found in office buildings, shopping malls and hotel lobbies, these tamed, underwater worlds indicate wealth and status: living bricks in an otherwise uninspiring structure. A pet rock is also a collectable novelty toy, whose purpose is to provide an owner with a pet that required no care: in contrast to the reef aquariums that Matty explores which require considerable maintenance, through vast and complex filtration systems hidden from public view.
The exhibition space will become a characterless lobby, enlivened by a free-standing aquarium wall with submerged vibrant sculptures, animated by filters and pumps. These sculptures reflect Matty’s interest in plastic abundance in the Anthropocene and question dominant narratives about toxicity and harm. Plastic toxicity is changing our natural world, as it occupies every living organism and ‘natural’ space. However, plastic has also provided real value to human beings. Matty is an intersex person with silicone prosthesis, and this has spurred the use of plastic in Matty’s work.
This exhibition is a part of Collective’s Satellites Programme, a development programme for emergent practitioners based in Scotland. Satellites aims to support diverse practitioners to produce a new commission and provides a critical development programme of retreats, workshops, studio visits and group discussions, public exhibitions, events and publishing. The 2022/23 participants are Thomas Abercromby, Rabindranath X Bhose, Kaya Fraser and Matty Rimmer.