These Living Walls of Jet
04 July 2008 -
02 August 2008
Craig Atkinson, Henny Acloque, Eleanor Moreton, Rebecca Stevenson, Martyn Cross, Hayley Lock, Petros Chrisostomou, Samanatha Donnelly, Mimei Thompson, Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukacs
The inaugural exhibition at Ceri Hand Gallery included eleven artists who weave contemporary and historical references, from the baroque to the renaissance - with folklore and the treacherous natural world, to reveal absurdity in our quest for stability and perfection and the fragility of sexuality, memory and subjectivity.
Photographs, sculpture, drawings, collages and paintings exhibited a range of artist's strategies for disrupting the real and reflection on contemporary consumption and desire.
Seductive and repelling, the works employed subtle humour and the incongruous to undermine the vices and follies that beset humankind.
Craig Atkinson's tragic-comic drawings, collages, prints and paintings reveal the good, the bad and the ugly in the everyday. His edition of puppet portrait prints beautifully highlights celebrity, isolation and the absurd.
Following a residency at a zoo in Buenos Aires, Acloque's paintings appropriate elements of the creatures she studied and lull us into a world that is simultaneously mesmerising, unstable and violent.
Eleanor Moreton's haunting Prince and Queen paintings are compelling through their dynamic brushwork and lurid colour palette, yet they remain boldly unsentimental, complicating notions of romance and sexuality.
Rebecca Stevenson's sculptures draw on the tradition of still life painting. They revel in the contradiction inherent in "nature morte", by which transient, mundane objects are immortalised and elevated by the processes of art.
Martyn Cross' series of paintings are adaptations of his own collection of 70's clothes patterns, in which he reveals the private worlds we create and provides a gateway into a parallel, extra-ordinary world. Hayley Lock's miniature collages, including chicken-footed duchesses and owl-headed judges, draw on storytelling and childhood imaginary old paintings and courtiers, to subtly undermine social structures and stereotypes.
Petros Chrisostomou photographs miniature environments that he designs and builds. Utilising everyday materials he finds to hand, such as chewing gum, beads, balloons, flowers and Coke caps, he creates a fictional universe which reflects on class and taste.
Samantha Donnelly's work is a fusion of found materials, cast and collaged to create elegant, dynamic Baroque organisms, with drapery, dramatic curves and appendages that evoke alien landscapes.
Mimei Thompson's paintings and drawings expose the riotous natural world, through luminous paint and baroque excessive brush-marks. Dark eyes and faces disturb organic structures, unsettling our potential for a romantic relationship with nature.
Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukacs are drawn to natural and man made patterns and structures, from daily news reports to jungles and waltzing. For this exhibition they have created a unique wall drawing of a complex trellis structure that conjures cosmic voids and the human desire for order.