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Rubbernecker - Ceri Hand Gallery
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31 January 2014  -  01 March 2014

Samantha Donnelly

Ceri Hand Gallery is delighted to present Rubbernecker, Samantha Donnelly’s third solo exhibition with the gallery.

The title Rubbernecker implies craning ones neck to get a better view of a road accident and the momentary relief felt that we are a spectator rather than participant.

In this new series of sculptures and photographs (all 2013), Donnelly explores a morbid curiosity and voyeuristic interest in other people’s possessions and lives. She is interested in “domestic rubbernecking”, and the shamanistic qualities of objects and their potential power over us.

Donnelly references Werner Herzog's 'Heart of Glass', in which the cast were hypnotised to perform their characters and they spoke to glass and objects as if they were alive. She is interested in a trance like relationship to modern life and the impact of advertising and possessions in mediating our experiences and identities, and how we edit ourselves.

The majority of new works have been made offsite and then brought to the gallery and staged to form an installation, connecting the works directly to the architecture of the site.

Assemblages rise up in the gallery like a city of fragmented deities, with printers and DVD players acting as plinths and shelves, offering up sculptures incorporating fanned and painted Venetian blinds, black & white large facsimiles of limbs, ceramic mannequins’ eyes and gold-plated ceramic plates adorned by Nefertiti and Cleopatra. VHS tape simultaneously divides the space and forms part of a sculpture, whilst digital film is projected as a flickering, unreliable dreamscape, reminding us there is a slippage between narratives and protagonists. Over forty black & white photographs form an extended wall piece: these are photographs in reverse, taken from reflections of advertisements they become X-Ray like. Movement induced whilst they were processed results in a temporal quality in the image, a sense of dissolution or interference.

Motorcycle mirrors and car windscreens also feature, referencing a cinematic relationship to road movies and to looking back into the past or discovering information that you weren't meant to see. They also reflect a sense of magic or the otherworldly - contained in the images incorporated throughout the exhibition – from dissected adverts of no longer fashionable products to African statues. Donnelly evokes a desire to hide, wanting to see and be seen, alongside an awareness of judging and being judged.

These new works summon icons and worship, resembling temporary shrines and commemorating lives lost. The exhibition acts as a mirage, of a timeless place, lost civilizations, urban centres and communities constructed from material goods, designed to enhance our lives, but ultimately rendered useless.

Download specially commissioned text by Althea Greenan on Samantha Donnelly's work

For more information please contact Hannah Pierce 0207 633 0918 or visit
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