Saturday, 18 April 2015
When it comes to the shows, what appeals most to me about them is their discomfiting collisions.
I love that unnerving interface of noise and glare, contrived illumination, dark, reward and vertigo, illusion, bravado, sweet, salt, nausea, potential sex and violence, gilt-edged fakery.
Perhaps that explains my collection of ASBOs. It certainly explains my choice of four favourite works from this month's joint exhibition at the Union Gallery: All the Fun of the Fair.
'Whisper', by Annette Edgar, is a typically full-on celebration of colour and bold sculptural forms. I like its subtle straightforwardness of composition. I like how that forthrightness is undercut by the title of the work: the suggestive suggestion, the intimate hiss amid the din.
Layers of understanding complicate Kevin Lowe's 'Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom'. One can almost hear the fairground's noisy soundtrack, smell the tobacco smoke and cheap scent.
The central figure, it seems to me, is available and alert: a self-conscious, purposeful attraction in her own right. The boy is Lowe. His obliviousness to her jaded wearniness, her alternative agenda, is – as now recalled by the artist in adulthood – both naïve and knowing at the same time.
The double boom boom of the title perhaps underscores these ambivalences. There is a kind of dark humour at play here, a painful punchline. Time is not a one-way street; memory can sometimes clarify as well as blur experience.
'Reader of Bones' is, like so much of Mary Archibald's work, delightfully creepy. Fashioned out of 'recycled materials', it is the kind of thing one might encounter in a candle-lit caravan as an unreliable savante traces out the future in one's palm. It has a gimcrack delicacy, and menace. I thoroughly admire it, but wouldn't want it in the house for a moment...
Read the full review at the Spurtle website