Preview Friday July 20th 7pm-9pm (Private View, invitation only)
Exhibition Saturday 21st July -Saturday 18th August (Open to the general public)
Gallery open Tues – Sat 11-5pm
AirSpace, Stoke on Trent's new contemporary art galley, will celebrate its grand opening at its new location, No. 4 Broad Street, Hanley on Friday 20th July. For the occasion we are delighted to announce that internationally renowned artist Paul Rooney will preside over the opening ceremony which will be during a private view of the new show Dizzy Heights.
Prepare yourself to be taken into a different world, a weird and strange place where dream like forms become reality and imaginations can wander unfettered by the everyday.
Dizzy Heights, the next show at Airspace Gallery has brought together two exciting new artists Pete Smith and Matt Robinson, who have created bizarre and wonderful installations whose irresistible allure will challenge your perceptions of reality.
There is something from our childhood memories that resonates in Matt Robinson's work. The bright cartoon like colours and shapes put us at our ease, however on closer inspection we realise that "here be monsters".
Sick Cloud is a giant 3D work made from a combination of randomly collected objects and polyurethane mouldings, which muses on what an ethereal ever changing thing like a cloud would puke up if it could. Matt made the work in a process of what he calls "doodling", the bringing together of "stuff", some which is recycled, in the spirit of play. In this tide of "virtual" vomit we can pick out a seemingly never ending variety of visually entertaining mini-installations, which explode from the stream. In a colourful semi-abstract way these smaller works, some with intricately composed narratives, others which offer witty re-workings of recognisable images and icons, make up a ginormous whole articulating its own unique visual language.
The sheer volume and gusto with which Matt explores the notions of constant evolution and the setting off of themes of utopian visions against references of horror, decay and disgust, leaves us with feeling that a frenzied battle is taking place. The allure and beauty of the colours and fabric of the work draws us in, but once engaged the realisation of the awfulness of the object repels us, leaving a bitter sweet memory of the experience.
Wailing Wall by Pete Smith is, as it suggests, a giant wall, but unlike other walls the function of this construct is to involve us to play. Like Sick Cloud, the wall is made from a random collection of unlikely objects, however this wall give forth utterances. Gently, familiar voices whisper familiar phrases, drawing us in, inviting us to explore and engage. Breaking the usual gallery convention of "please do not touch", we are invited not only to add to the work but to go one further and physically immerse ourselves in the work itself, investigating its interior and ultimately leaving our mark.
From Stoke on Trent, Pete Smith is well known for his unusual constructs having had installations in Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham as well as locally. Interested in the human condition he creates mechanical surrogates that mimic the mundane patterns we follow in our everyday routines, from the ritual workspace to our most intimate private moments. The impressive scale and size of Wailing Wall allows us to step out of our normality for a while, and through its multi faceted nature invite us to consider other possibilities.
Both these works playfully ask questions about what is normal and real. Echos of Dali resonate in both, highlighting urgent present day questions of environment, politics and aesthetics. These works raise issues of modern day media, image and time and the way these things effect and play upon our very humanity, suggesting an unnerving fragility of our perceptions of the norm.