Corke Gallery,
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Friday, September 28, 2018
296 – 298 Aigburth Road, Liverpool L17 9PW
North West England
Corke gallery as part of Liverpool Independents Biennial

This exhibition brings together four artists whose works deal with the idea of beauty and its political, social and economic connotations. Edmund Burke famously surmised in 1756 that beauty is usually inherent in smallness, smoothness and delicacy in a social context, thereby connoting feminine sexuality and love. E F Schumacker posited in 1973 that economically, at least, ‘small is beautiful’, especially ‘as people mattered’. The ideal of beauty and its aesthetic has been appropriated by contemporary consumer society using images of ‘beauty’ to sell everything and anything, from cars to holiday destinations, from lipstick to mobile phones, and from lifestyles to relationships. In doing so beauty becomes politicized.

In this exhibition artists Chrissy Collinson, Josie Jenkins, John Elcock and Paul Collinson incorporate, question and exemplify our Western ideals of beauty. Burke’s ‘Enquiry’ into the origin of our ideas of the Beautiful is a starting point for Chrissy Collinson’s and John Elcock’s landscapes, and how those landscapes are culturally and socially apprehended for differing ends and challenge the notion of beauty. Josie Jenkins’ paintings begin in the urban and interior landscapes of the Far East and reflect her time spent in Xiamen to further hybridize notions of beauty through cultural motifs. Paul Collinson’s paintings use smoothness to render the hyper-real beauty of the modern consumer society. Even the holiday destination of historic Middle Eastern ruins is not immune to the hyper-sexualized images of the ‘beauty industry’.