East England

Concrete Island to Suburbia is the third in this series of events: SHOWFLAT,, where artists were invited to take part through exhibiting in their own homes. SHOWFLAT challenges the relationship between public and private for both artist and viewer as the artist presents their work in a very personal space and invites an interested public.

Amy Frampton is influenced by her “immediate environment, her practice taking an exploratory approach to everyday architectural spaces. These spatial explorations investigate how the inhabitants experience the psychogeography of the physical environment; notions of how we function between public and private spaces.”

Frampton presents these notions through the very physical experience of damp, cramped spaces, the hysteria and panic of a blind search. The notions of a fading childhood: her own, and her daughters’, is a poignant journey through the domestic spaces that is Frampton’s home. Psychogeography initially refers to cities, and the impact of spaces on the individuals’ behaviour and their emotions, and here we explore the nuclear family, framed by her own demographic context, the reflection of her daughters experiences of growing up through reality of living in the ruins of a Modernist utupia. Dystopia is a reality to hard to bear: the physical implications of a rushing toilet, the flickering fluorescent strip, the cramped, cluttered, misused, disused, and underused spaces; and the implications of space overhead that remains silently innocuous and gloomy.

I was looking for a lightness to ease the relentless despair of Framptons psychochoreography, but it wasn’t up a ladder to a broad and quiet space. The hospitality shown to visitors was a gentle gesture, and there on the table, like Alice in Wonderland, were the prettiest little cupcakes, twinkling with sparkly stuff, delicately iced in the naïve uncertainty of “making it look nice”, but legibly, expletives of name calling, the common parlance of those used to shouting to communicate the simplest of messages. To be offered to eat the insults suffered, with the rice paper flowers, little icing stars, and silver balls, so hospitably provided a sting in the tail, a depth of humour to be appreciated.

To explain or contrive or conduce the viewer to understanding a series of spaces, to place that person in one’s own shoes – is there a mission, a calling for empathy or a reprimand? The physical versus the psychic reality of space is explored as an engine, to break down, explode, to understand, recreate and manipulate can be seen as Frampton’s business. Frampton has been gracious in her reception to those who are willing to meet her, her work and the dichotomy of “the unknown, the uncharted, the vacant, the barren…” and a very young life, waving, smiling, running away with pigtails flying.