Fieldgate Gallery

‘Intervention’; Well it certainly isn’t interventional. Moving on from the misleading title, this exhibition was overflowing with experimental and imaginative works. Sarah Pucill’s film ‘Taking My Skin’ being by far the highlight. The show was too densely hung and the curation didn’t lead me to the end of the central space. This caused me to see the work in that part as a sort of after thought.

Maria Anwander’s work got the closest to interventional. ‘Untitled’ (cuckoo-clock), a large office wall clock with a grey megaphone underneath it, as it receded into the office like nature of Fieldgate. Her inaccessible installation ‘The Sun is Shining But Not in this Room’ was subtle with the faked light from a window cast on the office chair and floor, though I felt it was unnecessary to include the stereotypical window drawn on the wall.

Geometric blocks of red colour scrolled across the screens in Julian Hughes Watts wall mounted flat monitors and Lothar Gotz’s bright triangular wall paintings also resided an unobtrusive position of art as peripheral to something else, inadvertently showing the theatricality of the other works.

Shahram Entekhabi & Becky Ofek’s ‘Caution’ lengths of red and white caution tape wound around pillars producing slanting weaved flats of op-art like white and red. There seems to be more red and white tape in galleries than in the outside world at the moment.

Andrea Gregson who exhibited in the ‘Miniature Worlds’ show at the Jerwood Space last year, showed ‘Headspace’ a long padded cell, in a wooden coffin like box, with white ceramic looking blobs that could have just wandered in off a Yves Tanguy painting.

Diagonally on the floor lay a serious of soft coloured square canvases with a few stacked up on a pallet. It immediately made me think of travelling along the coloured squares, forward rolls. Phil Coy had selected a typical Finish landscape and then copied the pixels from a satellite image of the same landscape. The pixels, painted canvases, were to scale. So his work is a real ‘Of Exactitude in Science’ by Borges, where a map was produced to the same scale as the world it mapped. The landscape theme was paralleled in Amanda Couch’s ‘Fashioning Landscape Series; Pleating V’ where she folded a large piece of paper into pleats producing a virginal dress like textured landscape. Fiona MacDonald’s ‘Hotbed’ left me curious with coral like thumb pressed objects and the contrast to the pallet terrain.

The highpoint of the show was Sarah Pucill’s ‘Taking My Skin’, a black and white digital projection of footage of her and her mother filming each other but exploring this biological and psychological connection. It immediately made me think of Laura Mulvey’s ‘Visual Pleasure Narrative Cinema’ with its revealing of the male gaze in which women are portrayed in film through the gaze of a man. In Pucill’s film the gaze is one of self-reflection, the mother seeing herself in the daughter and the daughter seeing herself in the mother. This connection was illustrated by the mothers response to a question posed by her daughter. “How can it be separate when it is always part of you”. This was said while she is reflected in the mirror that her daughter was holding. In another part you see a closed eye, then a younger closed eye. You realise that the other eye is open but behind the camera filming the others closed eye. An extremely intimate and fascinating film. This film took me away from a brutal image obsessed world into one of intimacy.