- Surface Gallery
It is as though you have stepped into an alternative world.
A world that is juxtaposed to the constant murmur of the external passing traffic. Juxtaposed to the continuous expanse of grey architecture visible from the gallery windows.
It is as though the interior is screaming notions of Walter Benjamin’s 1914 A Child’s View on Colour.
The entirety of the show throws at you this child-like persona, spreading a cheery and frivolous manner to the audience. Despite being static the works embark on a game of tag, a game of chase. The 39 individual pieces holding their own character, their own personality in the playground.
At the front at the gallery Hot Pop 2 and Jerry tease each other through the notion of colour. Jerry boasts it’s bright jesmonite blue, whilst Hot Pop 2 slowly deflates into its downhearted silver glow. Not is all lost, the grey tones emerging from West’s Weights offer a companionship, a friendship, which he is happy to accept as the bully of the playground drupes in the vicinity. But this slumping shadow does not fit the intimidator bill, covered in splashes of pink and yellow, splatters of blue and green, Embedded Panel Painting is the big friendly giant.
Throughout the space the colour palette is continuous, not broadcasting a neon glow, but rather a pleasant palette of pigment. With Moanin’ and Poncho showing off their newly acquired polythene sheets, the presence of green and blue is accentuated from the array of colours in attendance. Neither artist is restricted to a colour, neither artists is restricted to a personal palette, both Sarah and Sarah use an array of colour that filters and melts across the work but in turn allow the work to be their own; “Each work is self-contained, a coda, bringing an idea to its conclusion”.
Seeing George running and rolling with energy Blue Rondo seeks sanctuary behind the draping foliage, adjacent two elongated floral legs are visible from a gradient of orange. It seems as though West’s painting is following suit, with the figure finding refuge and comfort away from not only George’s hyperactivity but the exuberant atmosphere. Yet with the title Come and have a look it toys on a sense of curiosity through the narrative of the painting depicting a Wonderland-esque sentiment but also a reflection on the viewer’s experience, prompting this essence of exploration and discovery that is embarked upon.
The richness of texture follows colour and runs across the room. The glossy finish of block shapes, and dainty lines that make up Ruin Oil and War Paint jump across the floor in the spherical configurations housing the support for the gently swaying Poncho and his confidante Hammock. The shining foundations smirk towards the pine grain supporting Under the Light, with it’s concrete base Object ultimately loses this game of tag.
Scampering along the fragile shelves, Bowker-Jones Various Studio Experiments intermingle through their diversity. The dense ceramic segments sit between delicate flakes of hardened paint casting puppetry shadows on the whitened walls.
Ambiguous forms tease between properties, tease between the fragments of shapes in West’s paintings. A shell like form or the portrayal of a motionless hummingbird?
The ambiguity in shapes resemblances an experimental and instinctive approach that is present in the process of both practices, allowing the material to work and to entertain with only slight manipulation. The intention seems be to create a piece that calls on this sense of ambiguity, calls on a sense of naivety and on a sense of innocence. Innocence not in terms of inexperience or unsophistication but in a naturalness and trustfulness.
The materiality of the show does not have any sense of continuity but this does not create a lack of coherence, it merely emphasises the shear experimentation and playfulness that is employed in both practices. Cat litter and jesmonite are not the conventional child’s arts and craft material, but the sense of intuitive implement coveys the guileless innocence of a child.
Neither the paintings nor the sculptures play a dominance over one another, they continuously create a narrative in the space, a narrative where each has it’s individual persona, it’s individual character.