Saturday, April 17, 2010
Kaleidoscope Opening Night
Thanks to those who came along to the opening at Kaleidoscope Gallery on Thursday, was great to see the support.
I was so intrigued by the hanging of my work "Bull Dust" next to the stuffed toy web artwork (apologies can't remember the title) by artist Carla Gee Schneider. For it is from found objects, particularly plush toys and hand made plush objects, that I source imagery, composition and colour for my paintings. It was like a fateful meeting of our two practices and was wonderful to have a conversation with the artist about her connection to the faux fur material. Whilst I have been moving away from the recognisable 'toy' and animal identity of the material, making my own plushies from new textiles, this artist has embraced the childhood connotations. Schneider admits to maintaining a connection with the playful identity of the toy as she is intrigued by the reaction from the audience to her brutal dismembering of the toys. This key element of responsiveness intrigues me as it highlights an exploitation of process. Schneider's work it is not so much about creating a 'new' object but engaging in the act of transformation.
What intrigued me conceptually about this work was the extent to which an audience could accept transformation if it interrupts the sentimental material. Even when transformed a toy remains a toy, an object strictly linked to childhood, therefore nostalgia and an innocence. It is interesting to think of how an artist's practice has the ability to disrupt sweet nothings of childhood, and how as adults we guard the sentiments and memory of how childhood.
I found this work provocative and revelled in the discomfort that it created. Like a lot of my sculptural work it too appealed on a superficial level to people, its bright colours and tactility. But the proof was in the pudding, because on closer inspection it also repelled, and I think this is a powerful and compelling dichotomy to prevail in an artwork.