Sunday, 22 January 2012

Changing Structures at Gallery@49

fears of today
Along at Gallery@49 yesterday evening to see some excellent fine art. Friend and artist Janet has a solo exhibition exploring aspects of contemporary urban society using physical structure to record the changing state of the social, political and cultural environment.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is a set of seven pillars, representing aspects of society, with family, government, business, religion, education, the arts and communication. It was inspired by the civil unrest during last year.

The changing structures shown in the seven pillars and several of the other exhibits are quite sculptural and Janet describes herself as using photography as part of a mixed media practice. The work mixes photographic images with other textures and collages using many layers and textures. Another series (not in the exhibition) captures the effects of commerce in the London Underground. The inspiration for that series was the stratified effects left as a consequence of the replacement of traditional paper advertising with new electronic billboards.

Through it all there is a social commentary about the way we treat the world, the layers of experiences that, for example, may impact a simple corner of a street and an attempt to peel it back to its essence.

It's very poignant when the very gallery that is showing the work is on the crossroads of what was once a busy city centre but is now caught up in the changes as commerce and governance decide what the next stage of a cityscape development will hold.

I was fascinated by the work illustrated at the top of this post, which captures some of the ideas and narrative that Janet presents. There's a dimensionality to the work that needs to be seen on the actual work. I was staring at the piece shown, "Fears of Today" fascinated by the depth and layering of its presentation, both in terms of the depiction but also by the way it encouraged related thoughts.

Spot the Huxley text, but shiver if you feel a hand on the sleeve.

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