Ceri Hand Gallery
12 Cotton Street
Tel: 0044 (0) 151 207 0899
If You Can Hold Your Breath
Curated by Lucy Johnston
18 June - 17 July 2010
Preview 17 June 6-8pm
Sarah Bowker-Jones, Karen Cunningham, Alex Fararr, Melissa Jordan, Pesce Khete, Elizabeth McAlpine and Rachel Niffenegger.
If You Can Hold Your Breath presents seven international artists examining the state of 'in-between'. All of the works exhibited suggest transformation, combining sculpture, painting, video and installation to challenge figuration, either by directly referencing the body or through deliberately abstracting, eliminating or obscuring it. Through editing, layering and re-shaping, found materials and forms become subverted into something more curious and ominous.
These artists range from 'painting' with plaster, wax, ribbons and resin and 'casting' with pigments and inks. Subtle relationships exist between sculptures displaying the start of a process and paintings that investigate the end of a form. These tensions gesture towards a point of fragility, reflected through the remains of process, through traces of touch on surfaces, re-workings and visible 'mistakes'.
A lyrical, narrative quality weaves these works together, haunting the viewer in the gallery: looming from a great height, creeping down walls and sprawling across the gallery floor. These suspended movements or 'beings' result in an odd and uncomfortable moment in time; somewhere caught between the beginning, the end and the potential.
Sarah Bowker-Jones links the ceiling's beams to the floor with cascading arches. Her process stems from an interest in the arches in caves, their formation, gestures and traces of humanity.
With Cellini Jewellery, after Sol Le Witt, 2009, Karen Cunningham subverts 1960s concepts of minimalism investigated by Sol Le Witt, by casting a gold chain through a concrete cube, interrupting the minimal form with a figurative gesture and references the first woman in space in Valentina (Tereshkova), 2009.
Alex Farrar will paint his self portrait directly onto the gallery walls, using manufactured paint colours which match the exact tones of his hair and eye colours. ES5020-T20R_CX & 5010-Y_CX, 2010 investigates institutions and businesses adopting specific colour schemes whilst also resembling shades used in military camouflage.
Melissa Jordan investigates the 'neck' of both the figure and a narrative to suggest both potentiality of movement and the result of an action, suggesting her sculpture may come to life at any moment. In combining temporal materials like fabric and wax, histories of a character are loosely woven throughout the form.
Pesce Khete adds paper to paper in his Untitled paintings/drawings, joining edges with masking tape to increase areas of background and overlapping corners and parts of the page to cover mistakes and allow space for art historical references, figurative marks and personal narratives to develop.
Elizabeth McAlpine's LIGHT READING 1500 cinematic explosions presents a collection of key action frames from a diverse range of films. McAlpine presents a performance, immersing the viewer into the screen through editing out characters and script and reducing them to elements of light and space.
Rachel Niffenegger's sculptures challenge the notion of the figure by using processes of layering, gathering, dripping, sticking together and draping to subvert the mass of the body and turn it into something abstract and uncanny.