GUY ALLOTT | RUTH CLAXTON | KIRSTEN GLASS | NICK GOSS
| DEBBIE LAWSON | WENDY LEWIS | ALAN MCQUILLAN | MIKE NEWTON |
ABIGAIL REYNOLDS | KIM RUGG
12 October - 11 November
NETTIE HORN is pleased to present
The Islanders, a show that brings together ten artists who
live and work in Britain today and who explore themes of Britishness.
Each artist has been invited to engage with the theme of the show by
using the title as both a literal and metaphorical point of departure
and undertaking an investigation into the nature of the contemporary
society in which we live. Each artist has produced work for this show
which constitutes a distinctive response to their own feelings and perceptions
of what it is to be British in the 21st century; and taken together,
the works of the show provide a vivid cross-sectional vision of life
on our Island.
Guy Allott, Small Spaceship, 2007, Oil on
linen, 36 x 41cm
image courtesy the artist and fa Projects
works allude to the grand narrative of Western civilisation, exploring
the preoccupation with discovery, conquest and edifice that continues
to hold such prevalence in contemporary society. Allott’s
paintings present a merging of the philosophies of science and
culture that offer an essential critique of the socio-historical
beliefs that have shaped our society today.
Ruth Claxton’s theatrical
assemblage presents the viewer with a riot of sensual delusion
stemming from a collision of colourful glitz with traditional
yet defiantly mutated figurines and gaudy ornamentation –
thus giving rise to a kitsch humour balanced with disturbing overtones.
The effect is multiplied through the use of mirrors which, by
creating a landscape, mimic virtual space by blankly reflecting
actual space; negating the area between the viewer and the work.
For Kirsten Glass a 'British
Artist', like all humans produced by the visuals of global capitalism,
is an imaginary construct whose personal and collective identity
is nothing but a montage of received fictions. Usually in Glass’
work, magazine models are cast as actors in a painterly world
of mannered gothic melancholy and harsh pop decadence but for
this show she will revisit a pared down format from her past work
using the text 'WHO DUNNIT?' which while suggesting an English
murder mystery at the same time bluntly exposes the anxiety around
any authorship of Britishness.
large scale paintings contain a strong vein of romantic curiosity
for the world's empty or forgotten spaces. He creates listless
and melancholic atmospheres that vibrate with echoes of the past
majesties of untamed places. As he lives in London, fragments
of prosaic life creep into the work which the artist feels create
ambiguity and tension, a conflict between artifice and nature,
the modern and a more unspoilt past.
Debbie Lawson’s work takes you on a journey through the
psychological landscape of the domestic interior where often disparate
household objects collide with each other, creating a sort of
animated hybrid that has a quietly sinister inner life, and harbours
aspirations to be bigger than itself.
Wendy Lewis’ work often deals with something apparently
mundane and inconsequential, drawing it to our attention if we
care to look closely enough. She creates hand-constructed facsimiles
of objects which are simply installed, as they would be found
in the ‘real’ world - taking by surprise those who
seek them out. By pushing and testing the point at which something
becomes ‘visible’, through a copied replicated object,
she teases out a moment at which things will disappear or be seen
depending on how we experience them.
Alan McQuillan’s sculptural
practice is concerned with the repression and negation by Modernity
of a fundamental confrontation with death that is intrinsic to
our condition as mortal beings. The artist presents the viewer
with objects latent with cultural synopsis and invites them to
grapple with their histories and the systems through which they
have come to us, in order to facilitate us with a glimpse at the
profound distances that our experiences travel.
Ruth Claxton, Lands End (Brown Eyed Dandy),
2007, painted steel, found ceramic, glass, mirror and fimo, 90 x
55 x 44 cm
Mike Newton’s work deals with
the perceptual distortions of reality which come with the twisting of
memory and the subtle interventions of insinuating prejudice. Often
dealing with subject matter that touches upon issues such as ennui,
ritual, role playing and confusion of identity, Newton’s work
sets out a bleak vision of modern society in which hooded figures tower
against a monotone urban backdrop.
Abigail Reynolds works with trajectories,
networks and ordering systems. Rather than taking an image as a starting
point for making work, she sets in motion a system and set of processes
that result in a form being created. Based on research with the Oxford
English Dictionary, this work is a rule-based series physically describing
the interrelationships in a set of words. All the forms are built to
the same basic rules which dictate how information about a word, printed
in the OED can be translated into a set of spatial dimensions.
Kim Rugg’s absurdly obsessive
work seeks to examine meaning in relation to construction by taking
apart, dissecting and re-ordering information to reveal and rehabilitate
the ‘fabric’ of things. By reclaiming certain key samples
of the ephemeral media, by which quantities of equally transitory information
is conveyed to us on a daily basis, the artist aims to do away with
the signified in order to draw attention to the signifier; and hence,
to lay clear its constituents and mechanisms beyond the immediate and
© NETTIE HORN