Brian Griffiths – ‘The Only Living (or Your Lonely Saucer Eyes)’ at The Furnace, AFoundation, Greenland Street
Exhibition runs October 19 2007 to April 20 2008 but this and other AFoundation spaces closed for Winter break December 5 2007 to February 5 2008
The old Furnace hall is a massive space so artists love to fill it with massive artworks. As you enter you can’t really resist walking through a sort of archway (‘Deballa Boon’) built from corrugated metal sheets painted in bright colours with glaring light bulbs here and there.
You then face some very large canvases (‘The Only Living’) in a poor state of repair hanging from roof to floor. Hidden behind this is another even larger canvas with just one image of a painted brick wall on it so it almost blends into the actual brick wall behind it. Placed just in front of this false wall is a small ceramic clown’s head in a pot. (‘The Clown Situation’).
This is quite amusing and now I start to get the idea that this is quite a surreal landscape populated with strange oversize objects. The feeling is further enhanced by the next object which is a gray concrete stone spherical head (‘Stone Face’) some 7 metres in diameter. It looks like a giant Tim Burton creation (well, maybe not quite so scary).
There’s another wall-sized canvas called ‘Daylight Ned’ and last but not least a house-sized wardrobe – or is it a house built from old wardrobes? ‘In the Darkness of Their Hats’ is about 9 x 7 metres, you could fit the whole of Narnia in no problem. Its an evocative piece, all the polished wood bits and pieces, nooks and crannies etc.
Well worth a visit – there’s a bit of fantasy and humour. Its all deliberately a bit shabby to suit this space in which the artist spent many months, it was his studio and muse.