Ellen Gallagher: Coral Cities at Tate Liverpool April 21 – August 28 2007
No this photograph has nothing to do with the exhibition but it is sort of appropriate. Right outside the Tate this boat had sunk overnight, the owner had turned up this morning all ready to set sail only to find nothing but a mast above water. the smell of diesel was strong in the air and you could see a small oil slick on the surface.
Meanwhile inside the gallery, Ellen Gallagher’s exhibition is titled Coral Cities and is mainly a series of works under the title of Watery Ecstatic in which she explores the idea of a black Atlantis: she imagines all the drowned people, thrown overboard, lost at sea, somehow still underwater.
These are very interesting works and you have to see them up close to appreciate the craft that’s gone into them. Indeed it was noticeable how many visitors there today were standing so unusually close to the frames.
There’s a lot of paper cutting, gluing. embossing, drawing and watercolour painting involved, some pieces look like lace others like fossils.
The work pictured here is actually a huge thing with loads of stuff going on, you could spend a lot of time studying it.
There’s a very good review in the Guardian by Jackie Kay that’s well worth reading