VIEWING: Shoulder to Shoulder

THURSDAY 2 June 2011, 18-20.00 at Ceri Hand Gallery. Samantha Donnelly: Shoulder to Shoulder
Exhibition: 3 June – 23 July 2011

Shoulder to Shoulder is Samantha Donnelly’s second solo show at Ceri Hand Gallery, Liverpool, and investigates what it is to be consuming, and consumed, in today’s image obsessed culture.

The title is taken from a dark and ironic BBC historical drama series, depicting the women’s suffragette movement in Britain, first broadcast in 1974. The series ends in 1918, when women ‘of property’ were given the vote.

Today in the UK, new sisterhoods have taken over culture, and have huge mass marketing potential. Sisterhoods based around branding, possession and aspiring to look and be viewed a certain way, epitomised by nail extensions, falsies, fake tan and cheap imported bling.

Purchase power, revelation and masquerade runs throughout Shoulder to Shoulder, as a series of collages, sculpture and relief works incorporating ceramic, brass, acrylic, plaster and latex – display and strut across the gallery, occasionally rudely interrupting and reflecting each other.

Among the key works is Public Pattern, a series of relief works based around the humble jay cloth. This throwaway commodity has been spray-tanned, with a series of tide-marks and absences created using stencils of page three girls and sportsmen. Limbs, cut from colour adverts, are stitched and fixed, with buttons, net, mirrors, plastic film, cellophane, ribbons and false nails and eyelashes.