Words by Breda Whyte
At first glance this exhibition is charming – spend time looking at the pieces and it is so much more. There is humour and subtle threads of issues of global concern. These are not shouted at you, just gently running through many of the works.
For me the strongest impact comes from the black and white drawings, many of which are done in mixed pen. Imbroglio is a beautiful large pencil drawing that acts as a testament to the artist’s father. Most of the items in this drawing are everyday, but of their time; there are books and a stethoscope, and a classic old stapler, as well as the now obsolete flopping disc. The drawing depicts a scene that is calm and chaotic at the same time, with its crumbled cloth and cluttered surface. It also looks like the creator of this space would know exactly where to find anything he put down.
The artist herself says that that is what she thinks her art is: “at the edge of chaos and order”.
The Rising is a pen drawing that has a sense of infinity about it. There is a creative and clever use of the the repetitive boat motif, and it has shades of Escher in appearance, with exquisite detail. At the very hub of the drawing it looks like life is being offered to the gods, in the small boat that also see ms to have echoes of Golgotha. The looming shapes in the background are huge boat hulls, with some of the figures holding other boats, which are ethereal. From a distance this drawing looks like a stormy sky whipping up a swell.
Reducing the Footprint is another large pen drawing that encompasses a great deal of humour whilst making a point. It is a host of legs (and shoe-d feet) in the air, as if the hordes depicted are walking on their hands. There is a sense of a huge crowded landmass edging towards the sea.
To me the darkest and most sombre of the works is Please Hold. This depicts a sense of great isolation and the possible negative effects of technology. According to the artist, the figures were inspired by the Pieta, and images of robed women in the Middle East. Again there is a multitudinous feel to this piece; the huge number of repeating figures continue to the end of the land and there is a shimmer that looks like a desert sand cloud in the background. Each figure seems to have a mobile phone.
There are a number of large acrylic paintings on show as well as artist books including poetry by M. Valerio. The gallery is warm and inviting and larger than it first appears, in the back room is a beautiful acrylic Blooming Sky. This is a large narrow painting of irises against a rich blue sky. The bulk of the painting is sky with the the irises dancing at the bottom – a peaceful joyous celebration of nature and beauty. The artist says that she is basically optimistic about humankind and I think this painting shows that optimism through the joys of linking in with nature. This is a fascinating exhibition and well worth a visit.
Fusion continues at Corke Gallery until 26 September.