Review: AEROSOL at dot-art

dot-art, AEROSOL, photograph by © Sam Phillips

dot-art, 15 July – 3 September 2016

There’s a crack in everything and that’s how the light gets in, and so it was on a rainy July day that I visited the dot-art Gallery to be greeted by a splash of sunlight in the form of AEROSOL, the gallery’s latest exhibition and homage to street art.

Aerosol art has always been out on a limb as an artistic medium, on the one hand, it’s deeply unfashionable, conjuring images of 80s motorcycle-tank art and on the other hand, über-fashionable with its history of complex interdisciplinary expression from subversive street-savvy artists as a response to their socio-political environment.

Graffiti art may look great displayed externally, but as a rule it doesn’t travel well internally. However, this exhibition which is part of #BiennialFringe 2016 and touching on the LIMF, brings aerosol into the arena of mixed media, and it works.

It works with Nathan Pendlebury and his confident, upbeat and lively Howard Hodgkin-on-acid-abstracts which are synesthetic, not synthetic representations of an environment. They are paintings of sound through the medium of colour, so you’re transported to the gig with the sweat, noise, people, microphones and music.

In contrast, and continuing the musical thread, David Andrews’ Warholesque contribution shows the more sinister and sad depth behind the bright superficial facade of rock-stardom through the ’27 Club’s’ posthumous members; Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse.


As a visual commentary, Jessica Arrowsmith-Stanley has also bought the colour, feeling and movement of Gaudi’s Barcelona to Liverpool with collages of the city that almost bounce off the walls with a frenetic vitality.

The dot-art exhibition offers a quick shot in the arm of brightly coloured luminance, and then it’s over and back out into Castle Street and everything is normal, drizzly and dull again.