I thought I had reviewed this ages ago! Now I realise I got as far as preparing the pictures and forgot the rest. Its a good thoughtful show and again the Bluecoat have managed to put on an exhibition on serious issues without it being too dry or neglecting the overall look and feel.
Starting on the first floor is Part One which features works inspired by a residency at the Merton School for Young Parents in Bristol in 2006-7. The artworks address fragmentary experience of longing, and raise questions about due care and contemporary life. I like the way some of the messages are really bold whilst others are very subtle, you have to look really close to notice the text in some of them.
In the end room on the Ground floor is Part Two which was made in collaboration with Blue Room, the arts service for learning disabled adults based at the Bluecoat in partnership with Liverpool City Council. There are video interviews with some of the Blue Room Group alongside some of their artwork and a large video of them dancing on Crosby Beach which looks like it was great fun.
Boyce was also invited to curate the Bluecoat’s other gallery spaces in recognition and celebration of her first exhibition at the Bluecoat in 1985 and her inclusion in Tate Liverpool’s Afro Modern: Journeys through the Black Atlantic exhibition, which opened at the same time as Like Love.
Her selection, entitled Action, showcases emerging artists whose themes, issues and approaches contrasts with the platform of ideas presented by a generation 25 years ago. The artists Boyce has chosen are Beverley Bennett, Appau Boayke-Yiadom, Robin Deacon and Grace Ndiritu.
Beverley Bennett uses pins, knives and forks as drawing implements, making repetitive, often aggressive marks that makes one feel a bit uneasy and the works with pins look so fragile I wonder if they’ll last the length of the exhibition.
I enjoyed Grace Ndiritu’s video work, just a few simple pictures of life around the North Pole and Alaska together with the artist performing Inuit Throat Singing which you can hear throughout the gallery spaces as you walk around.
More video I liked was Melon n Ball Parts 1-4 by Appau Boayke-Yiadom. Melons are bashed by bowling balls and paint is poured onto other objects, simple in a way but quite hypnotic and amusing in places.
I’m afraid I struggled to follow Robin Deacon’s video ‘A Portrait of Stuart Sherman’. Deacon has been producing works about the late American performance artist, Sherman, best known for his solo ‘spectacles’ of short playlets performed on tabletops.
Overall a good show with plenty to think about and a good addition to the Black Atlantic events.
Sonia Boyce: Like Love – Part One & Two 30 January – 28 March 2010
at the Bluecoat