Review of ‘What You See, But Don’t See’ by Artists Karen Henley, Carolyn Sinclair and Jazamin Sinclair, Part of Loft Space Project, Curator Jo Derbyshire, Liverpool, England, 2007.
Written by June R. Hobson.
Photographs by Tony Knox 2007.
26 February 2007
This photographic exhibition (‘What You See, But Don’t see’, 25 February 2007 – 03 March 2007) by Karen Henley, Carolyn Sinclair and Jazamin Sinclair, who are well known on the Merseyside arts scene, brings a refreshingly lively approach, both interesting, and humorous, as well as technically clever. The venue for the exhibition is ‘The Loft Space’ which is literally the curators loft. This itself is an evolving ‘work in progress’ as part of Jo Derbyshire recently purchased home which is undergoing renovation. The space changes weekly, and can be viewed as part of a bigger project which Jo Derbyshire as an artist herself, interested in the Arts and Craft Movement, is developing, and who is especially influenced by Mackintosh et al.
The photographs are predominately taken in the north end of the city of Liverpool. This is interesting because it is contrary to the current preferences usually associated with the local artist community, namely the city centre and south end of the city. I particularly like the humour which shines through Karen Henley work. There are slogans photographs in new ways, and names of businesses that raise a smile. Examples are, a café named ‘Big Baps’, and ‘Busy Bootmaker’ clearly not busy anymore. A pile of tired Tyres, a Destiny poster on a dilapidated wall with a bright optimistic McDonalds sign sticking up behind it. Broken down scenes, dilapidation yes, but highlighted with a wit and insight that recognizes the scars of life accumulated there. This is Art with a real edge. Karen Henley is originally from Bristol, and Jazamin Sinclair has lived all over the country, enabling both to impart a unique insight into the Liverpool art scene. Carolyn Sinclair addresses the urban punctuations in a similar mode of expression.
The artists produce great sky scenes, very unusual. I like all of these photographs particularly like the Red Sky image by Jazamin Sinclair, and shows how everyday things, seen but not seen this way, happening naturally, or accidentally can totally alter our perspective. A car covered in pink blossom, close view of rusting iron on an old building, a rainbow over a derelict building, stand out and highlight the world we don’t see as we pass by everyday. The letters on a litter bin would stand proudly alongside any celebratory monument, and remind us that there are all kinds of art.
The artists have captured the unique, and displayed it in a constantly changing venue, which lends itself to the project wonderfully. Overall a great exhibition, in an unusual venue, which Andrew Taylor, the participating poet for this project, has declared to be so inspiring that he has written lots of poetry in this space.
Further information on the upcoming projects at the Loft Space, contact Jo Derbyshire (Curator of Loft Space Project) on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07946353251. Viewing is by appointment (www.joderbyshire.co.uk).