An aestheticised view of the utilitarian
Curated by Rosalind Davis, “Make_Shift” at Collyer Bristow Gallery invites the viewers to discover a cluster of objects and images which are craftily altered in terms of their natural emphasis, direction, or focus. Such items or representations include a chair that can’t be sat on, an anonymous toy that is unfit to play with, or an ephemeral sculpture amongst other works, carefully arranged to intrude our perceptions.
Jake Clark’s saturated pieces collage elements from the artist’s studio while suggesting the figure in an inclined state, where movement clashed with stillness.
Interested in the domestic, Laurence Noga’s “Soft White Floating Silver”, represents found objects from his father’s garage in a constructivist manner. Gunther Herbst’s ephemeral monument moquette’s are ambivalent in their dimension and materiality, referencing brutalism in a non-brutal manner. Made out of Frank Stella paper cut-out’s amongst other materials, the artists affirms “using art to make art”.
To the contrary, Michaela Nettel’s “Model for a Crystal Geometry” is robust in materials, yet concerned in architectural elements and in maintaining a dialogue between nature and structure. Silvina Soria is also interested in form connections in her sturdy “Underground” maps made out of steel.
Michael Samuels’s deconstruction and reconstruction of “Wolkenkratzer 2”, a vintage chair assembled with ercol and concrete alongside other elements, plays with the domestic atmosphere incorporating a a painterly approach of making sculpture.
In addition to form and structure, Helen Johannessen creates textural depth from very flat surfaces in her “Textures of Time” which encourage the viewers to come up close to her lenticular paintings, in the artist’s own words “restrictions from art institutions make people afraid of touching things”.
Neil Fuller’s interests lie in formal aspects of the painting. His abstracted representations of objects hold no narrative between one another, and are detached from their state of being useful, profitable, or beneficial.
“Vertical Ascension” by Andrea V Wright is a site-responsive geometrical work located in the main public gallery space. Delicately reconfigured to adapt itself to its environment, the artist pulls the corners of the structure upwards, gently extending the lines of the semi-architectural piece.
Peter Jones uses toys of monkeys as readymade objects that he then portrays in the form of a still-life. The artist is not interested in the historical weight of these toys but rather in their use as a maquette to represent obsessively.
Words by VANESSA & MARTIN