Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Portrait Wall meets Side Show Alley.

I'm thinking about how I want to have some fun with this exhibition, get genuinely creative and enjoy it beyond what is the inevitable hard work. In some ways I have a bit of a bad attitude. I've been doing this long enough now to know my MO which is to agonise for months in a sort of semi paralysis and then pull it all off at the last moment. Which is to say good the work eventually gets done, and my best creativity is under pressure but ugh, what a way to ruin a year of your life (or rather seven months - the clock is ticking). And anyway you never can be sure the work will get done.
So then here I am ready to embrace the workload and make it fun. The subject matter is a little dark (mortality, corporeal fragility) but essentially this is a life affirming body of work. With a sense of humour and hope inbuilt - thanks to the over arching context of existential absurdism and it's visually manifest twin the vintage circus sideshow.
Firmly in place as context is the Victorian era. The moment in history for these kinds of side shows/ fascination with the Freak/curiosities. And for the age of the Invalid. So I was thinking about the gallery as installation - A kind of Victorian parlour. The sort where Freaks had their photo taken and where the Invalid saw out her days. So as a cross referenced presentation: the portrait wall meets sideshow alley. Suspending all concerns with logistics, ideally this wall would have ornate peeling wallpaper and be salon hung. A variety of framed works with a mix of Victoriana (ornate embellishments, needlework, curiosities, poetry) and vintage circus (my inlaid rulers, stripes, nails, mirrors, red and white, spires, bling).
Ideally it would be great to have an old chaise (I saw one on ebay which had a cushion seat but no cushioning on it's back, just the timber shape and it would have been PERFECT. I could have painted it black chalk board!!!!) and an old side table painted chalkboard black for the presentation of the artists book.

Victoriana: wallpaper, vintage medical diagrams, curiosities, needlework, chandeliers, ornate fixtures, fringing...)
Vintage Circus: Red and White, inlaid rulers, mirrors, nails, bling).

Behold: the gallery of inspiration......

(and note here about further avenue of exploration for this body of work - the photograph as important contextual element - ways of seeing , ways of presenting someone as outside or insider. Reading Susan Sontag on Photography...)

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