Sentient Objects – Some worthwhile lies

  • Exhibition from 9th - 23rd June at
  • AMP

PV / 8th June 6 – 9pm

Open / 9th – 23rd June

An artwork is a thinking object- one that sings to us the sentience of its maker. Just as every bird in the forest has its song, there are a battery of approaches the six artists selected for this exhibition utilise: narrative storytelling, levels of intimacy between figures or marks, dynamic scale and structural shifts, and the form of glass-bead gameplay that explores the facts within a fiction, or the reverse… Just as in the performing arts, theatre or film, one of the curiosities of object-making is that the painter or sculptor (etc) is required to lie, exaggerate, or wear a mask in order to uncover a more complete— glowing & vibrant— Truth.

If we be but players:

Kate Warner’s paintings are solid, heavy, making a bid for permanence, weighing their seriousness, while dazzling the eye with a shifting gem-toned kaleidoscope of soft blues and greens. With marks that allow you to follow her every move, she creates a visual utopia that twinkles and revolves.

Avis Underwood’s virtuosic paintings of masked and contorting figures unfold their slippery narratives as they work to conceal their identities or intentions, which may or may not—knowingly or unknowingly—display a few distinctively subversive characteristics of an English national consciousness.

Nadia Visram makes drawings, watercolours and objects with such an exaggeration of intimacy that it forms a frisson between beauty and humour. Small boules of clay, rounded or squashed to imprint the artist’s hand then painted shades of blue, red, and yellow that harken to Sumerian jewellery and ancient funerary painting. The watercolours reflect back these objects in specific arrangements, while drawings in pencil of tabletops of fruit and flatware simplified nearly to the limits of recognition require heightened display and language to expose their possible meanings.

Hiu Tung Lau’s abstractions alert our attentions to the facts of the medium: flat, simplified geometric forms and a limited palette characterise these tough yet generous objects, which offer up a space to think.

Dido Hallett’s magpie mind operates as a collector of absurdities and inventor of histories which conflate the real and unreal. With a tender, sometimes clunky, paint handling, she deflects attention from the identities of her subjects, often friends or family, to their situation. One painting in this exhibition,“The Robin”, is a legless teardrop of pure and vibrating joy.

Andi Magenheimer excavates her personal experiences- romantic and otherwise, and erupts her feelings all over her canvasses through a variety of means, one being the avatar of the cowgirl- who embodies a space between gnostic mysticism and Americana: The concept of the Phoenix and a Paul Bunyan. A deep fiery red, she becomes stronger through the transmutation of her injuries into the laughing lava of her skin.