Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The House of Fairytales - Exquisite Trove at The Newlyn Gallery

As promised here is my 'Cornwall Part 2' post. Usually when I visit Penzance and Newlyn in the summer there is a group show by The Newlyn Society of Artists on at The Newlyn Gallery and I have just missed the show that I really wanted to see. This year however I managed to be there for the first day of the new show.

Exquisite Trove is a touring show (it was previously at The New Art Gallery in Walsall) but it takes on a different form in each new location. In Newlyn it mixes objects from local museums with artist made and collected objects displayed in a series of wunderkammer. Although the show as a whole is a little confusing (and I am not a fan of the series of House of Fairytales screen prints by famous artists) it is also very intriguing and I think more than fulfils its remit of stimulating imaginations. The whole thing is set up as a series of weirdly connected objects that invite the viewer to make connections - so there are chastity belts, two headed crows, whips, sparkly dance shoes, tiny gloves, castings of Turner Prize nominated artists' fingers (you get the picture it is very eclectic).  Different artists such as Cornelia Parker have curated the show - I imagine they had a cabinet each - and this means that there are lots of different ideas going on.

This was my favourite cabinet - not least because it contained a sash from Miss Constantine Junior and Rachel Cattle and Steve Richards cardboard Same Old Scene single.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lily van der Stokker at Tate St Ives

I've just got back from a week in Cornwall where the weather alternated between non-stop drizzle and dazzling sunshine. On one of the rainy days I went over to St Ives and along with all the other tourists whose beach day had been rained off visited the Tate. The main attraction there is Lily van der Stokker, the Dutch artist who makes child-like sketches of flowers and pretty things which she turns into big wall drawings (complete with sofas and carpets). I have been wanting to see her work since she showed at The Drawing Room ages ago and I missed it, so it was really good to finally get to see it. The accompanying texts go on about doing work which is not allowed by the artworld - the pretty, the decorative, the feminine - this is a bit of a hackneyed argument. We have heard this many times before (I refer you to anything by Karen Kilimnik) and I would have liked something a bit more. Also couldn't find the catalogue that was mentioned in the gallery in the otherwise lovely Tate St Ives shop - I know that John Waters is a big fan and I wanted to read his essay. Also there are no images from the show on the website (moan moan moan) although this image is nice I really wanted to post one of the sofa pics.

But despite the moans I did enjoy it + the other St Ives / Modernism show is worth a look - especially liked the Morandi painting.

Cornwall part 2 post with Newlyn Gallery coming soon...