Obsessive Impulsion is not an exhibition about any particular condition unless hard work is counted as such. Initially I wanted to focus on 5 artists who have, in different ways, obsessive processes and look at the lengths they go to to in the production of their works. All of the artists involved make it look easy but we know it is not, and every piece is the result of many hours of labour, much referencing particular domestic situations. Described at the opening by one of the punters as “too serious”, each body of work contains something of a paradox. The quiet flamboyance and pastel colours palette of this exhibition thinly disguise a sense of struggle, a thread of grief and the subtle presence of death. Michele England’s repurposed common household objects, amusingly kitsch, are transformed into emblems of protest addressing relentless environmental degradation. U.K. Frederick’s exquisite flannel photograms allude to the suicide of Kurt Cobain whose shirts were donated to charity and thus released onto the streets of Seattle. Ann McMahon’s taught weaves made from plastic bread wrappers index extreme housework and the daily rituals of family life. Suzanne Moss’s paintings reflect the labour of working with colour and the standards she sets herself in bringing an idea to life. Jodie Cunningham’s deceptively bright work comes from a “dark place” that reflects the difficulties of being a single mother, artists and professional. So all up, it might well be a deadly serious exhibition but if the response at the opening of Friday is anything to go by serious is the go.
Artists: Jodie Cunningham, Michele England, U.K.Frederick, Ann McMahon and Suzanne Moss. Curator: David Broker
Obsessive Impulsion at CCAS Gorman Art Centre Gallery until June 23.
Annika and Susan