FENCES, DRONES AND ELEPHANTS
If there is one word to describe all three exhibitions currently showing at the Gorman Art Centre galleries it would be topical. FENCES B/ORDERS WALLS – Keep Clear Janenne Eaton, Drones Over Aleppo Kate Stevens and Black Elephant Jess Higgins all focus on disturbing situations currently happening across the world. The undeniable beauty of Janenne’s lustrous black 18 metre ‘wall’ is tempered by a skull and the alienating text ‘keep clear’ an instruction that audiences seem to obey subconsciously. There is of course no need to explain the conceptual foundations of this work since borders and walls are much discussed and ferociously debated in today’s news media. Kate’s paintings also have an undeniable beauty and yet they reflect a situation of abject misery, the bombing of Syria’s largest and oldest city, Aleppo. Sourcing images from drones recording the devastation these incredible works remind us of the power to destroy and our powerlessness in stopping destruction on this scale. Images of a commonly used form of torture occupy Jess Higgins Black Elephant, a term whose meaning sits between ‘black swan’ (an unlikely, unexpected event with enormous ramifications)and ‘white elephant’ (a problem that is visible to everyone, yet no one still wants to address it). Jess’s work also sits in this difficult zone between beauty and horror … brace yourself for all three of these exhibitions.
It has been great for CCAS to work with Nancy Sever Gallery for Janenne’s exhibition and the first such occasion since Nancy moved into the Gorman Art Centre. Janenne has work at Nancys so you can travel between the two because too much of Janenne is never enough. Nancy also represents Kate so if you find these incredible works irresistible she will take care of you.
Finally some photos of what turned out to be a wonderful opening … yes the works might be on the bleak side but the talents of these three artists are well worth celebrating !
At CCAS Gorman Art Centre until November 17.