Young at art

Childhood and sexuality sit in uneasy juxtaposition in a new show at Collective Gallery. John Beagles has a mixed response.

The boundaries between adults and children are getting blurred and confused. Looking and acting your age has gone out of fashion. with 30-year-olds dressing like pubescents. and twelve-year-olds with more active libidos than most adults can handle. A new exhibition at Edinburgh's Collective Gallery. Big Girl/[Jule Girl examines the slippages between these traditionally exclusive worlds. in a show which

Chantel Jotie’s paintings knowingly invoke the stereotype of a child’s world, both in their execution, which is naive and crude, and in their titles: ‘Buttermilk’, ‘Mars’ and ‘Fondant’.

doesn't always set a good example.

Chantel Joffe's equally sized. closely hung paintings. present the viewer with what initially appear to be ordinary portraits of children. The paintings knowingly invoke the stereotype ofa child‘s world. both in their execution. which is naive and crude. and in their titles: ‘Buttermilk'. ‘Mars‘ and ‘Fondant‘. However. extended viewing soon starts to rupture this innocent. ‘fun‘ facade. replacing it with a world into which adult features. desires and

Childhood innocence? Chantal Jolie’s Fondant neuroses have bled. The large. vacant eyes of the children that return the viewer‘s gaze generate an uneasy feeling of self-consciousness. about the morality of gazing at and taking pictures of small children.

Ingrid Moun'eau‘s work. produced in a variety of mediums. could be that of a twelve-year-old with an overactive libido. Her delicately drawn pictures of butterflies. like Joffe‘s paintings. appear initially to be merely decorative and prosaic. The seductive beauty and austere design of the composition.

however. is the come-on. It‘s the miniature drawings of copulating couples which fill the wings that are the pay-off.

The dolly-like pieces of pink tissue paper which hang opposite the butterflies also play off this disparity. The simple shapes creating the designs are not the squares. triangles and stars of a primary school project. but the penises. anuses and breasts of an active sexual mind. Moureau's work hints at the socially engineered processes of repression. which draw a discreet veil over the reality of children's sexuality

Dave Shrigley. a renaissance man gone horribly wrong. has his fingers in many pies drawing. publishing. music and performance all of which are cursed with what might. for others. be crushing technical incompetence. He has. however. made the land of the thick black biro pen and fimo modelling clay his own. producing in the past such unforgettable images as ‘The Birth of the Kray Twins' and his own treatise on the origins of dust. Here he shows a selection of sculptures. of which the highlight is ‘Stick‘. Sitting in the corner ofthe gallery. ‘Stick‘ is a modelled stick. with the addition of two piercing eyes. It is plain daft and unforgettable.

While all the pieces undoubtedly ‘liin with transgressive social behaviour“. work such as h'lourreau's tends to falter. because the presentation exercises a double negative. Examining ways in which behaviour is codified. stagnated and prohibited is well and good. But if the work abides by gallery conventions. it only upholds the ideology it seeks to criticise. ‘Stick' succeeds. like a gatecrasher at a soirec. because it might easily have been made by the two 'bad boys‘ who. minutes prior to my arrival. spat all over the gallery's window.

Big Girl/Little Girl is (H Caller/ire Gallery. Edinburgh. until Sat 20 July.

Emma:— Strip search

Watch out! Java continues to erupt in spectacular style. For the remainder oi .Iuly, Glasgow’s new Internet caie and exhibition space hosts the launch oi Parade, a 40-page comic aimed at a literate, visually in-tune public.

Young and proud to live and breathe 100 miles irom B.C. Thompson, Parade

brought together by necessity. The comic ieatures at least one strip by each artist. Java’s nettle Flynn was sensitive to their collective

audience,’ says Flynn. ‘There was no suitable publisher in Scotland, so they


is published by live members oi rules but no-one should be surprised. SCCAM - Scottish Cartoonists and In contrast to Britain (where the Comic Artist Members - a group medium includes Judge Dredd or the

irivolous associations.

predicament. ‘In my country,’ says co-iounder and ‘Although they are very diverse resident French cartoonist Tanitoc,

artists, their work is similar, but ‘we use another phrase, “Bande

lacked a platiorm to reach an Cessinée”. This literally means drawn

Watson jumps out graphically. Characters including 00k, Duke and Barney Bartender collide with the Plastic Planet series, an adapted liaika short story and improvisations based on Tom Waits’s tune ‘Coin’ Out

This may appear to break all comic

Beebe), the rest oi Europe holds the comic medium in higher esteem, avoiding many oi our childish,

strip and you can talk about anything you want, whether it’s suicide,

For lorna Miller, a graduate in drawing and painting irom Glasgow School oi Art, the medium oiiered her a iuture in visual arts. ‘I became interested in comics because I wanted to carry on with art, but could not aiiord oil painting,’ she says. ‘I also liked the idea oi reproducing my work and making it accessible to as many people as possible.’

Parade, the exhibition, ieatures all the original artwork tor the that edition, plus early sketches, research, characterisation and sample dialogues. Emphasising the signiiicant creative process behind the publication, this is one comic initiative not tgbe laughed at.

Parade is at Java, Glasgow, Sat 13 Jul-1 Aug. The comic is available from Java at £2.50 (other stockists to

have published themselves. The autobiography, a fiction . . . villainous. be continued). All sales go directly to exhibition shows people there is Humour can also nature but it's not the artists. The artists are giving free something new happening, but the necessary. We may be telling stories talks on Tue 16 and tire 23 July, work is not really complete till people am an ironic, runny, sad or happy; 1. 15pm. A weekend comic art . take a copy at Parade home.’ . the chum” is flinging mos. workshop is being held on Sena/Sun Coin’ Out West: an image irom Parade by III the work by Marc Baines, Craig emotions to the reader visually. This is 21 Jul: £35 (495) "WWW"! mum, French cartoonist Tanttoc Conlan, Tanitoc, Lorna Miller and Chris a comma an toms teed and retreslmrents. _