A course through the mutating furnishing predilections of the nation
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INDUSTRY OF ONE
Lighthouse, Glasgow, until Sun 12 Aug .00.
if, at five o’clock in the morning you awake from a deep sleep with only one thing on your mind - the desperate urge to rush to Ikea and pick up that darling little bedside lamp - then the Lighthouse’s latest exhibition, Industry
Of One is for you.
Charting a course through the mutating furnishing predilections of the nation, the exhibition highlights how domestic tastes have mirrored political epochs. The money frenzy of Thatcherite boom years resulted in ostentatious flourishes of baroque, which in today’s climate of moral restraint may leave you gasping ‘the horror, the horror’.
The ethical and moral reaction to the coiled steel lush velvet indulgences of 805 furniture came during the Major years. Perhaps matching the grey, back-to-basics boredom of the man himself, much of this furniture is plain to the point of invisibility. However, pieces such as Julie Mcdonagh’s shoulder bag which imaginatively recycled an inner tube, do display a sense
of wry humour.
And then there’s President Blair’s epoch of change on the never never. Pastel plastics, real wood, the whole thing is reasonable, ethical and scrupulously moral. This stuff is stylish, but what it’s really about is economics. Fundamentally the need for cheap, but classy furniture to disguise the fact nobody has much money. On the surface slick and balanced, in the bank account empty and wasted. Bit like Britain really.
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BECK’S FUTURES 2 Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sat 21 Jul 0..
Worthy winner indeed: Folk by Tim Stoner
lhe Beck‘s art prr/e rolls rnto IoWn once agazr‘c heraldrng a brrght future for art. l'on‘. the moment you encour‘ter B'an Gr ffrths' huge carpet nurse berng geed along by a PVC clad. bucket headed horseman. you won: the exhrbztro'r has humour. Thrs .s augmer‘ted by litbrenne Audeoud and John Russell's .ascrxrous. dark ,r‘arrttrrrgs -- daubed wth words lrke ‘l haw the agressr\.'rt\ of a lrttle dog xxhcse arse harr .s berng pulled Off. |
refrarn myself' — and DaVrd Burrows cartoonrsh. plastrc flowers sproutrng from the floorboards.
However. the humorous element rn these works should not detract from the talent or rngenurty that has created them. The carpet horse rs galloprng past a tree constructed from the sprnes of umbrellas; l.)eneath the provocatrve texts are talented artrsts: and the flowers are part of a cleverly constructed got )rlISlt world.
The rngenurty contrnues rn the work of both Srrnon Brll and DJ Srmpson. Brll's oval parntrngs are grverr shape and depth usrng cork and dental floss whrle Srmpson uses a router to create a pattern on black. gloss For'mrca. that looks lrke a fragrle bamboo fence fallrng apart as you look.
The wrnner of the Beck's prrze was Trrn Stoner and hrs two parntrngs of people dancrng defrnrtely stand Out. Each trgure has a Iumrnous glow that actually makes you strarn to see them. as though yOu are lookrng from the shadows to brrght lrght and almost as though you are there Wrth them. A worthy Wrnner rndeed. (Isabella Werrr
l Tel-HM 38
lngleby Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sat 21 Jul 0..
Aesthetrcs rs very rrnportant to Howard Hodgkrn. One of Brrtarn's rrrost celebrated parnters has. on several occasrons. changed dealers because the rooms rn whrch hrs works were drsplayed weren't acceptable. Fortunately for the lnglebr, (.‘rallery hrs small format prrnts rernarn.
Better known for hrs luxurrantly coloured parntrngs on board where the Image sprlls oxer the frame. Hodgkrn‘s rrchlry textured. hand parnted etcnrngs share much of the former's attrrbutes. Although the vrsual language of hrs works reserrrble abstractrorr. Hodgkrn parnts 'feelrngs declared rn colour". Hrs use of srrnple georrretrrc shapes and patterns r'econstrtute rnernor'res of past events. places or people he has encountered.
From the trtle alone. you can take a guess at what Hodgkrn rs referrrng to rn most of the works: others are lrttle more obscure. In Cigarette. a blood-
‘Feelings declared in colour‘
red sguare wrtb a flash of whrte evokes a mouth as a crgarette rs Inhaled. Tears. ld/e Tears and I re. alrnond-shaped rn therr forrn reveal drfferent emotronal moods. The rcy blues and ‘.'.hrtes of the large scale frost. conlures up the delrcale patterns of fro.'en dew found on a wrndow pane.
'lhese prctorral rrnages of memory do. however. pale a lrttle rn cornparrson to hrs more larnrlrar parntrngs on board. lookrrrg somewhat strtled belrrnd therr r'estrrctrye t]|.r‘.f; lrarrres. ll lelen Monaghanr
Mle l) MLDIA EAST: KATE DOWNIE Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sat 14 Jul .0
last centres on Kate Downre's journey back to the places of her youth: the dr'amatrc coastal landscape north of Aberdeen. Whrle adeptly demonstratrng an abrlrty to convey rnoverrrerrt and atmosphere. the exhrbrtron often feels lrke an oblrgatory gurded tour of sorrreone else's chrldhood haunts.
Revrsrtrng ancestral land Wrth her chrldren. Downre's entlrusrasm rs rlrffrcrrlt to share because of the work's hrghly personal and ernotrve nature. ():I(/ (list/e VII/age. for example. rs a pleasrng landscape rn rts own r‘rghl but [Jownre’s explanatory pencrlled notes poem serve as a drstractron rather than enrbellrshrnent. Reduced rather than enrrched by too much 'rnterrrr'etatrve' rnformatron. the cornbrnatron of press releases. text panels. documentary photographs and ar'trst's notes seek to elevate what rs essentrally a good. but unremarkable. exhrbrtron.
Potentrally rnter‘estrng themes are obscured by an atterrrpt to do and show too much all at once. A smaller. trghter show of erther the forth Harl Brrdge drawrng‘. or' the rnonotypes and frlrn [)rrven could have created a more focused. and ultrrnately more appealrng exhrbrtron. (Susannah Thornpsorrr
lNSlAll Al ION WELCOME FOR SEA AND GAME Bulkhead, Glasgow, until Sun 5 Aug 0000
Clarre Barclay contrrrues to negotrate the terrarn between the anrrnal and the ‘crvrlrsed' world rn her latest l)l'()]()(:l2 an elabOrate and engrossrng landscape staged rn a converted shop prernrses. Thrs metrmrlously crafted work evokes both a chrldlrke desrre to clrrnb rnsrde and a more drstanced admrratron of the skrll rnvolved rn Its constructron.
A mrnrature black rubber rrrountarn range rrses rn strff peaks, maclrrne sewn Wlllr whrle strtches. In the basrn of thrs erotrc structure srt clusters of wooden ‘crystals' cut and sanded rnto unrgue prrsms. A wooden frar‘ne surroundrng the rnstallatron rs ‘.‘./Otlll(l wrth yards of black wool. slender berge and brown bands NT“? v euttrng a strrpe through the hypnotrc layers.
Three polrshed alumrnrum cones are fastened to the frame rn unexpected places. therr trps as sharp as teeth. A clay-starned whrte sheet stretches Irke a shroud ~ ‘ H across the frame. and a hand 'j: ; w~ « parnted Srlk creature that rs halt ‘ " dragon or part snake curls slyly rn an upper corner. Barclay's rmagrned '.‘.rOrld reverberates wrth allurrng detarl and pOrse. and offers a fresh safarr rn thrs grr'riy crty. rSarah Lowndesr
Elaborate and engrossing
2‘ J.'1-—'",Ju12'/.’- THE LIST 81