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CHARLIE SMITH london is pleased to present Welsh born Wendy Mayer with her first London one person show\, curated by international cura tor and film maker Simon Rumley. Rumley first saw Mayer’s work in 2010 and promptly acquired several pieces. Subsequently he curated her into The F uture Can Wait\, the museum scale show for emerging artists that he co- curates with gallery director Zavier Ellis\, where Mayer was placed for the first time into the Saatchi Gallery collection amongst others. As Rumley d escribes:

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 I first saw Wendy's work in a show in Vyner Street back in early 2010. It consisted of three life-sized papier mache ch ildren with piercing eyes and beguiling grins looking like a David Bowie ba stard offspring from The Man Who Fell To Earth on a quick detour trip to Mi dwich. I wasn't sure whether I was supposed to be charmed or freaked out bu t I bought the piece immediately and it's remained a central piece in my li ving room ever since. I curated Wendy into that year's The Future Can Wait show and the mass reaction was exactly the same\; people weren't sure wheth er to like these little snappers or be repelled by them. Irrespective of th is conundrum the great thing was that people couldn't stop looking at them and I think that's the genius of Wendy's work. Part Ron Mueck\, part Hans B ellmer they remind us not only of ourselves but of the vicissitudes of life \; some of them are crying hysterically\, some look blissfully happy with p ins stuck into their skin\, some are wrapped in Beano comic strips and othe rs have little creatures attacking them. It's a crazy world\, a scary world \, a disturbing world even\, but a world which looks mischievous and eminen tly enjoyable\; a world which\, on reflection\, you know you're not alone i n wanting to be a part of.

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Indeed\, Mayer’s sculptur al figures represent a disturbing vision of the human form which beyond tha t draws on familial relations and myths\, and the artist’s response to them . Having always been fascinated by dolls and children’s toys\, Mayer consta ntly returns to them in order to render herself and those around her in str ange doll-like\, waxwork form. As such\, we are presented with autobiograph ical sculptures that are powerfully representational but also eerily unreal . Caught in stasis all are engaging in some activity\, mostly in play. Howe ver\, these figures appear to be aware of the audience. In between reality and fiction\, and during action\, they check in order to challenge our gaze \, casting us as voyeurs who have disturbed their private moments. These mo ments are drawn directly from Mayer’s experience as a child herself and now as a mother. In her own words:

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The dolls in ‘Duck / R abbit’ are menacingly saccharine. They appear to be protesting their innoce nce whilst playing with dead baby animals. The work plays with our percepti on of children as innocents. [‘Gold Watch’\, Saatchi Gallery Collection ] is a portrait that references emotional damage and repair suffered at the hands of our children.

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And so on\, as individual pieces reference in turn a family member fallen from grace\; a folk song su ng by the artist’s Grandfather\; the privilege of being a mother who must e ventually let her offspring go\; sibling rivalry\; the fear of ageing. Thus \, Mayer provides us with deeply personal works that also tend to provoke u niversal feelings related to simply being a child\, a sibling or a mother.    

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Please contact gallery for im ages and further information

DTEND:20120512 DTSTAMP:20140417T052052 DTSTART:20120405 GEO:51.5266865;-0.0813714 LOCATION:CHARLIE SMITH london\,336 Old Street \nLondon\, EC1V 9DR SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:WENDY MAYER | Still Life\, Wendy Mayer UID:210073 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:203000 DTSTAMP:20140417T052052 DTSTART:183000 GEO:51.5266865;-0.0813714 LOCATION:CHARLIE SMITH london\,336 Old Street \nLondon\, EC1V 9DR SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:WENDY MAYER | Still Life\, Wendy Mayer UID:210074 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR