2 July- 1 August 2010
Private View Friday 2 July 6 - 9 pm
The title of the exhibition, So That I May Come Back, is taken from words written in 1968 by Mary Bell. Her hand written note stated: ‘I murder so that I may come back’. Peter Suchin writes “Just how exactly one might ‘come back’ through the act of murder remains unresolved, a vampiric fantasy-claim perhaps. This presumption that the scribbled text of Bell’s note refers to a return after death is possibly unfounded; but at any rate, for a ten-year old to generate such an oddly encoded utterance, brazenly depositing it at the scene of yet another crime, suggests a rather complicated commingling of reason, fantasy, desire and of straining for effect. There are many different kinds of return; indeed the using of Bell’s phrase as an exhibition title is itself a textual reappearance of its author. All of the works in this show deal, in one way or another, with forms of return, reiteration or haunting, in some cases with what is an arguably predatory or (negatively) ‘proactive’ component or approach.”
Albert Leonard’s pencil drawings are based on black and white photographs of female Hollywood stars from the 1940s and 1950s. For this exhibition the selection of works is limited to those of Linda Darnell, his favourite actress; obsessive, labour intensive copies of an image of someone one greatly admires is one way of making that image – and perhaps the person herself – entirely one’s own. Charbel Ackermann’s work attends to one representational medium through the form of another, producing a series of storyboards mimicking those of Alfred Hitchcock, and pertaining to another Hollywood heroine, Doris Day. Unlike Leonard’s reverential allusion to his Hollywood Heroine, in Ackermann’s case, it is an actor with whom he has a somewhat fraught relationship. In these drawings, Day is stuck in her cardboard cut-out character of happy sanitised femininity. Sarah Woodfine’s sculptural work also relates to filmic imagery. Darling trust me it's for the best, an assemblage of MDF, Formica, a reconfigured hammer and a mock-woodgrain drawing, alludes to a particular scene, familiar in popular culture, in the film adaptation of Stephen King’s book Misery. Tania Kovats also addresses King’s Misery: a pencil drawing of King’s book as a physical object. Kovats is interested in questioning the relationship between words and images and which is more articulate or fails the least to give expression. She writes: “I try and ‘copy’ the book, describe every sign of usage, its physical state, as if this penetration of what it looks like might better access what it says”. In William Cobbing’s work living praying mantis are confined with a sculpted abstract form made from fake bones. The rich symbolism of the mantis and the knowledge that the female mantis eats the male promotes the idea of a return. As Peter Suchin writes “Sustaining oneself by eating one’s mate in order to produce future offspring can certainly be thought of as a way of ensuring that a version of oneself ‘comes back’”. James Ireland continues his use of coloured glass filters that sample holiday brochure clichés of skies. Three lengths of transparent glass filter light in such a way as to tint adjacent walls, or anything else physically close by, in this case deliberately juxtaposed with Woodfine’s piece so that the colours fall upon her work, a foil, as it were, of light, countering the darkness of the exhibition. Oona Grimes and Tony Grisoni’s installation includes a portable television set and dresser bearing all the marks of belonging to a child's bedroom. Ranged across the front of the screen, as guards and protectors, is a number of models which draw upon both children's toys and Samurai warriors, and screening on the TV set is a series of 16mm filmed shots of urban wastelands and details of decay with subtitles drawn from children's quotes.
Charbel Ackermann is a London based artist. He has shown his work at The Drawing Center, New York; The Pasadena Museum of California Art/ Fellows of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, with Parabola, London; and Manes Gallery in Prague. William Cobbing studied Fine Art at De Ateliers in Amsterdam. Solo exhibitions include Gradiva Project at Freud Museum and Camden Arts Centre (2007/8), and Man in the Planet, Via Farini, 2010. Oona Grimes studied at The Slade School of Fine Art and is a visiting lecturer at Ruskin School of Fine Art Oxford University, RCA and University of the Arts London. Selected recent exhibitions include: Tatton Park Biennial, 2010 and Rose-Red Empire, with Iain Sinclair, Danielle Arnaud, 2009. Tony Grisoni worked in many different areas of film making before turning to screenwriting. Recent projects include The Pizza Miracle, 2010, the BAFTA winning The Unloved, 2009 and The Red Riding Trilogy, 2009. James Ireland graduated from Ruskin School of Fine Art, University of Oxford in 1999. Recent exhibitions include: Peace and Agriculture, Haunch of Venison, Berlin; Material Presence, 176, London. Tania Kovats graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1990 and recent exhibitions include: Small Finds, Salisbury Museum 2010, Edge of the World, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, British Council Touring show 2010. Albert Leonard has had drawings reproduced in several film fanzines over the years including various American film fanzines dedicated to individual female stars. Sarah Woodfine graduated from The Royal Academy Schools in 1995. Recent exhibitions include House and Home, Harewood House; Only Make-Believe, Compton Verney; The Real Ideal, Sheffield Millennium Gallery; Drawing Inspiration, Abbot Hall Gallery. She is currently working on a new commission for the Graves Gallery, Sheffield. In 2004 she won the Jerwood Drawing Prize.
A leaflet with a text by Peter Suchin will be available.
William Cobbing’s Boundary Condition project is funded by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award.