Gravitas explored the continual and complex relationships between human and animal. The exhibition brought together large-scale, monochrome oil on canvas paintings by Abigail Reed and the life-sized fabric sculptures of Dorcas Casey.
Responding to the exhibition space, Antlers Gallery presented two female artists working in a large, bold manner in order to convey the power and weight of the animal form, in relation to human scale. In Abigail’s paintings the animals are bursting out of the canvases whilst Dorcas’ sculptures are awkwardly juxtaposed with seemingly fragile furniture. In both cases the animal subjects have a sense of stature but their relationship to human objects evokes an air of vulnerability.
Dorcas Casey uses a variety of materials including fabric, wire and found objects to create startling portrayals of animal forms. Her sculptures are inspired by the recurring motifs of animals which appear in her dreams – the familiar and comforting is merged with the menacing and unsettling. Impeccably fabricated portrayals of stags, pigs, and bulls are awkwardly placed in direct opposition to delicate antique furniture; they are suspended between strength and collapse, evoking the ambiguity of dream-like imagery.
Surrounding these sculptures were Abigail Reed’s immense oil paintings of: bulls, stags and horses. Standing strong and powerful within the canvas these works are almost sculptural in themselves and vying for the viewers attention. Her painting style is free and fluid; nothing is fixed as the dripping and cracking of the paint reveals the accidental, volatile and vulnerable nature of the medium and in turn life. Abigail sees her paintings as representations of ‘other’, something non-human which puts us in our place and stills our anxieties.
21 March – 21 April 2014
Everyday 10am – 6pm
Purifier House (waterfront entrance), Lime Kiln Road, Bristol, BS1 5AD
Preview: Thursday 20 March, 6-9pm
Artist Talk: Wednesday 2 April, 6.30pm
Gravitas Feast – 11, 12, 13 April, 7 – 10pm – tickets - http://foodandtheatrecompany.bigcartel.com
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