‘You Move Me’ Exhibition Review

Below is an Exhibition Review of You Move Me by one of our Gallery Assistants – Alexandra Spender. Our last day of the exhibition is tomorrow (Saturday 10 January) so make sure you come and take a look if you haven’t already!

You Move Me – Exhibtion Review – Alexandra Spender


You Move Me is an ambitious large-scale show for the nomadic Antlers Gallery funded by Arts Council England. The exhibition showcases the work of five contemporary artists who explore themes such as: narrative, space and the natural world. The exhibition follows the central theme of the ‘hidden’ River Frome with a main structure by Bristol-based Jo Lathwood and other commissioned artists: Synnøve Fredericks, Helen Jones, Olivia Jones and Laurie Lax.

Ensconced in the heart of Bristol’s Create Centre, You Move Me promotes emerging and more established creative talent. The lead artist Jo Lathwood presents a network of tunnels that snake within the exhibition space – echoing the course of the River Frome that flows invisibly beneath Bristol City Centre before merging with the River Avon. Lathwood uses imagined truths to present us with a romanticised representation of the rivers pathway for the audience to explore.


(Above image) Lighting Design by Anna Barrett

Made from recycled wood and cardboard, Lathwood’s pathway envelopes the audience in an atmospheric dusk as they wander the length of the partly concealed maze-like structure. The lighting design by Anna Barrett is paired back and affective – primarily consisting of a festoon framework that glows deep orange and white depending on the section of river being portrayed; further enhancing the veiled mystery of the piece. When experiencing Lathwood’s tunnel the audience may imagine themselves as water being channelled through the room – their flow interrupted by the discovery of other artists works along the way.

The exhibition invites participation and provides a direct connection between the audience and the art. Synnøve Fredericks showcases her new work Waiting, Watching & Waiting – an elevated structure with a pulley system that the audience can interact with. As the weights are dropped, shadowy reflections are made by glass vessels of water; inviting contemplation into human influence over nature and vice versa.


(Above image) Synnøve Fredericks – Waiting, Watching & Waiting – Recycled Wood, Pyrex Vessels, Theatre Light, Cord

Olivia Jones presents us with Rót Rōt Root, a sculptural drawing consisting of wooden root-like forms that hang suspended from a mirrored anchor. This piece physically burrows through Lathwood’s pathway and stands strong inside a moat formation.


(Above image) Olivia Jones – Rót Rōt Root – Plywood and Acrylic Mirror

Laurie Lax’s two works in the show New Cut III and New Cut IV create an interesting dialogue with one another. One is an intricate drawing of dried river silt flakes (collected from a previous exhibition) and the other a visual portal made from the silt itself. Throughout the exhibition the silt has dried out and changed form, exhibiting the evolution of nature in a man-made space. This piece can be looked at through a specific viewfinder – making the physical act of (re)viewing a significant aspect of the work. Lax comments ’I want [the audience] to feel engaged particularly with the materials and to be stimulated in some way’.


(Above image) Laurie Lax – New Cut III – Graphite on Paper and Wooden Plinth

For me, the highlight of the exhibition is the large-scale drawings by Helen Jones titled Undercurrent I and Undercurrent II on two enormous sheets of tracing paper that visually cascade down the walls. These intense images, created with black pigment and pastel overwhelm the viewer with their size and present the sheer uncontrollable power of water. This work is concerned with how the River Frome has been manipulated to fit in with the needs of the city – rather than letting nature take its course. The artist juxtaposes water in its natural state against water that is controlled by artificial barriers.


(Above image) Helen Jones – Undercurrent I & II – Black Pigment and Pastel on Tracing Paper

The You Move Me exhibition encourages a new way of looking at our shared surroundings whilst investigating the dynamism and strength of nature.


Coming up next for Antlers is London Art Fair from 21 – 25 January 2015.