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Thursday 07th July 2011Akeelah Bertram's Video catalogue

 Here's a link to Akeelah Bertram's video catalogue for the exhibition.

Posted on July 07th 2011 on 11:59pm

Sunday 15th May 2011John Dogsfield's Kitchen

The exhibition as a whole was not driven by its location within a converted terraced house, however certain work did make use of the quasi-domestic setting, in particular the work placed in the kitchen. Throughout life we encounter these demi-homes, institutionalised spaces which were either originally built for domestic use or have had a thin veneer of domesticity applied to them for the comfort of the ‘inhabitants’, be they students, office workers, patients in a hospital etc. I have always had a strange fascination with these encounters of creature comforts in the wider world; who decides how soft a bus seat should be? Or which tiles should there be on the floor when you pee at work?


The all over white washed kitchen of this home turned office turned exhibition space provided the perfect chance to play with these ideas alongside the work of Nikki Hafter and Ash Owen. Each of our works has some degree of false domesticity about them. Hafter’s latex keys (titled Almost) hark back to the days of grand houses whose doormen would proudly clink about the grounds unlocking room after room and garden gate after garden gate, however they are essentially useless. It would be impossible to open any door with a latex key even if one knew which door the key was intended to open. The mass of keys also draws my mind to jailer’s keys and another strange demi-home; who fluffy should a prisoner’s pillow be? Likewise, Hafter’s paper cutlery (More or Less) care clears representations of the highly utilised domestic tools of knives, forks, and spoons, however they are just ghosts of the items they are based on. These objects would not aid refined consumption of any meal. Whilst paper plates have found a purpose, these have not quite reached that point. Hafter’s We Have No Time To Lose, utilises the already whimsical light source of the room, the ivy covered mottled glass French door. The tendrils of broken watches again play on the ideas of forgotten function.


Owen’s milk (Yesterday This Meant Everything, Today, Nothing) clearly began life in the domestic realm however the use of expanding foam and white gloss paint has rendered the product inedible. The overflowing, plasticy, white foam also resembles the effect of leaving an impractically small carton of milk out and forgetting it in a rarely visited kitchen for a considerable time, again, not something that tends to appeal to the taste buds. My Bread and Teacup also provide tantalising views of the potential familiar family comforts, which are frustratingly inaccessible. The burnt bread, so desperately aimed at some sort of misguided perfection and the teacup really just a pattern of pixels behind a glass screen. Even from the inaccessible location of the TV, the reversed motion of the steam into the mug gives a curious sense of comfort and security in contrast to the eerie sounds of the reversed background noise.


Jennifer Dickinson

Posted on May 15th 2011 on 12:05am