I went to the Art & Design Foundation show at uni today. I needed to clear my head after a few days up north receiving regular updates from Dad about his Amazon chart position and trying not to get exasperated at the endless questions about my future plans. They’re great, my folks, but bloody hell. If ever there is a time that you don’t want to talk about your future, it’s when you have no job and no money and almost nowhere to live.
So I made it home to Leicester just after lunch and went for a head-clearing wander round the art building. Things there was a lot of:
Skinny students doing MySpace poses with slogans about eating disorders painted over their faces.
Birds. Birds on tote bags, wallpaper, sewn onto textile thingies, sculpted, stuffed, ‘deconstructed’. A fucktonne of birds.
Things cut out of books. Trees, words, shapes, more fucking birds. Lots of those scenes made out of books that used to fill up Tumblr in 2009.
Dolls and toys and shit. Melted together, photographed on park benches, just generally screaming I AM A SYMBOL FOR PAEDOPHILIA DONCHAKNOW.
There was some fantastic stuff though. A couple of life paintings that weren’t a million miles away from Lucian Freud stuff, although they’d been hung in the stupidest place. I can’t share a picture here because you either had to look at them from within 3 inches or from a football pitch away. An installation featuring stills from ChatRoulette, and a series of relief paintings of a vagina in about a gazillion different shades (lol students). My three favourites are here, displayed using only the finest flash-free mobile phone technology:
These are part of a series of 7 canvases by Mollie Williams. They remind me of Francis Bacon and the cover of In The Court Of The Crimson King. I like to think that I would do something like this if everything I ever painted didn’t accidentally go brown.
These ones are by Levikha Farrell. I wouldn’t normally go for stuff like this but I thought the poses were really striking and the finish was very high quality. You can’t really tell from the tiny photos but she’s enhanced photographs with outlines and stuff. Makes me think of the animation in A Scanner Darkly or Waltz With Bashir. They really stood out after acres of paper birds.
And these were probably my number one favourites, by Florence Brewin. The sticker thing said “lens-based” but part of the attraction is that I don’t really know what they are or how she made them. There’s something a bit death-masky about the middle one. Plus I love colourful stuff, stuff that isn’t birds.