29 April – 15 May 2010
Rebecca Bladen, Kristin Lewis + Jessica Redlich
Slow Burn is a group of work that fuses elements of ceremony, symbolism, familiarity and uncertainty. Common to each artists’ practice, is an attempt to create a world populated by cross-historical, cross-cultural references; a world where myth and history, memory and the present come together. Within the exhibition there exists a sense of push and pull. Viewers are enticed by the rich surface quality and intentional placement of the drawings and objects. This enticement is destabilized by the element of uncertainty and eeriness that exists within all the work.
Rebecca Bladen’s small-scale, carefully rendered series of drawings is sourced mainly from found photographs and magazine clippings. Fragments of these clippings; a falling horse; a rally; a woman in emotional prayer; are removed from their original setting. This subtle, quiet, almost familiar imagery triggers memory and emotion. These are scenes full of narrative disjunction that seek the complicity of the viewer in order to be completed/resolved. The inconclusiveness of the imagery is at odds with the universal need to search, unearth and ultimately explain. The characters that inhabit these drawings are isolated on an empty expanse of paper, where neither time nor place is fixed.
Expressed through film, drawing and sculpture, Kristin Lewis’ work is a fantastical speculation on the future enaction and manifestation of the mystic. In true Constructivist spirit the factory becomes a metaphor for making, with the artist assuming the role of worker.
Like Tarkovsky’s mesmeric, mysterious cinemascapes, this work looks into metaphysic objects or systems, and their meaning. Lewis investigates the mysterious as being a feature of the sublime or wondrous. Her work is more broadly concerned with modes of perception, the desire for understanding and the subversion of these expectations.
Central to Jessica Redlich’s work is an investigation into the notion of worship. The idea of believing, above all else, in a sacred object, form or God, is to her a very foreign one. Redlich’s investigation into this idea has therefore been a source of enlightenment and growth, and she has attempted to create her own sacred objects in an attempt to recreate this feeling for others.The process of making these objects has lead Redlich to an exploration of symbolic Egyptian forms such as the beetle and the pyramid and the ancient Goat of Mendes. With this historical symbolism in mind, she has taken these forms and placed them in a manner that feels logical – a hierarchical arrangement that hints at an undisclosed narrative. The forms themselves are quite loaded, and the size, surface and installation of the sculpture is a very deliberate and thought out one. Despite these elements, any viewer will enter the space with their own personal history and each will have a different reading of the work. The installation is not an attempt to illustrate this historical symbolism, but rather an attempt to create an atmosphere of holiness and worship.
Simultaneously propositional and conclusive; Slow Burn is a collective offering of possibilities. The work, although occupying a broad aesthetic, comes together to create a rhythmic undercurrent – a space that highlights the human desire to navigate and understand.