Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Stephen Ashdown, Frances Blythe, Antony Clarkson, Siân Green, Naomi Lethbridge

‘Contained Exposure’.

Artists: Stephen Ashdown, Frances Blythe, Antony Clarkson, Siân Green, Naomi Lethbridge.

We are a group of artists from the current MA Fine Art course at Manchester Metropolitan University. Our work is varied in media, form and subject matter but is united by an interest in the processes of making and the relationship between the investment of labour and time and the value and meaning of the artwork. Antifreeze 2009 is the second in an intended series of exhibitions exploring our interest in the use of spaces outside the traditional gallery environment and the impact this may have on our work.

For Antifreeze 2009 we have created an alternative gallery space where a number of cabinets are on show. Rethinking the practical and conceptual function of a cabinet as a starting point, the show consists of work that makes literal use of the cabinet as a display tool as well as work that plays on its nature as a system of compartments and shelves to be opened and explored.

Transforming the space into a kind of showroom, where the artwork and means of display share equal staging, the work addresses the interplay between the cabinet and its contents; an object that is both defined by what it contains yet also controls what it houses. The viewer is presented with a bric-a-brac of styles and media that interacts with the space, drawing on the ephemera that comprises the car boot sale. Moreover, the varied and experimental nature of the work on show reflects the combination of the ‘high culture’ of contemporary art and ‘low culture’ of the car boot sale.

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