The Kate Macgarry gallery tucked behind the coveted Redchurch street in Shoreditch follows its impermeable vision: to offer an aesthetically well designed exhibition, plunged if the weather allows it, into a bath of light from its glass ceiling. This time around, the curated artists are Laura Aldridge, Rana Begum, Francis Upritchard and Bethan Laura Wood for an exhibition entitled Things that soak you.
Today the light has fully penetrated the room, and the artworks displayed appear flamboyant on the verge of iridescent. Each of the pieces have in common a bright pastel palette which provides an exploratory thread leading me throughout the gallery space. The work of each artist is easily identifiable, except perhaps for a piece called Four Weeks ago (seeds) by Aldridge. Presented in a symmetrical manner, the pieces appear to converse with one another before speaking to the viewers. Clean and safe are the adjectives that come to mind upon discovering the composition of colours and circular forms. The sculptures-objects by Wood pleasantly invite me to appreciate the mixture of colours she has concocted. The same goes for Aldridge and her Things that soak you pieces hung on the wall, inspiring the origin of the exhibition’s title. Further towards the centre of the room, two large scaled dolls identifiable as American Indian figures face each other, the woman examining the floor while the man stares at her interrogatively. The work from Begum acts as the closing piece, demonstrating a playful combination of colours and rectangle shapes reminiscent of a Harlequin gradient.
What strikes me the most is the preponderance of colour and geometry. Perhaps this was the guiding idea behind gathering up the works of these artists. As much as I sincerely tried to find a meaning, or a logical interpretation of all these pieces as a whole, I couldn’t find one. Therefore, I revisited the exhibition this time with a greater appreciation for what it was: a busy yet alluring landscape for my eyes to follow. At times I felt surprised, reassured, curious, and at other times mystified, irritated, and bored. I believe that this set up revolving around colours and shapes is bold and elegant at the same time. It nourishes the senses directly without taking the route of inner introspection and further investigation. In a world where we are almost forced to find an underlying meaning to anything, it’s relieving to follow the senses and let them guide us through the journey.
Things that soak you: Laura Aldridge, Rana Begum, Francis Upritchard, Bethan Laura Wood at Kate Macgarry (02 June – 15 July 2017)