Out of Sorts

Amaia Allende, Tatty Divine Boutique

Written by Kirsty McGregor

Rows of fish heads preserved in salt – even in the quirky world of Tatty Devine, that’s an unexpected sight. They peer out from a long black board mounted on the gallery wall like hunting trophies. Next to them, cast copies of ripe oranges burrow into blocks of dark red velvet, as if victims of a bloody fruit massacre.

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This is the first solo show of sculptor Amaia Allende, which opened on Thursday at the Tatty Devine boutique and gallery space in Brick Lane, east London. Allende claims to tackle the “subject of belonging” by assembling similar everyday items into tidy rows. It looks suspiciously like she has emptied her kitchen bin around the shop.

By the front door, some sort of green pear-like fruits line up on a narrow shelf. Poking out of the top are long strands of polyester blond hair, which make them look like a family of Mrs Pear Heads. So they belong together, you see, while at the same time having individual personalities (because of the hair).

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Tatty Devine is famous for its unique jewellery and edgy art exhibitions, including “Jane Amongst the Birds”, a competition for the best foreign bird or budgie (complete with Tatty Devine trophy) held in September last year. So when it comes to belonging, it seems that Allende and her sombre line-up of fish heads and old fruit, have found an appropriate home.

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