Amelia’s Magazine | Exhibition: 34% Pork

Pork – divine to some, disgusting to others. 34% Pork questions the purity of paint and how it lends itself to the composition of art. Here, the paint itself becomes the show. Allowing it to mimic itself, the work of Rob Leech, Guy Bourner, Alexander Heaton and Rachel Potts draws paint away from its stated purpose of illustration, and expresses it as a material, a device, a colour, a surface unto itself.

Paint for paint’s sake? Yes, it is that, but it’s also exploring the nomenclature of creativity, the tools people use to define art. This is a very important question. But is it the type of question you can pose at an exhibition? Judging by the reactions of the audience, no. People stare at the art with less “mmm… this really does question conceptions of what we use to be creative” and more “Ooohh I like the colours”. And in that sense, the point of the art is lost.

Staring blankly at paintings that fail to evoke their meaning may satisfy the quirky and the vacuous, but the exhibition lacks the sort of conviction that could make it genuinely challenging. Summed up perfectly by Guy Bourner’s Dripping Yellow Gloss – a show piece only available for private view.

Alex Heaton’s Schwarzwald Berghof sits awkwardly among the more conceptual pieces. An alpine scene using oil and canvas seems to have missed the brief entirely. Whereas Rachel Potts’s Baseball still relies on a subject to bring it to life. Rob Leech’s Dafunk gets closest to what 34% Pork is trying to achieve – paint creating its own subjectivity and emotion through itself and not the scene it’s trying to depict. But you can’t have an exhibition based on one piece. Or can you? Maybe it should be called 1 Pork.

Categories ,34% Pork, ,Bartlett’s Gallery, ,Colour, ,Conceptual, ,exhibition, ,IIlustration

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