19 May – 11 June 2016
Gothic Pleasures brings together six artists whose work explores undercurrents of psychological transformation. The exhibition encompasses a wide variety of media from painting, sculpture, print and ceramic, to delicate lace pattern templates embroidered with human hair and a pocket knife decorated with seed pearls. The works share a meticulous attention to the craft of making, in order to first entice and then reveal their more complex themes.
Arabel Rosillo de Blas acknowledges her Spanish origins in the tiny Grandmother’s Pocket Knife – a working penknife with a blade fashioned from silver filigree. Elaine Brown’s haunting oils on panel – the Blue series, invest simple objects the artist found around her home with darker, poignant meaning. Denise de Cordova’s sculpture Akka – at first glance a grey boulder, reveals the delicately painted face of a girl trapped within its form. Harriet Mena Hill’s intricate landscapes explore the imagined architectures of Calvino’s Invisible Cities – a recent drawing displayed within a lightbox casting eerie shadows on the conjectured forms. Sarah Sparkes painting series NEVER AFRAID is derived from an oral history, passed on to the artist by her mother and grandmother: a myth of giants and the devil embedded within a village from her ancestors locale. Carolyn Thompson’s recent works Night Terrors, Havisham and The Broken Heart, re-form and re-write classic Gothic texts, including Dracula and Great Expectations.