exhibition commentary: 'Knock Turn' at BHVU gallery

"Knock Turn" A group exhibition

BHVU Gallery

Walking into the space at BHVU gallery during a busy private view in the middle of London's hottest summer for years is like taking a breath of fresh air. The atmosphere is relaxed and people are actually looking at the work instead of grabbing the free beer! There are two artists who really stood out for me; Russell Terry and Laura Cherry. Russell's work has an air of simple elegance, paper skulls sit atop see-through timber plinths; they command a kind of deference despite their light and fragile nature. His pieces are loaded with heavily considered processes and painstaking delicate repetition. Networks of cut paper form the shape of skulls; geometric patterns producing partially opaque heads that evoke for me images of dark paintings where men hold their memento mori. The work exudes time; the passing of time spent in the concentrated study of humanity.

Laura's collages of found images seem somehow seamless despite their disparate juxtapositions. Classical objects are turned into mythical creatures and appear to want to scuttle off the page. The book pages from which these images are taken are still intact and act as the frame for the work as well as giving a sense of narrative to the separate pieces. The images themselves, as photographs of objects in books, should normally only act as reminders, memory joggers and reproductions for contextual study; but with the addition of intersecting cut outs the copy has become an object in itself; it appears as though Benjamin's loss of aura has been rekindled.

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