Thursday, May 6, 2010

Susan Collis

Susan Collis, Since I fell for you, at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham.
The exhibition begins with with what appears to be an empty 'white cube' gallery awaiting redecoration. For those who know Collis's work this is an instant invitation to explore every scuff of the paintwork and every hole in the wall. The reward is 'nail holes' of garnet or black diamonds and screws made of hallmarked white gold and a white Sapphire set into rawlplugs of solid turquoise. These apparently mundane marks of life, 'little nothings', become something special, something worth noticing.
Collis likes the 'idea that meaning is yo-yoing back and forth; it's precious but it doesn't look it.'
Untitled (Tony Amore), 2009, (left)looks like any other plastic laundry bag until it comes under close inspection. Pencil grids, on paper, have been coloured in in biro to create the illusion of fabric, every stitch has been carefully added to the three dimensional constructions that mimic these most mundane of objects. What is precious about them? It is the time expended in their creation, time that cannot be reclaimed or recycled but that is recorded so intimately in these apparently worthless objects.

I'm particularly keen on some of her older work, such as White Lies 2006 (left), a wooden stepladder splattered with 'paint' of opals, pearl, diamond and moon stone. It is the element of duality that appeals to me, the look of carelessness that has been so painstakingly and slowly crafted.

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