What: Sitting With The Qualities of a Mountain Exhibition Where: Blyth Gallery, Sherfield Building, Imperial College When: 2nd Oct - 1st Nov 2013 Price: FREE
Next time you’ve got a 20 minute break around college, head up to the 5th floor of the Sherfield Building, to the Blyth gallery.
In case you are unfamiliar with it, the Blyth is Imperial’s very own art gallery, and holds exhibitions and workshops throughout the year. The small collection currently exhibiting there is titled Sitting With The Qualities of a Mountain, and at first sight, there is really very little to see. The ten artworks showcased are all slightly underwhelming, the most eye-catching piece being a microphone caked in clay wired up to a speaker (What Can Clay Hear? by Rita Evans). However, I urge you to take a closer look. Viewed as a collection, rather than individual artworks, the pieces give a coherent view of the human qualities that we attribute to natural materials. It is human nature to anthropomorphise the world around us, and the soft organic shapes of clay, mud and stone lend themselves perfectly to being rendered human. Damien Meade’s Structure III, a painting of entwined rolls of clay, suggests the intimacy of an embrace without any human reference – a double vision of a pile of mud and a human gesture. Annabel Elgar’s Companion (4) comes out and boldly says what the exhibition is actually about: we, as humans, would actually like the inanimate world around us to have feelings, and willingly imagine the earth from a flower pot springing to life to gaze longingly out of the window. Also exhibited, on the other side of the room, are Rita Evans’s three small installations. Rocks (geologists rejoice!) are placed against pretty colours and mirrors, thus taking on a pleasing, almost feminine quality. Framing the two sides of the gallery are also Stuart Cumberland’s large black and white oil paintings, seemingly random black lines which swim into focus as human body parts. And bang in the middle of the room is Patrick Guns’s YHVH. H.O.O.Q.-can’t really help you with this one but apparently the bones are meant to be bonobo bones. Do let me know if you have an insight on it.