Sunday, 29 May 2016

Imran Qureshi: Where The Shadows Are So Deep

To the Barbican's Curve gallery to see a dark, dramatic exhibition - Where The Shadows Are So Deep, by Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi. This exhibition is very theatrically staged, and there is real sense of menace with the dark lighting punctuated by the small, spotlit, irregularly hung miniature paintings, and the traces of what appears to be blood spatters on the floor and dripping down the walls. The paintings are exquisite renderings of trees and nature-inspired imagery which take on a darker tone the further you progress into the curved gallery space. The work is a reflection of Qureshi's preoccupation with violence in the world. The very earth itself seems to be bleeding in the later miniatures, as the trees are torn apart and the painting surfaces are spattered with feathery stylised blood. In certain areas the 'blood' is so stylised it takes on the appearance of feathery petals. I liked the introduction of gold leaf into some of the paintings and the way it was reflected by the low level lighting in the gallery.

Imran Qureshi: Where The Shadows Are So Deep
until 10th July
The Curve

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Antony Gormley: CAST

Touches of Yves Klein's body prints in these new series of prints by Antony Gormley. The figurative prints see his body coated in a mixture of crude oil and petroleum jelly and then gently dropped onto a paper surface and the resulting print sees the oil bleed into the paper. The figurative crude oil prints are political and refer to man's reliance and overuse of natural resources. Both these and the large woodblock prints seem to infer Christian references in the Christ-like crucifixion poses. I liked the sense of the vulnerarability of the figure in the crude oil prints, and the textures of the aquatints in the smaller architectural-type works.

Antony Gormley: CAST
until 2nd July
Alan Cristea Gallery
Cork Street

Monday, 23 May 2016

Clangers, Bagpuss & Co.

To the Museum of Childhood for a real childhood nostalgia fest in the shape of the exhibition - Clangers, Bagpuss and Co. Lots of happy memories came flooding back and it was wonderful to see the original puppets, animation cells and drawings for these charming animated classics created by Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate for their company Smallfilms. How cute are the mice and their mouse-organ, and those knitted Clangers?!

Bagpuss - (above), "a saggy, old cloth cat, baggy, and a little bit loose at the seams, but Emily loved him".



Professor Yaffle

The Mice

Drawings for Noggin The Nog, (below).

Ivor The Engine, (below).

The Clangers, (below).

Pogle's Wood, (below).

Mr & Mrs Pogle

Pippin and Tog

Clangers, Bagpuss & Co
until 9th October
V&A Museum of Childhood
Cambridge Heath Road