A parallel theme of the show is how the work of the artists involved refers to certain ideas that are often closely related to Surrealism, those of automatism, dreams, obsession and fantasy, and examining the resonance that these themes still hold for artists today.
Yuri A produces short, elaborate 16mm films constructed from animated drawings, stop-motion animation and live action. Using fast paced montage and documentary style voiceovers, the films explore our relationships to our own bodies and to works of art in obsessive and humorous ways.
Paul Harper’s Dream Works are images of art objects that have existed fleetingly in the artist’s dreams. The images act as an unstable half way point between the object as it is initially generated by the unconscious, during dream sleep, and the real three dimensional object itself which does not exist either.
Paul Lee constructs tiny sculptural collages culled from mass media images of idealised male figures (Justin Timberlake has been a recent recurring figure). The delicate constructions also incorporate found objects. The resulting objects suggest ideas of the fragile natures of love and desire.
Zoë Mendelson makes drawings, paintings and installations, which consider the artifices of politeness and charm. She is concerned with constructing elaborate fantasies for female characters, playing out detailed yet inconclusive narratives with varying degrees of involvement and fulfillment. At first glance, the works seem ‘tasteful’ or decorative, with echoes of Victoriana. However, the imagery soon exposes itself as being politely, subtly subversive.
Lucie Russell produces obsessively crafted pencil drawings. Starting from the central point on a drawing board, she begins to work outward, stopping the drawing only as she approaches the edge of the surface. Russell’s images are improvised and gradually evolve over a period of several weeks or months. Photographs of Hollywood film stars, reality TV participants and rock stars are appropriated into the images, their faces and bodies become blended together in a nightmarish, amorphous mass.
Stephen Tunney is a prolific artist, illustrator novelist and musician. His drawings create fantasy worlds, made all the more unsettling for the seemingly innocent cartoon-like way in which they are executed. His work often straddles different media, his epic, apocalyptic novel Flan was also reworked as a cycle of illustrations and in musical form. He has been releasing albums under the pseudonym Dogbowl since the late ‘80s, many of which were released on the influential New York label Shimmy Disc.
Disco Hospital supported by Arts Council England
Coleman Project Space supported by Southwark Neighbourhood Renewal & Capital Community Foundation