Icy winds groaned and whistled chaotically around the walls and windows of the top floor of Abingdon Studios last Thursday night. Inside, however, was home to an oasis of calm, considered and clinical precision at the opening of Supercollider’s latest exhibition.
Entitled ‘A Symptom of Objects’ the group exhibition draws largely on the work of young Leeds based and originating artists. The works are arranged with delicate consideration on a pristine white platform. The works themselves are small and graceful objects, many of which seem to have the literal or figurative fragility of things which have taken a step outside their expected or original materials, forms and purposes and are searching for new meaning.
They include Joshua Johnson’s Rubber x2 and Lily Ackroyd-Willoughby’s Stone Carved Nikes – both of which have been created using materials and methods other than those which their titles suggest.
Other works include James Stradner’s Smiley (with peanuts and dill), with the curve of its smile represented by a sprig of dill that must be replaced daily and will perhaps leave its vegetal mark on the rainbow coloured background over time, and Rowena Harris’s It’s totally up to me how I treat you.
The title of the exhibition, just as much as the collection of works itself, invites a sense of wonder and challenges the visitor to make some kind of diagnosis. What condition or conditions might the selection and juxtaposition of these objects indicate? And whose symptom do they represent? Neither the objects, the ways in which they are presented or the terse exhibition notes offer any conclusive answers.
I tend to distrust and second-guess my ability to analyse and discuss works but contemplation and consideration is what A Symptom of Objects asks of its visitors. Part of the delight of this exhibition for me is in the reflection that each of us may reach a different diagnosis.
A Symptom of Objects can be viewed by appointment only until 16 December 2016. For more information visit supercolliderhq.org.uk
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