Dodda Maggý Between fact and fiction
30 January – 1 March 2014
Gallery hours: Wed-Sat 12-5pm
‘Between fact and fiction’ juxtaposes artists who make work that documents real-life situations – Kerstin Drechsel, Michael Mulvihill, Stephen Palmer, and Narbi Price – with those that construct their own imaginary or fantasy worlds – Nick Fox, Simon Le Ruez, Dodda Maggý, Jock Mooney, and Morten Schelde.
Kerstin Drechsel’s portraits and interiors document her subjects’ lives and environments with both truthfulness and empathy. Drawing on an eclectic range of sources– images taken from the internet, magazines, books, and her own snapshots – Drechsel’s use of oil and watercolour transforms this stark material into a poignant homage to obsession and aspiration. Michael Mulvihill’s small, heavily worked drawings portray the modern, urban world as if on the brink of collapse. His is a dark, apocalyptic vision: iconic images of Western cities loom dark and menacing, and portraits of historical figures seem to be dissolving, fading into oblivion. Stephen Palmer transcribes the ephemera of everyday life into paint and pencil with exquisite precision. His coolly analytical approach belies a longing to create an order from the chaos of the mundane, as well as a wistful nostalgia for the simpler pleasures of youth. Narbi Pricequestions how our perceptions and feelings for a place are shaped by our knowledge of that location’s history. Taking as his starting point events of historical or cultural significance, Price revisits the associated sites and portrays them as they are: mundane, ordinary, and unglamorous. Whilst Price’s work questions how meaning is read into painting, at the same time his skill produces beautiful, accomplished canvasses.
Nick Fox draws on a wide repertoire of techniques to create lyrical, poignant and mysterious images of longing and desire. Taking his sources from art history, pornography, traditional crafts, folklore and myth, Fox constructs dream-like visions, full of layered, half-concealed meanings. Fox refigures the taboo or profane image into one of intimate, beauty. Simon Le Ruez’s work exists in a state of aesthetic, psychological and physical tension, moving constantly between concealment and revelation, transgression and release. His work blurs the distinctions between the found and the internalised image, evolving a commentary on and around various forms of opposition. Dodda Maggý creates lyrical and poignant narratives that explore different, sometimes conflicting, aspects of her personality. Working in various media – audio/visual installation, film, music, sound art and silent moving images – Maggý attempts to externalise the internal dimensions of dreams, memories and imagination. Jock Mooney dredges up grotesques from his subconscious, distilled from underground comics, horror films, Japanese manga, religion, and history, Mooney presents a highly personal vision of the world as a carnivalesque parade, both horrific and comic by turns. Morten Schelde’s paintings and drawings delve into a mythic world of psychological exploration and primal fears. His work depicts the intersection of physical and imaginary spaces, blurring reality and fiction in the process. Within his ‘inner landscapes’ Schelde creates a new universe, where the unfamiliar penetrates: objects cease to be controlled by gravity, interior becomes exterior, background becomes foreground, and every element is in a state of metamorphosis.
The theme explored within this grouping of artists expands on a duality that has existed throughout art history: whether an artist primarily explores the external, perceived world, or mines the internal, psychological world, both areas of aesthetic exploration produce their own truths and reality.
First Floor, Commercial Union House
39 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle upon Tyne