Exhibition

Beast: Catrin Davies, Rob Logan, Jeanine Woollard

26 Feb 2010 – 27 Mar 2010

Standpoint Gallery

London, United Kingdom

Address

Travel Information

  • Old Street / Liverpool Street

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About

Davies presents The Beast of Bont 2009, the latest of her documentary videos based on alleged ‘big cat sightings', combining the use of original and found footage. Davies interweaves interviews with members of the village who have seen the Beast, studies of the windswept landscape, footage of ‘evidence' such as mauled sheep, with suggestive inserts from such Freudian classics as Cat People - ‘twice I've been followed by something that was not human'. The ‘Beast' is the name that locals give to a large cat, believed to inhabit the forest near the small village of Pontrhydfendigaid in West Wales, close to where Davies lives. The Beast of Bont is a hypnotic and seductive exploration of superstition, untamed desire and fear of the unknown. Logan's complex, macabre works on paper and canvas borrow from surrealist approaches to mark-making such as frottage, and reveal an interest in phenomenology, perception, and psychoanalysis. Logan builds the image with layers of charcoal, paint and varnish, emphasising some areas to highly detailed intensity while allowing others to recede. This suggests an almost photographic sense of space — the image looming into focus from uncertain gloom. The dark turns of his interwoven structures writhe and floresce as if coming alive, suggestive of many organic sources, though these may be alien. What exactly is being represented is impossible to identify. Analogies to Giger's beautiful horror are evident, alongside suggestions of tangled vegetation, or internal organs. Although the works are not intended to have a single clear meaning, Logan's themes are embodiment, abjection, techno-paranoia and apocalypse. For Standpoint, Logan presents several new works, including one site specific wall drawing. Astride a galloping steed, or sprawled beneath a panther's grip, Woollard's heroines are fearless in the jaws of danger. She beautifully resolves these epic semi-narratives with the serious low-fi sophistication of her sculptural method into a whole through photographs that leave the edges of the illusion (the studio or imperfect set) consciously visible. Using her body almost as a ready-made, Woollard can ‘insert herself into a pre-existent fantasy, or create fantasy from a chance encounter with an object' (Melanie Moreau 2009). There is a wealth of opportunities here for the viewer. The images are lush, inventive, exciting. Woollard as the photographs' subject-protagonist is sexy and dangerous. The kitsch beauty of the blankets provide a ‘guilty pleasures' aesthetic high, but her considered engagement with art history, both by way of subject matter and material awareness, is inescapable and satisfying.

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