“Dissipation, race relations, consolation, segregation, dispensation, isolation, exploitation, mutilation, mutations, miscreation”
- Stevie Wonder, Pastime Paradise.
Outrage reduced to a list – a keening, cathartic catalogue. When there’s too much of it to take the artist falls back on a mass of indignation – or wonder. What Hieronymous Bosch had to report he did so with a blizzard of set pieces, adjacent in a field – a tumescent terrain accounting for all we could possibly imagine. There’s so much all the time, and our language is tainted with excess, just a continuous line of enquiry about what we can have, what we briefly hold and what we will never find. Our history fuels a perpetual lament - the legacy of never ending “growth”. But perhaps the plastic arts can loiter in the returning eddies of this onrush, picking over the detritus of our living, tugging at our sleeves, rummaging in our discard, recovering our senses in front of some kind of poetry.
In this exhibition, Susan Sluglett and Dexter Dymoke both take what they need - and it needn’t be much - to put down their own markers, defining an intimate territory of investigation and throwing light on the prosaic material of everyday existence. In doing so they blend the formal concerns of the object in space and the painterly gesture with darkness and jollity, and with the profoundly human impetus to tell a story, which is really only a bid to fix a moment of contemplation. Theirs is a forum in which non-sequiturs flourish with robust effect - as Susan Sluglett notes: “Poundland Barbie and Disco Ken
are quick to disappear in the fugitive effects of plaster”. These dramas counterbalance the familiar, baleful drama of the world at large.