Jouet - Gail Ritchie

6 Mar 2008 – 18 Apr 2008

Spectrum London

London, United Kingdom


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"Although no longer working in the field as an archaeological excavator, my work plays with the traditions and conventions of both visual art and archaeology, allowing both procedures to interlink and interfere with each other.

The body of work shown here is drawn or painted from collected or 'found' objects and illustrates that contemporary material culture can be of as much interest , and mystery, as historic. Entitled the 'Jouet' or toy series this work was staged and lit as an exercise in light and shadow. Although inanimate objects, they have established a dark presence which combines the childlike pleasure of toys and imaginary worlds with the more knowing , adult expectation of the 'monster under the bed', the shadow in the dark.

As with much of my work, the images are distilled and free from nostalgia.

Artefacts and animals which hold an aura of memory and meaning and which may be enigmatic in terms of cultural and mythological associations intrigue me. In general, my work draws on many references, cultural and historical and operates across a variety of means from installation, to photography to sound and object based pieces.

I recycle motifs, in whichever media, and this reflects how the nature of meaning is fluid and changing. The recombination of motifs energises possibilities within the narratives. In this respect, all work to date is work in progress, a circular exploration of memory and memorial."

Gail Ritchie

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