AboutCastlefield Gallery is pleased to present If I Had a Monkey I Wouldn't Need a TV, a solo show of new work by London based artist Laura White. Working with video and found objects her work addresses the convergence of the manmade and the natural world using both static and moving images sampled from the Internet, billboard posters and TV documentaries. They are consequently shattered or distorted by direct confrontation with objects and other matter in the space, encouraging the viewer to reflect and explore the artifice within the imagery.
Through distorting and concealing imagery, her sculptures are suggestive of the way in which humankind manipulates the environment for its own needs, whether that is through the containment of the natural world to provide us with entertainment, or the mis-representation of both humans and animals for economic gain.
White is interested in the idea of a haptic experience in relation to imagery, where one has a physical relationship to an image and encounters them through a sculptural language. By representing images in this way the viewer confronts the image both physically and spatially, inviting them to dissolve their subjectivity in close and bodily contact with the image.
Within a language of sculpture White explores the sculptural qualities of images, such as using image as matter, sculpting it to create complex and colourful forms that both displace and destroy the meaning of the image. For example, physically manipulating images by projecting video onto assemblages of objects in a darkened space, so that the images literally wrap themselves around objects, or cutting images from magazines and using them as sculpting matter, like one would use clay or plaster to tear, crumple and glue into shape and form. This sculptural manipulation of images, explores a direct engagement with the audience, one that is both visceral and erotic, and plays with the relationship between representation and abstraction, as recognisable images are broken down into abstract form. The boundaries between image and object become blurred to challenge the viewers' relationship to both, making it possible for images to exist as solid matter in the here and now, and objects to disperse into a mediated world of imagery.
White is interested the way we read human intervention and its control over nature. How nature through the frameworks we set up can seduce us and provide us with unthreatening pleasure and entertainment, like visiting an aquarium, a zoo or watching wildlife documentaries on TV. The process of visual engagement she creates by sourcing primarily photographic imagery of the natural world (still and moving), is then shattered by the viewers acknowledgement of the positioning, exaggeration and awkward arrangements and manipulation of these images, or the presence of objects in the space, which slowly reveal a less entertaining perspective, one that reflects and explores the manipulation of nature and its threatening instability, whether that be through human contamination, misrepresentation, dislocation, or nature's ability without any human intervention to destroy.
More on the artist:
Laura White is a London based artist and has shown extensively throughout the UK as well as internationally. Recent solo shows include Powwow, 2007 at Gallery 33, Berlin; Into the Cold Light, 2006, Transition Gallery, London; Laura White: New Work, 2006, Firstsite Gallery, Colchester; Projects at Christ Church, 2005, Christ Church, London; Deck, 2005, George Rodger Gallery, University College for the Creative Arts, Maidstone; Laura White, 2000, Fordham Gallery, London; In-Side, 2000, Bonnington Gallery, Nottingham.
Her work has also been included in many group including Unnatural Histories, 2008, Nunnery Gallery, London; The Famous, the Infamous & the Really Quite Good, 2008, Decima Gallery, London; Play, 2007, Bearspace at The Cello Factory; Intervention, 2007, Fieldgate Gallery, London; Beauty and the Beast, 2006, Fieldgate Gallery, London; Conjunction 06, 2006, Redgate Gallery, London; Small Works, 2006, VINEspace, London; Art Car Boot Fair, 2006, The Old Truman Brewery, London; Basement Screen, 2006, The Residence, London; Eau Savage, 2006, Lucy Mackintosh Gallery, Lausanne, Switzerland; Yabadabadoo, 2005, Cell Project Space, London; For and From, 2005, Metropole Galleries, Folkestone; Sculpture at Canterbury, 2005, Herbert Read Gallery, Canterbury; We Have Left the City Gates, 2005, Nunnery Gallery, London, curated by JJ Charlesworth; Urban Formalism, 2005, Cortex Athletico and Museum of Contemporary Art Bordeaux, France; Avecom Video Festival, 2005 Arnhem, Netherlands; On the Road, 2005, Pro Arts project, California, USA; Grottos, 2004, Video screening, Candid Projection Rooms, London; Alma Enterprises video screening, 2004, London; Pleasure Garden, 2004, Nottingham Castle; Nowhere Else but Here, 2004, Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art, London; Inter-mission, 2003, Bow Church, London; Imaging London, 2003, Houldsworth Gallery, London and Amplifying Silence/Magnifying Stillness, 2003, Foundation D'Art Contemporain Daniel & Florence Guerlain, France.
White has also curated exhibitions such as STUFF, 2008, Presented by V22, London; Wharf Road Project: Don't Open this Door if You Can't Close it, 2008, including Alison Wilding, Phyllida Barlow, Bettina Buck and Laura White; Salon 07, Seven-Seven Contemporary, London and Beauty and the Beast, 2006, Fieldgate Gallery, London.
White also teaches at Goldsmiths College and Manchester Metropolitan University