This new body of work references such diverse influences as movie sets from 1930's Hollywood musicals to science fiction, entertainment lounge decor and the social environments created by civic planning.
Symbolic motifs have been repeatedly reworked, alternating between two and three dimensions to result in a series of works on paper and sculptural forms which the artist refers to as 'props'. These, alongside a large sculptural installation present a framework for some undefined kind of performance or other escapist activity to take place.
Berriman's considered use of materials and techniques not only emphasizes the lure of escapism, but draws attention to its inherent façade and insubstantial nature. Some elements deliberately employ an unskilled, low-tech logic while others demonstrate an affinity with a more sophisticated, pared down aesthetic and together these obliquely suggest a sense of orchestrated direction or choreography within the space.
To coincide with this exhibition, Exeter Phoenix Cinema will highlight some of Sovay Berriman's cinematic influences with a rare screening of the classic, depression era Hollywood musical Gold Diggers of 1933 with fantastic Busby Berkeley choreographed routines. Presented with the supporting B feature of an original 1930's Flash Gordon double bill, there will be an interval for a âspeakeasy' style meal and cocktail between features.
Have you been to this event? Share your insights and give it a review below.