Sugar & Spice; A show about little girls dreams and lost innocence
Vegas Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of “Sugar & Spice” a group show of artists whose practice spans painting and textiles to video and collage. The commonality in the works presented is that all, in some way or another, tap into the aspirations and dreams of little girls whether they are the deep personal dreams and longings of the individual or the socially engineered desires fostered by mass media and popular culture. A feminist critique is, naturally, present in many of these artists’ works. After all, what woman making art in 2007 could possibly do so without the historic framework of femi-nist thought?
The criteria for selection for “Sugar & Spice”, however, has not been the preeminence of a feminist discourse, but instead, the relationship between the artist’s work and the cultural narratives fed to, believed by or arising from girlhood and growing up as a female.
This international show includes works by a range of artists who touch on the topic in very different ways, from the glossy consumerist parodies of American Sarah Baker’s collage and cut out photographic works to the almost impenetrable world of private symbolism and magic in the video works of British Israeli artist Tai Shani; from the punky feminist knitting of British Kelly Jenkins to the melancholic memory paintings of Portuguese painter Juno Doran.
The show is simultaneously one about materials; the relationship between materials and discourses about girlhood and girlhood dreams. The handmade textiles used in the installation works of Dutch artist Hinke Schreuders are very much a key part of how she evokes the specific sensual responses of the viewer to her work on the mythology of Little Red Riding Hood. Similarly, fellow Netherlander Suzanne Sixx feeds us a sticky world of bubblegum and sugar to give a literally tangible response to her commentary on the world of teen idols and unexpected thwarted desires for film stardom.
It is also a show in which artists contextualise their contemplations within a broader art historical context. The paintings of British painter Natalie Dowse place their content about girlhood firmly on canvases that ask us to think about the nature of image production whilst Dutch artist Karin Bos
taps into a number of Dutch traditions that seek to capture a specific frozen moment of truthful observation.
Collectively, the artists presented have shown in a broad range of institutions and contexts ranging from Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens (Deurle) and De Bond (Bruges) to MAMA(Rotterdam) and Kunsthuis (Antwerp); Ruby Green Contemporary Art Center (Nashville) and Pannett Park Art Gallery (Whitby) to Pilot (London),Kunsthal (Rotterdam) and Moganshan Art Village (Shanghai)
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