AboutHales Gallery is pleased to present Umlaut, an exhibition curated by Stuart Morrison. This is the forth in a series of summer shows where the Gallery is handed over to independent Curators, Artists and in this case Fine Art Graduates. Umlaut includes the work of eight young Artists who have all made works specifically for the show. Andrew Hayward, Kerri Meehan, Paul Millhouse-Smith, Stuart Morrison, Yadz Odedina, Laban Underhill and Thomas Wright.
The Umlaut (ü) is a diagrammatic mark used to indicate a shift in a spoken language. It is the altering from an initially identifiable letter or sound to that which is of a specific time, country or region. An Umlaut exists as a symbol for our relationship to the curious and unusual; a notation for a formless familiarity.
Through methods of manipulation, Umlaut seeks to explore uncanny instances in which the proverbial and foreign exist in duality. Seating the representational in unfamiliarity both secures and intensifies the created fictions. Due to this inclusion of recognisable material, references to potential histories and narratives are born, building new relationships between object, environment and Artist.
Andrew Hayward's âSelf-portrait' is a majestic cross gender reinvention of the artist as a female torso, immobile except for a wheel mounted plinth. It displays the ambivalence of aspirations to idealised masculinity and fears of artistic impotence.
Kerri Meehan creates collages negotiating images from autobiographical snapshots of precarious social scenes and various pulp media sources in order to create darkly humorous narratives. Through the juxtaposition of domestic scenes and cinematic visuals Meehan produces an ironic dystopian reality.
In his work Paul Millhouse - Smith explores the notions and ideals of freedom. By creating 'other spaces' he eludes to the possibility of adventure within our known surroundings.
Stuart Morrison's work seeks to relate disparate subject matters through the pastiche of identifiable material. His work tests the boundaries in which we understand realities and fictions by merging unrelated stimuli resulting is what must act as a cipher for the viewers imagination
Yadz Odedina's work is the display of a magical and whimsical fall of man. Odedina's fantastical explosions of the body act as a dramatic residue of heroic audacity rendered in throw away, domestic materials.
Mark Laban and Elizabeth Underhill's collaborative practice experiments with site specific work, informed by the study of institutional frameworks. Laban Underhill aim to question the nature and specificity of artistic practice, production and the etiquette of collaboration.
Thomas Wright's supernatural Arcadias confuse tranquillity with unease through the caricaturing of fantasy and decorative art. Garish compositions balance kitsch predictability with fastidious elegance to provoke conceptual uncertainty.