Gallery visit – Saturday 23rd January 2016 – FE2O5

On the 23rd January I visited the Morley college gallery Westminister bridge road London.

FE2O5 the name of the show comes from the chemical symbol for ferric oxide. The show that was in its final week was a collaborative exhibition of the work of five women sculptors. The women artists all come from vastly different  cultural background but share a common love of working in iron and steel. The Morley collage gallery is a modern building adjacent to the main college. The exhibition spare is light and airy. I was impressed with the arrangement of the sculptures.

Almuth Tebbenhoff ( b. 1949) has a nice flowing and fluid style her work is mounded into curves that appear to soften the square folds in what I feel was a very feminine touch. The shapes appear to have evolved from square forms. I also liked the one where bright primary yellow colour was juxtaposition against stark industrial grey again adding a feminine dimension.

Sheila Vollmer ( b.1961)  use of iron in her art has an industrial feel but her use of geometric shapes felt very intimate to me. The pieces were painted a steel grey. She also had utilised objects to produce very physical work. I particularly liked how she had used a discarded skirting board and reassembled it into an almost functional piece of organic art blending into the gallery space. The works had a very physical presence.

Katherine Gili ( b.1948) seemed largely concerned in capturing movement.her swirly figures seem infused with raw physical energy. Although solid pieces they appear to have a fragile quality. The material despite its solidity  seemed to have an enthereal quality

Victoria Rance ( b.1959) uses cast steel and silicon bronze to produce large decorative and intricate art. ‘Space for a woman 2015 ‘ comprises a large circular steel frame almost resembling a church pulpit. The frame is decorated with a cut out decorative repeated flower motif very reminisce of geometric Arabic art. Another interesting work is another large piece ‘attic 2015’ copper plated steel , zinc and copper. Decorative leaves ( I counted 165 ) adorn the large golden coloured frame. The piece is angled against the wall suggesting a gateway or a hiding place. I particularly liked the way the art work caste interesting shadows against the white painted wall. As a complete contrast to the large works  Victoria had a fascinating work on show in the window entitled ‘other worlds 2015’ the piece was made up of small palm sized sculptures of animals including a seal, sheep , rabbit and hybrid human animal creatures with a tree with bare branches. These intricate figures I found fascinating placed in the window they appeared like tiny talismen.The art work had an unworldly quality I found I was drawn to it and went back and looked at it several times during my visit.

Charlotte Mayer ( b.1929) had a pure organic natural quality using landscape her work was very visual with a real sense of presence within the gallery space. I particularly liked ‘earth fire 2015’ a bronze piece resembling a cross section of the globe built up over several intricate sections. ‘Tree of hope 2008’ was a Beautiful piece of work constructed in polished shiny light reflective steel. Almost hypnotic I was drawn to the organic and flowing shapes.

The exhibition ended with a very interesting short film that explored each of the artists inspirations and influences. What I found interesting was that although they all came from different backgrounds they all said that their respective childhood was very important to their developments as artists.

I really enjoyed the show it was different and refreshing. The show to me seemed very feminine with themes around nature, childhood , identity and space very much evident. It was refreshing to see a group of women using heavy materials to produce intricate, beautiful , organic and decorative pieces of art

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