g39
Oxford St, CARDIFF CF24 3DT
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opening times - 11-5pm Wednesday to Saturday

Programme

Box

Box is an investigation into domestic or intimate spaces and times that have a relevance to the three artists. This exhibition has a strong thread of the home and its influence on the individual. This features heavily in all the works on show, but for very different reasons. Our home is a very personal and specific thing to each of us, and in some ways it is an extension of our personalities; for others it is a construct that they can never be completely comfortable in. Throughout the exhibition, the artists use fragments of the home to make inquiries into identity, freedom, constraint, and representation.


Victoria Tillotson’s video From Room to Room is a beautifully observed sequence of commonplace events in the artist’s household during post-Christmas celebrations. The focal point of the work is Bradley the hamster, who moves around the home in a clear plastic hamster ball. Designed to create a safe environment in which to roam freely, the ball in reality is an infinite hindrance causing Bradley to become stuck beneath chairs, strike tables and collide with both animals and people alike. The sequence is at times comic, and at others painfully distressing as the animal attempts to negotiate his situation.

Tillotson’s work uses this fairly ordinary event to portray more complex concerns within human existence. There is an inherent contradiction present in human existence - freedom and constraint. The sense that one is free and seemingly in control can influence change, affecting life events. However, simultaneously there is a predetermined pattern to existence, this pattern being relevant in everything we may freely choose to carry out. From Room to Room explores this ideal through a simple social context.

The idea of a predetermined or constrained existence also comes through in Keith Hardwick's work on the first floor and at the top of the second flight of stairs.
‘My work uses the domestic environment and myself as a locus from which to explore issues around human existence and interrelationships, and attitudes within such arenas as nudity, male sexuality and gender, and their social and psychological effects for the individual. What I think constitutes identity has something to do with performing myself as I fantasise myself to be, while I think this can be any fantasy, it must be fantasy that is believable to me, a kind of personal fiction. It is constrained therefore by what I perceive myself to be, but also what I believe it possibly for myself to be. This of course is a major constraint and is inflected by background, gender, class, experience, age etc.’

Hardwick uses imagery from his home for many reasons, in particular the shaping of oneself by the home, and the inevitable feeling of having lost part of that identity when moving house.

Meanwhile on the second floor a video by Ali Roche concentrates more on representation as a fundamental influence on how we interpret the world. Anamorphosis II shows an actual event that becomes misinterpreted through its presentation. We follow a skydiver’s descent from his position in the sky above to his eventual grounding in a back yard. We are invited to become involved, participate and accept the films’ narrative in the same way we collude and exist within our own daydreams. Trains of thought, images and reveries ramble through our minds. Indulged in consciousness, daydreams take shape.