5 - 22 December 2001

For its last exhibition this year g39 presents Comfy, an easy-going exhibition that takes a sideways look at hobbies and things we do during leisure-time. The gallery has become a place for opting out of the bustling street for a while, in response to the seasonal madness of Christmas. Hosting several daily events and profiling the work of Chris Evans and Tim Freeman, the exhibition embraces both novelty and innovation within art. Comfy is a space to relax, chill out and escape the shoulder-to-shoulder jostling of Christmas shoppers.

On the ground floor, Tim Freeman’s diptyches juxtapose photographs of different spaces, objects and scales. He creates ridiculous or humorous depictions of contemporary landscapes by combining real and fictional spaces. A tiny model beach house occupies a blurred hillside at twilight; the sun sets over a rural landscape where a toy bus travels through to its destination. Reminiscent of a child’s invented world, the ‘pretend’ space is given an awkwardness or frivolousness next to the real landscape.

There is also a resource area on the ground floor where visitors can peruse through information provided by artists, including the Book of Patience by Tomoko Takahashi & Ella Gibbs.

Chris Evans continues the leisure theme on the first floor with Pong, the arcade game that started the video game revolution. Originally supplied with the simple instruction ‘avoid missing ball for higher score’, viewers are invited to enjoy a round of this classic 70’s computer game. The action is relayed throughout the building, and the day’s highlights are projected onto the pavement of Mill Lane at night to involve Christmas revellers as they pass the gallery. In comparison to its modern counterparts, Pong is refreshingly simple. It is instantly recognisable to anyone who has previously come into contact with it. For those who have not, the concept behind the game is remarkably clear. Most people are fully aware of the rules of play within moments of picking up the controllers.

As part of the Comfy exhibition, top floor has been dedicated to a timetable of events where artists contribute their own pastimes outside of their art practice to gallery visitors. The daily events differ each day, some taking place weekly, others just once. In particular, the Bristol Art Library, by head librarian Annabel Other, asks visitors to become members before borrowing an artist’s book from the collection for ten minutes. g39 would like to thank Ella Gibbs with the organising of events.

Images by Toril Brancher as part of the Picturing Cardiff commission.