Thursday, 13 August 2009

Memory Evaporate

By Holly Willats

ottaContemporary has once again transformed the interior spaces of The Trafalgar Hotel with works by four young artists who, through use of found imagery, photography and analog film works, create surreal installations, exploring the moment of hesitation between the real and the fictional.
Sophie Turner, Feather Anchoring 2009, Sam Austen, All that is alive merely evaporates, 2009, Katherine Whittle-Williams, Flock, 2009, Richard Rawles, Beating Around The Bush 2008. (Click any image to enlarge it)

Whittle–Williams both reflects and confronts the limitations of photography as a medium. By reconfiguring and appropriating found imagery, she manipulates images into a reflective series that hopes to stimulate an awareness of time and space as a continuous entity beyond the work; reality is under question.

Meanwhile in the basement, Rawles explores an enchanted and twisted fairytale world of the lost or forgotten, the neglected or rejected and preconceptions and prejudices. His photographic series encompasses the space in enigmatic light, asking the viewer to look at the shadows that are left untouched. A response to urban landscapes that allow nature and beauty to rule and prevail, Rawles creates this fairytale world in order to question the validity and authority of these wisdoms of nature. By creating interplay between light and dark, Rawles emphasises a paradox that exists within the essence of nature.

Thirdly Austen, whose influences of early vaudeville cinema, surrealist films and analogue science fiction film, culminates in work that explores the ephemeral nature and physicality of analog filmmaking. Austen looks at a layered film making process by exposing sections of images over one another. Through illuminating psychedelic imagery the viewer is invited to permeate the borderline between the real and the imagined landscape and even question the possibility of mutation.

Sophie Turner’s installation allows physicality to challenge representation by merging found imagery, taxidermy and research-based methodologies with history from the Trafalgar area. Turner’s work looks at the notion of the objects tangible memory and through linking traditional craft’s such as taxidermy and cross stitch embroidery to moments of time, she questions how one can attempt to anchor such untangible moments and memory.

A fair amount to digest, which is why this is an exhibition that needs to be seen. So get down to Trafalgar Square and rather than waste time deliberating over the Gormley plinth – see some work that will really get your imagination going.

The Trafalgar

2 Spring Gardens Trafalgar Square London SW1 2TS

10 August – 10 October 2009

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