Discover A Paradise of Curiosities At Redchurch Gallery

“The race is on! You only have three days to see this! Go now. Go go!”, says our reporter Beatrix-Blaise Jacot

How this absolutely incredible exhibition slipped my our sights until too late, I’ll never know! (although maybe it’s because the gallery literally gives out no information, lacking a proper website, and failing even to pul together a press release). But by good fortune, I wandered by and popped in to ‘The New Curiosity Shop’ for the gallery ride of my life. Imagine Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory; now turn the chocolate into artwork – and hello, you’ve reached your imagination’s fullest delight a.k.a 28 Redchurch Gallery.

As we walk in a big rotating Jesus greets us (I mean, why not?). This Jesus, however, has been defiled by Chris Bracey, his robe turned into an English flag with neon ‘ENGLAND’ written across. The minds swings to football and ‘This is England’, and its challenging to figure out exactly what he means by this deconstruction of holiness to one of hooliganism – in a good way. Bracey is the master of neon lighting, and looking at his work you can’t help but be amazed what someone can achieve with just a few coloured lights.

Round the many corners of the gallery one discovers a plentiful bounty of fun-looking yet serious-meaning works of art. Take, for example, Sue Golden’s ‘Games of Life’ – an illustration of a circular board game similar to trivial pursuit but featuring (instead of specific knowledge questions you can’t answer) questions about life you can’t answer, couple with all manner of consumerist images; of money and cars and diamonds etc.

Aside from two-dimensional work there is also sculpture; better still, sculpture with sound. Skip through a few big paintings which aren’t anything special and you hit – drum roll please…or in fact water roll… – the ‘Water Wheel’ by Alexander Berchert. Perhaps not the most innovative title but certainly an ingenious thing, juxtaposing simplicity with utter confusion, and, for that reason, it’s enchanting. However Berchert’s piece de resistance is his ‘Hoover Tubes’. Walk past and it’ll shock you, as suddenly a hoover sound starts swooshing at you and a line of tubes begin a fast, concertina ascent. Funny, clever and totally original. 

When is this delightful exhibition going to end?! You think it’s all over, but lo and behold there’s one more ginormous art piece, or more appropriately a room, waiting for you at the climax, and to enclose you in its curiosity jaws – a massive space piled high with bizarre and wonderful things. If you’re like me you’ll want to re-decorate; it’s a hoarder’s paradise.

This exhibition with its lights, its fun, its clutter, is an artist’s playground; no, scrap that, an artist’s Disneyland. A shame it wasn’t seen sooner, go get flashy! Words/Photo: Beatrix-Blaise Jacot © 2012 ArtLyst

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