ALISN at the Sluice Art Fair

Last weekend, the Sluice Art Fair exhibited works from different organisations, including ALISN –

Bad Seed I by Michael Petry

who, in the past, has consistently supported artists with many wide-ranging perspectives. 

Rather than fit art in neat little categories, ALISN– run by artists Iavor Lubomirov and Jordan Dalladay-Simpson  – have confirmed a more abstract and eclectic vision.

ALISN’s part in the Sluice Art Fair evidenced once again a mix of genre by exhibiting artists, who are unafraid to mix the abstract with something tangible and solid.  These artists have successfully combined strong ideals with mixed media, vulnerability with strength, which ultimately results in a lesson of contrasts.

The work by Michael Petry, an artist in residence at the Soane Museum, is entitled Bad Seed 1.  Much can be derived from its’ name, but even more from observing the contours and shape of the piece.

A result of glassblowing, the object is amorphous and almost translucent.  It seemingly hangs off of the edge of a black leather bench chair as if disturbing a room that would otherwise be traditionally ideal.  The glass object does not interfere with the aesthetic quality of the bench, but simply disturbs the atmosphere.

The Fold; Collapsibles, and Their Reductive Space by William Angus-Hughes

Still, what is most appealing about Petry’s work is the organic quality.

Like the melting objects in Dali’s The Persistence of Memory, Petry’s object seems to be doing something.  Its’ shape is determined by the bench it is leaning upon.  Its’ whitish, cloudy colour speaks loudly of something ectoplasmic, something that has a life within.

In looking at the work of Dahlia Westmoreland, there’s no doubt that the artist understands the aspects of Expressionism.

The meaning that is conveyed in her moleskin sketchbook entitled August, evokes emotion and contemplation.

Westmoreland’s use of texture is also interesting; along with the written words around the painted or drawn figures and objects, they remind viewers that the creation of artistic works depends greatly upon the artist’s thought process.

Marq Kearey used gouache, paper and board to create Painting in the Shape of Poland, a piece that seems to have

Painting in the Shape Of Poland by Marq Kearey

multiple meanings.  There are two holes cut out of the board, one of them where the city of Warsaw would be.  The connotations are undoubtedly political, however, viewers are also compelled to notice some of the simple messages of Kearey’s piece.

The missing hole causes the piece to resemble an artist’s palette; therefore, the meaning, after all, is that the work is both art as well as a tool that the artist is using to convey a message.

If the works of Mark Rothko’s late period has taught the art world anything, it is the power and meaning that can be conveyed through windows.  This aspect of art is reiterated in The Fold; Collapsibles, and Their Reductive Space by William Angus-Hughes.

Using window and picture frames attached by hinges, Angus-Hughes creates perceived new spaces.  Yet, the structure takes up physical space of varying degrees depending on the angle in which each part is folded.

Blind by Bella Easton

Bella Easton’s Blind has a surreal quality that proves to be both separate and whole in the continuing geometry of squared patterns.  Copper plated etchings printed on graphite and paper, “Blind” depicts a seemingly gothic design.

Yet, there is also beauty and tranquility in the light that surrounds the darkness.  While the spiny design that resembles the branches of a tree speaks of knowledge and eternity, the smaller details suggest everyday life.

Further works in the ALISN portion of the exhibition were equally compelling, featuring artists Matt Blackler,  Brian Hodgson,  John Gibbons,  Mandy Hudson and Denise Hickey.

For more information about the Sluice Art Fair, visit www.sluiceartfair.com

Bella Easton’s Dog Kennel Hill

Once you walked in the door, you couldn’t miss it.

Bella Easton's "Dog Kennel Hill" from inside the installation

This may have been ALISN’s largest exhibited work yet.

Taking up a great deal of space, Bella Easton’s “Dog Kennel Hill” seemed a magical portal to the unknown.

What was interesting about the main piece featured in ALISN’s latest exhibition was it could not be pinned down.  Engaging and vocal, the work invited the audience to interpret the message that was being conveyed from multiple perspectives.

Dog Kennel Hill

The installation inspired a great deal of conversation.

Having what could be seen as Matisse-like influences, a closer look revealed a montage of tiny pieces of dark paper, hand-coloured to produce an almost stained glass window effect.

At times, the colours met together in a corner of the piece to produce strange, dark faces peering back; and at other times, a city of lights, shimmering water or talking mouths.

Easton’s piece was tactile, and the crowd could not help but climb inside of it’s house-like structure.

There was a spiritual nature to the work, acting as the safety and shelter of a church.

The lighting only added to the feeling of warmth and worship, reflecting the various colours.

A connection with nature

Yet, Dog Kennel Hill still suggests a connection with nature, as the separated pieces do not keep those within the

Bella Easton's "Dog Kennel Hill" - The inner ceiling of the installation

roofed side of the work completely indoors.  This is enhanced by the feeling of shimmering sunlight on the walled piece.

The strength of Easton’s work is that it gathers together different techniques and images that in essence, produce a solid effect, a solid structure.  And Easton seems to have done this in such a way that the final outcome appears serendipitous rather than intensional.

One is seduced into giving much thought to the piece, long after walking away from it.

Easton’s work, ultimately, does what great art is meant to do: challenge the artist’s range of capability and engender a variety of perspectives and discussion.

If Dog Kennel Hill is any indication of Easton’s talent and ability, audiences should expect other great works from her in the future.

For more information about the artist and her work, go to www.bellaeaston.co.uk