Winchester Gallery

Come and go. Halt extreme left

An exhibition is not merely complete when set up, it is the beginning of it’s journey, the start of the story that only we, as the viewer, can conclude. An exhibition, Ralph Rugoff states in Paula Marincolas What Makes a Great Exhibition is a form of escapism, a small interactive distraction from the everyday. The viewer can create their own ideas, stories and opinions without distraction from reality – a mini utopia. Come and go. Halt extreme left at The Winchester Gallery allows us to step into the drama of conventional builds and architecture, constructing a theatrical stage to be welcomed onto by Stephen Cooper, Bernice Donszelm, Vanessa Jackson, Mary Maclean, Jo McGonigal, Tim Renshaw, and Helen Robertson who question if our surrounding environment can be perceived as histrionic.
The eclectic mediums on display engage our senses and deliver an aesthetic pageantry. Pondering the introductory statement upon entering, the eye is immediately drawn to Vanessa Jacksons vast juts of colour before being dragged away by Jo McGonigals flashing light, in turn tunnelling down to Mary McLeans print, which in itself is presented as if on a stage of its own. Turning your back from the channelled space we are presented with the length of the gallery with drapes, structures and paintings staged before us edifying our interest further into the exhibit. The ongoing intrigue that the artists have prepared for the audience allows us to question the theatrics in everyday architectural surroundings, and stages a catechism we can take from the exhibition, ‘an in-between situation that linked art, design, architecture, bringing people into a dialogue’ (Obrist, H. U. (2014). Ways of Curating. Great Britain: Penguin Books. (p.61)). Coming back to reality from the show with bombarded senses, we aren’t leaving with answers but starting a journey with more questions, debates and ideas than entering, the story is our own to conclude.

Photographs by Emily-Kay Kemp

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