Gemma Holt & Richard Healy: Shapes And Things (4 stars)

This article is from 2010

Gemma Holt & Richard Healy: Shapes And Things

Making art from the everyday

A partnership instigated by Edinburgh gallery Sierra Metro, ‘Shapes and Things’ is the first collaboration between London-based artists Richard Healy and Gemma Holt. Both work to manipulate and divert the language of design, injecting ‘newness’ into commonly accepted systems and codes and exploring the untapped, creative potential in the ordinary.

Three screen-printed, fabric partitions divide the exhibition, forming tent-like enclosures that alter the cubed space of the gallery and shelter the smaller pairs of individual works from immediate sight. The close proximity of the works set up a dialogue stressing the theme of doubling, an idea derived from EH Gombrich’s The Sense of Order: A Study in the Psychology of Decorative Art, which the artists used as a nexus to explore their collaboration.

Holt approaches this idea by presenting pairs of familiar objects that lose their shared identity through slight manipulation. A bulb sits atop a pink post, its double projected at 90 degrees from the wall in ‘Pink Angle’, while two square mirrors become disparate shapes when hung at different angles in ‘Reflect, Reflect’.

Healy takes an architectural, rather than fine art, format, exploring the doubling concept through juxtaposition. The film ‘An Era’ presents a montage of classical ruins and modernist blocks, simultaneously presenting the old and the new. Another work is a blown-glass lamp, which constantly changes colour and, thus, the mood of the space.

The show demands a radical re-evaluation of the everyday, creating art from the most mundane objects.

Sierra Metro, 0797 151 0877, until 12 Sep (not Mon–Wed), free.

Shapes and Things: Richard Healy and Gemma Holt

In this exhibition of new site-specific film installation, sculpture and drawing, London-based artists Gemma Holt and Richard Healy utilise, manipulate and divert the language of design, furthering investigations into notions of ‘newness’ and subverting commonly used systems and codes. Gemma Holt’s sculptural pieces…

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