Thread - group show (4 stars)

  • 3 August 2006

This article is from 2006.

The domestic boundaries of the Ingleby house appear to have bowed under the excitement and pressure of the Art Festival. This group show simply can’t contain itself. Peter Liversidge’s printed proposals (including the suggestion that Ingleby staff be forced to dress as woodland creatures while at work) is the writing on the entrance wall of what is to come, while collaborative duo Smith/Stewart dominate the entire backroom gallery with ‘Whatever was in your head’, an inescapable cardboard prism that threatens to engulf the whole room.

The menagerie continues offsite, with David Batchelor’s charming light bottles adorning the coves of nearby Regent Road, and Liversidge himself embarking on a month’s worth of mischief around the town. The surprisingly demure element of the show is provided by a couple of late Carl Andre sculptures - a hide and seek work of delicate genius if you can find it.

But these works, including a rather unspectacular piece from Cornelia Parker, seem to congregate in the shadow of Alexander Calder’s magical film, ‘Circus’. Projected from the second floor of the gallery high onto the stairway wall, Calder’s vibrantly saturated film runs through its 17-minute performance accompanied by a soundtrack of Calder’s wife winding up a gramophone off-screen. Calder plays the Master of Ceremonies, directing his meticulously crafted wire figurines and miniature zoo of animals into flips, jumps and tricks. Its impressive playfulness and beauty is a revelation from an artist better known for his wiry mobiles and shapes (reminiscent of Miró and Arp), who acts as the undoubted ringmaster of Thread. (Isla Leaver-Yap)

Ingleby Gallery, until 9 Sep

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