Carmen Sylva (3 stars)

This article is from 2011

Carmen Sylva

Established artists take on a new and exciting identity

A procession of odd assemblages punctuates the centre of Sierra Metro’s exhibition space. They are Katharina Stoever and Barbara Wolff's latest artistic response to Peles, a late 18th Century Romanian castle that has inspired their practice for over six years.

Until now the site has been the source material for two-dimensional pieces with the pair lining the walls of exhibition spaces with A3 images of Peles’ interiors. These have set the stage for invited artists to showcase other works, with the impressive castle represented in the backdrop. For their contribution to the Edinburgh Art Festival, however, they have moved from flat copies of the building to three-dimensional renderings of it.

This is a decisive break in their ongoing body of work yet it assimilates fluidly into their enquiry. When broken down the stacked objects (which range from clay sculptures, glass and copper cabinets and plinths, tassles, carpets and fire hoses) are paraphernalia distinctly drawn from the castle (itself a pastiche of Gothic, Art deco, Rococo and Renaissance styles). They are also ordered to replicate the sequence in which the viewer would encounter them if touring the original site, injecting a further rational conception to what may initially be approached as the articulation of purely materialistic concerns.

The show is called Carmen Sylva, the alias used by Queen Elizabeth of Romania who lived at Peles. The selection of a pseudonym for this show is apt for Stoever and Wolff who here too shed their former associations and take on a new, and exciting identity.

Sierra Metro, 07731 302960, until 11 Sep (Thu–Sun or by appointment), free.

Peles Empire: Carmen Sylva

  • 3 stars

The exciting young gallery near Granton waterfront hosts new sculptural works created by Peles Empire, an international project founded by London-based artists Barbara Wolff and Katharina Stoever.