Kamikaze Blossom
Curated by Richard Ducker

Richard Ducker ۰ Matt Franks  ۰  Clare Gasson  ۰  Stewart Gough  ۰  Sam Herbert
Liane Lang  ۰  Richard Livingston ۰  Claire Robins ۰ Laura White  ۰  Mark Wright
click on image to go to artist's page
Richard Ducker covers every-day objects in concrete. Narratives are set up through
the introduction of found materials within the work, and the way the work is presented. As
personal associations are projected onto these standardised, mass-produced objects, they
became alive, as sites of symbolic exchange.  Out of this representation of obsolescence and
nostalgia, he uses the language of the monumental to create artworks where memory and the
present collide. The works coalesces around certain themes of loss and a domestic disquiet.
There is often a sense of displacement, narratives are either imagined or remembered, and the
body remains an absent presence.
Matt Franks  “The intensification of common dumb cartoon imagery is at the heart of Matt Frank’s sculptures.
Taking conventional reduced two dimensional renderings of images such as skulls, nuclear bomb explosions, swirls
and vortexes, Franks solidifies these graphic simplifications into three dimensional forms in ludicrously bright acidic or
pastel colours. Composited into intricate near baroque, comical and outlandish objects, Franks’ sculptures don’t seems
to be depictions of either straightforwardly inanimate things nor of creatures in their own right. Rather they seem to be
bodies that lie somewhere between the two, hybrids with their own mysterious exuberance.”   Copyright Suhail Malik
2004
Stewart Gough makes sculptures that are essentially formal, made in a constructivist vein.  They
playfully combine readily available D.I.Y. store materials with a definite control of scale, form and colour.
These works command a sculptural presence and resonate with architectural ideology.
Claire Robins explores the vulnerability of the physical and the ephemeral nature of human experience. In
Beyond Repair? two young trees, despite their protective staking,  have been brought down by wanton human
destruction, and like so many deleterious acts, where the relationship between the perpetrator of violence and  victim
appears arbitrary or tangential, the destruction defies understanding and precipitates a symbolic site.  Monument is
empty sky-rocket husk, made permanent by casting into bronze.  It is a perverse little object, transmuted cardboard
and stick, hopelessly failing to immortalise the fleeting sparks of its former existence.
Liane Lang employs a variety of inanimate objects and fabricated figures to
construct images and videos that exist between narrative fiction and still-life composition.
Set in spaces that appear contrived, and could be described as in themselves sculptural, the
photographs represent a highly controlled, single view point on an installation. They extract
from the elaborately inanimate, a moment of animacy, a subtle shift between the observation
of a figure as form and as active agent. The figures in the work inhabit their environment like
spectral presences, simulating touch and sensation, engaged deeply in mock reflection,
standing in for the absent and the absent minded. They provide a vacancy for
unselfconscious voyerism, for watching nobody through the key hole.
Richard Livingston makes paintings of pleasure and tragedy using as source material images
from archives and the media, which are selected for their emotional resonance. All references to a particular
time or place are erased to isolate and accentuate the posture, gesture or fragment. By blurring an anguished
or sensual moment and erasing its specificity, another dimension such as colour or tenderness may be
revealed, presenting an oscillation between suffering and pleasure, coexistence and separation, remembering
and forgetting. Many of the current works are exploring human emotions, perceived through images of animals
- in the laboratory, the home or wildlife films. We use animal metaphors to picture desire, affection, cruelty and
the movement between visceral animal and rational human.
Laura White is interested in the way we read and view nature. How nature
through the frameworks we set up can seduce us and provide us with unthreatening
pleasure and entertainment, like visiting an aquarium, a zoo, or walking through urban
parkland. This process of visual engagement, often in the work projected as a moving
image is shattered by the viewers acknowledgement of the positioning, exaggeration
and awkward arrangements of the image, or the presence of objects in the space,
which slowly reveal a less entertaining view of nature, one that exposes its extreme
manipulation and often threatening instability, whether that be through human
contamination, misrepresentation, dislocation, or nature’s ability without any human
intervention to destroy.
Mark Wright “…paintings that take up directly what might be called the beauty issue.
There is a sweetness and light pervading the painting, candy or electric colours and a high finish.
The imagery is layered, concealed behind the varnish. There is a micro–symmetry within the motifs
and a macro-dysymmetry in the composition of each painting. It is a mannerist elevation of artifice
within the frame of painting which, despite its references, never quite gives in to landscape. These
paintings are rather screens which carry wholly artificial signs towards the remnants of another
image of a natural world. There are pointers to particular epistemic systems, to sciences for
example, which have drifted too far to be accessible any longer.”  White Window, Jane Lee (2005)
Sam Herbert's recent paintings have examined the dichotomy between a
romanticised view of an imperial past and the jarring reality of the exploitation that this lifestyle
was founded upon. The paintings have an immediate familiarity derived from memories from
historical novels, illustrations, sepia photographs or costume drama. His intention is to take
these romanticised notions of the British Empire and turn them into paintings that seem hazy or
nostalgic. By placing the viewer in a position that elicits an empathetic reaction poses a set of
questions that reject a straightforward answer and require a re-examination of initial
assumptions.
Clare Gasson looks to cinematic space and experience, though concentrating on
sound, and the imagination of the audience – looking to the atmospheric and sensate. The work
is often presented via sound systems. This may take the form of a CD for CD walkmans, or the
sound may come out of a monumental sculpture/speakers.  She is interested in questioning the
authority of the medium. The work is disseminated through different media – often too these are
repeated, for example the narration on the limited edition CD is also to be shown as a script in a
journal.