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Gargling with Jelly

Gargling with Jelly

Curated by Sarah Woodburn and Laura Bygrave
Preview: Friday 25 August, 6-9pm
26 Aug till 3 Sep 2023
Main Gallery

Laura Bygrave
Alex Crocker
Claire Dorsett
Lee Grandjean
Anna Liber Lewis
Sarah Woodburn

Gargling with Jelly, taken from the book of poems by Brian Patten, explores the silliness and seriousness of the human condition through figuration and the cartoon line.

This exhibition brings together artists who set out to depict the actual feeling of inhabiting a body. A shared visual strategy of borrowing heavily from cartoons and the comic mode allows for the distinction between the experience we have of the outward and inward body to be inverted.

The artists use the cartoon form as a hot wire to ourselves. Cartoons amplify emotional complexity though simple visual devices, usually either reduction or repetition. One graphic jittery line can act as short-hand for a psychological state of nervousness, shock, or pleasure. As the writer Tom Lubbock wrote of Daumier, the reduction of form can show us not what people look like but what they feel like. The experience of being in a body is often abject, disjointed and broken up. Blunt body parts, reduced to their simplest forms, but multiplied and piled, mirror the messy insistence of our bodies, offering a connection to our bodily sensations, sometimes ten legs can speak more about ‘legginess’ than one (see Guston’s Monument).

Cartoon line in this exhibition moves through the space like an earthworm stretched by a curious child - here thin and taut, there squat and chunky. We are invited to project into the spaces in-between these lines and are lead back to our own bodies, to think about what we are not, what we wish to be, or adversely we do not think about our bodies at all, instead thinking about the painting in its formal configuration and for a brief moment we leave our bodies.

Text by Laura Bygrave

Thames-Side Studios Gallery
Thames-Side Studios
Harrington Way, Warspite Road
Royal Borough of Greenwich
London SE18 5NR.

Thames-Side Studios Gallery open Thursday-Sunday 12-5pm during exhibitions and by appointment. For general Thames-Side Studios Gallery enquiries please email [email protected]