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REVIEW: New Contemporaries, Fairfields Arts Centre, until December 8
THIS exhibition has a track record of discovering new talent, including artists who went on to be awarded the Threadneedle Prize (Robert Truscott and Sheila Wallis).
The selection currently on display in the centre is dazzlingly diverse. Your attention will first be demanded by Rosemary Baxter’s incredible colourful Knot Ropy Coils, which hang from the middle of the gallery space. She’s a rock climber and has used her own ropes – survivors of many climbs – to explore many areas, including juxtapositions and contrasts.
Along the right wall is a computer screen alternating two animations, Ceng Cheng’s A Polar Bear’s Christmas, an animation about pollution and the environments, and Guan Shuning’s How Very, which centres on the creation of a Chinese font.
The image of the woman in Bryony Haffner’s large Untitled canvas has come from, as the programme reveals, a 1950s knitting handbook and you can tell. This lovely piece was completed as part of her degree work at Winchester School of Art.
The detail on the curls of metal in Thomas Walke’s Untitled 2012 series of prints reveal an outstanding depth of texture and Judy Dibiase’s Lest We Forget - 12 plates and four gradually bowing heads – are a contemplation of memory, whilst the face of the man in Ann-Laure Lecomte’s Otherness is disturbingly eerie.
Not only are there countless mounted painted works and photographs – by Elicea Andrews, Wing Hong, Adel Deeba, Zi Lin Mai, Jessica Veats, Virginia Ray and Jennifer Scrivens – there are many other objects and installations to admire.
All visitors will have a look of fun peering into the mounted glasses which form Jennie Jewitt-Harris’ Unexpected, for which she took photographs using a Victorian technique called stereoscopy, where, the programme reveals, “two photos are taken simultaneously through lenses 10cm apart to represent the distance between the two eyes.”
Three pieces from Elaine Bolt explore the everyday and the notions of ‘home’ and ‘belonging’, whilst Hannah’s Lewis’ beautiful Fox was inspired by Eowyen Ivey’s wonderful novel The Snow Child.
Emma Rawson’s screen printed, fused, cold worked, polished and bonded float glass My Space touches on memory, death and space, whilst Jaci Foster’s Hansel & Gretel is fabulous idea, a display case filled with apparently enticing mixed media ‘treats’ – you definitely need to visit to see that one for yourself.