Monday, 18 November 2013

Lisa Watts and Lucy May at Exeter Spacex - Skittish (final week)

This is the final week of Skittish at Spacex (ending on Saturday 23rd November). The exhibition combines sculptures by Lucy May with performance by Lisa Watts.

Lucy has made some very visceral sculptures out of wax for the exhibition. The pieces are substantial but retain a fluidity which is achieved by her personally blending the wax that she uses. In addition to the wax pieces there is a large work which combines coloured foam with artificial flowers and other material on a wedding cake-like dais, and three gilded bronze sculptures mounted on individual plinths.

Lucy's influence is the baroque but she interprets this using modern materials and in a uniquely personal way. The wax sculptures produce conflicting responses because they are both beautiful and yet rather gruesome at the same time.

Lisa Watts will be performing from Wednesday afternoon until Saturday. Her previous work has included pieces with a strong feminist agenda but she says that this project is deliberately playful. She works with all kinds of materials including tin foil, light sticks, extending rules, plastic bags etc and after a month of her performances, the gallery is littered with the stuff she has used.

While the intent may be playful, she is entirely serious when she is performing, using earplugs to maintain her concentration; and she performs regardless of whether there is anyone in the gallery. She also teaches on degree level art courses and is both approachable and fascinating to talk with, when not performing.

In the other gallery space a 7 minute film made by Lisa is showing in a loop. This is also a playful piece but has a soundtrack which is reminiscent of a science fiction movie, which gives it a slightly menacing feel.

Skittish finishes on Saturday at Spacex but goes on to two other venues - Newcastle and Leeds - where Lucy will be working with different artists. In the meantime, get along to see it at Spacex, if you can.

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