Ana Cockerill Curatorial Projects presents the Jabberwocky exhibition, as Lewis Carroll’s hole-dwelling monster creeps to zany life amongst us, through the diverse works of an international artist assembly. Nonsense’s surrealism teases us, playfully, seriously and darkly, to a deeper reality.
The images span colours which trip between joy and fear, as shafts of toyshop sunlight host residual shadows, whose weight still lingers nearby. Sonya Stanbury’s Jubjub Bird laments the pathos of evil. In Trans-form-ando, Marcia Mar’s arboreal-primitivist spirit-winds blow through dark branches shading a grey face: a seeing soul, in the stark company of foreground ocular satellites. Under the light of blues and reds, Adolfo Solarte’s spring fire blazes joy after the storm. Lizy Bending’s Untitled with Boots, sees a floral wall’s spring trip drawn into mourning human loss.
An urban angel pokes a dangerous city gent with gleeful misery, the papyrus brightness behind it twisted from dawn to garish blaze by Denise Wyllie’s victim’s grimace. The liberating fabric of adventure careers along Jonathan Graham’s Rollercoaster, as chain links forge our bondage in folds of the unknown. Sun and wind spin the seasons of a dream, as Julia Schokklitsch’s Unfolding Reality glows through a Victorian window, to brighten night with spring. Winds rustle from the Jabberwocky’s lair, blowing forth Liz Derbyshire’s sense of the mind’s shapeshifting colour. Naïg Home’s skin of holes cast multiple sightless eyes from the entrails of the Jabberwocky.
Meliha Gunenc’s Frabjous Day turns raining shadows into slate-cut cliffs, towering to a stormy nirvana. Janet Moses pours silence into the mind – with her sensibility to the peace of metamorphic oneness, in the sunlit jungle of her native Malaysia, as in Carroll’s nonsense-philosophy. Art Hop Life’s Process pulls a small hours bar, through sleep, to an ocean, as the wraiths of the party hang in the dark. Red comes alive through texture, undiluted by distracting dynamics, in Ida Ndoni’s groundless, boundless Primavera; the faintest shadows suspending white, petal velvet in scarlet freedom. Darkly expressionist zombies are woken from their war chest, as Lawrence Mathias’ political monsters spread designer chaos by Opening the Box. Skeletal origami stretches foam-blazing waves into mountains, as Elena Rizzardi’s Balance of Non-sense in Colour ushers us into aeons of ochre sunset, beyond a white, linen ceiling.
Verena Giavelli conducts deep daylight through glass cotton, whose tangled figures struggle to claim their free identity in Upside Down. Kevin Derbyshire tickles Carroll’s characters, letting them, too, flicker between distinctness and mere telling extensions of the author himself. Wasted humanity breathes its last, drowning in the jarring political delusions of the now, as Cristina Cantilena bids us Beware the Jabberwock, my son. Andrés Gonzáles Meneses’ Persaie sculpts the sinister sorrow of multiple, deformed heads, stone-bound in their conjoined prison. Masculinity leers with two tone confidence, impervious to the cascading chaos of its mount: is Ben Mellor’s Patriocky invincible or in denial? In Come into my arms, my beamish boy, an embrace spirals upwards to Les Lismore’s female gaze, which hovers between irony and anxiety – an ambiguity heightened by the subtle choking effect of the limb coil’s wrapping formality.
Resting elbows chase window panes round framing right angles, which concentrate cognitive solitude into a tunnel’s bright depths: escaping the viewer, unseen, behind a blocking wall, as Marcos Buarque de Hollanda teases our curiosity into his lapping meditation: and, as in uffish thought, he stood. Rounded segments grow beings from the Hansel-and-Gretel gnarls of Yolanda Pinto Medina’s Tree Tumtum, making the woods wild in captivating closeup. Helen Lack sprinkles waltzing, handwritten streamers, catching a plane of chill, foreground light, before the snow-smoked midnight of the beyond: he stands awhile in thought, as colour’s fullness makes fantasy bliss. We slide Through the Looking Glass, into Edson Costa’s shimmering video-montage, that strobes landmark atrocities together with current political monsters. Childhood re-dawns in Luciana Mariano’s Face the truth, fight your battle, as the shapeshifting ogres of carpet patterns take on real dragon form – behind the looking glass where, even now, only the self can be seen.
But the real dragon appears later, in Nonsensability: a performance evening at Espacio on 17 March, part of the Jabberwocky week, and featuring 6 artists, whose visions of nonsense re-invent reason, to trip through comedy, politics, music and choreographed poetry – in the Jabberwocky’s spooky celebration of tripping, subconscious enlightenment!