The Sunday Painter is pleased to announce a two-person exhibition, Camille, incorporating painting and sculpture with work from Alex Rathbone and Jill Mason.
The title for the show, Camille, is the name given to the ‘pleasure gelf’ (Genetically Engineered Life Form) that appears in an episode of Red Dwarf. Camille has the special ability to project to whom ever is looking at her the image of their perfect companion, Camille can’t control how she is perceived; the viewer is wholly responsibly for that. For instance when Cat looks at Camille he seems himself; he is the object of his own desire, when in fact Camille’s natural state takes the form of an overweight, phlegmy green blob.
The fantastical plays out within both artists practice. The work is born out of detritus; bits of wood, string and ephemeral musings are hoarded; arranged and disarranged, and endowed with a mysticism and sentiment that only the conjurer could conjure up. We see the manifestations but are also left in the dark; the personal dealings and intimate rituals behind the work out of touch.
In Jill Mason’s paintings we journey precariously through shifting Dr Suess-like worlds, Verticles and horizontals morph as we come into contact with the familiar. Bells, Pencils, rotating cogs and the antique-looking wooden forms that recur throughout her work are depicted with an awkward fondness, objects which might normally find themselves lost in the attic are met together here on the same dynamic planes by some inexplicable logic.
If Mason takes you down the rabbit hole, with Rathbone you are lost on a journey into his heart of darkness.
The objects Rathbone presents us with are unidentified relics placed on more wooden-than-wood furniture. Retrieved from some far off place they are boxed up and brought back to his domestic realm – the mildly disturbing element here is that you get the feeling that, geographically speaking, he didn’t travel far- in fact he probably didn’t even leave the house.
In the paintings Rathbone makes, these ‘travels’ are continued. Never alluding to a focal point they are made with a pace and a rhythm that dictates the movement of the eye; bright colours and repeated motifs seduce you into believing your somewhere else. You can get caught up in the heat of it all; but again it seems this might be a miss placed exuberance – as if he were paying homage to a bad joke told at a party he never actually went to.
Alex Rathbone (b. 1987) Lives and works in London. Recent exhibitions include ‘Hand Joy’, C4RD, London. ‘Skam’, The Bunhouse, London and ‘A Mouth to Suck your Sap’, The Sunday Painter, London
Jill Mason (b. 1974) Lives and works in London. Recent exhibitions include Jerwood Contemporary Painters 2010, Jerwood Space, London, ‘Code of Being’, Withspace Gallery, Beijing. ‘Paperview’, John Jones Project Space, London and ‘Objects in the Forest’, Sadlers Wells, London.