Half Life examines notions of the utopian through photography and installation. Middleton and McKay investigate and disrupt spaces and objects where fabrication mimics natural phenomena. In their work, the materiality of artificial forms is exaggerated and stylised to reveal the pretence beneath exteriors of perfection. The artists thus examine the ‘cosmetic foliage’ of our everyday tangible and digital landscapes - representations that uphold an illusion of authenticity yet often conceal standardized systems and unattainable fantasies.
Middleton’s photographs and installations combine to create a contemporary tableau of stilted abstractions. A sparse mix of opulent imitations, lavish fabrics and gleaming tones stage a landscape of both gratification and inauthenticity, probing the dichotomy of desire and dissatisfaction that underpins consumer commerce. Her images and forms are staged in such a way as to exaggerate their romanticism and simultaneously their pretension, proposing a polished perspective and otherworldly escape that suggests the line between the real and the imagined is becoming less distinct.
In this series, McKay’s photographs explore contemporary still life. Staged objects depict an ambiguous contrariety between pleasure and disgust. The plasticity of the edible objects confuses the relationship between representation and reality. The images of constructed environments attempts to expose the ways in which people find meaning through conventionalized architecture, and further reflect on the ways in which society has structured to simulate recreation and pleasure. These oddly synthetic spaces provide a wider social context for the stylized studio based works.
Opening Wednesday 9th September, 6-8pm
Exhibition continues until Sunday 13th September
Gallery open Wednesday–Saturday 10am–5pm | Sunday 11am–4pm