Thursday, 30 December 2010

50/50: Working in Parallel

Textile artist Matthew Harris and Mosaic artist Cleo Mussi are holding a joint exhibition at the Bath & North East Somerset Council-run Victoria Art Gallery from February 12 – April 3, 2011. 
Based in Stroud, they have lived and worked side-by-side in various studios since 1987 but ‘50/50’ is their first joint exhibition. Inspired by a trip to Japan, the show explores ideas and imagery gleaned exploring the temples and gardens of Kyoto, the Art Galleries and Architecture of Tokyo, and further a field, the Naoshima Inland sea.

“50/50 aims to show the work of two individuals working in parallel yet independently on a theme,” said gallery manager Jon Benington. “On initial viewing their work may appear to have little in common, however it shares a language that involves the repetitive construction of whole complex images from pieces of cloth, paper and reclaimed ceramic. The process of fragmenting materials, its reconstruction and echoed imagery is their common ground. 

“The content of the show is in two halves, linked by a central core showing their working methods. Whilst Harris’s cloth works are abstract compositions that leave the viewer time for contemplation, Mussi’s  figurative mosaics represent the mad chaos, modern production and contemporary imagery that is the flip side of Japanese culture.”

Both Matthew and Cleo studied at Goldsmith College, University of London, 24 years ago.
Matthew has exhibited in Japan, the USA and Europe. He has work in the Crafts Council collection and The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester and in 2009 he was short listed for the first Arts foundation award for Textile Art. 

Cleo is an internationally recognised artist and is known for her humorous twists and attention to detail. Mussi’s current series of wall mounted mosaic panels combine both modern Japan alongside traditional influences. 

Also showing is a new exhibition by Bath artist Karen Wallis titled ‘Views and Observations’. Karen’s recent paintings and drawings celebrate everyday things which are often overlooked. These landscapes, still lifes and interiors with people are executed in a traditional style influenced by Rembrandt and Edward Hopper. Visitors to the show are invited to create their own views and observations for an online exhibition.  

Now the second most visited museum in Bath with 117,000 visitors a year, the Victoria Art Gallery is known for its friendly atmosphere, exciting and varied programme of exhibitions and stunning permanent collection from Turner and Gainsborough to the moderns.

The gallery is on Pulteney Bridge, Bath and is open Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm, Sunday 1.30– 5pm (closed Mondays). Admission is free.