Speedboat Matchsticks @ The Surface Gallery

If you’re still in Nottingham over the Easter holiday, and find yourself in town wanting a distraction from looming deadlines and exams, Laura Taylor’s Speedboat matchsticks exhibition will certainly do just that. This exhibition asks the questions what is art? and how should art be displayed?

The entrance of the surface Gallery itself becomes part of the display, no space is left ignored the information desk has also received attention from the artist. Immediate impressions: a paper shredder gone loose… also is that part of the display I may be standing on? That was even before entering the darkened exhibition space subtly lit in obscure places, with the mixture of lighting and mechanisms. Navigating around the floor space, you have an unnerving feeling of someone or something creeping up behind you. The found objects strewn across the floor, or precariously taped to the walls, created an eerie affect. It reminded me of nursery school full of chaos, destroyed toys and the fateful crafts of young children that parents lovingly display, despite the uselessness of it all. Which perhaps is the idea as the handout reads; ‘A multitude of functional objects are combined to become functionless (whilst still functioning).The exhibition derives from experiment, play and the relationship between form and function’.

All this I can understand and I respect the idea as an entity. However I couldn’t help wondering as the art and the exhibition space entwined, how is this tangible as ‘art’ how would it translate into an alternative space? Is it validated as a complete art-piece altogether, or many separate ones? And if so how could you determine the separation between pieces? Finally who is to say these loose and chaotic assemblages of motorised scrap and dismembered toys are not art? And so with all these questions came the perfect distraction from an overbearing workload, so for that at least I can be grateful to Laura Taylor.

By Melanie Solomon

ArtsArts Reviews

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