Fortunately however, these pitfalls are averted with a sensitivity that immediately draws you in to the mini worlds and quirky minds of eleven artists selected from a long list of contributors for this open exhibition.
Arctic Fox is the first open exhibition from Vulpes Vulpes, an art gallery and space run by a collection of art graduates and art professionals. Selecting work on the basis of what appears to be quite a general premise, the outcome of the exhibition exposes themes which explore a world outside one’s own.
The artists exhibiting are at varying stages in their career and include Shona Davies and David Monaghan, whose work stands out in the mix and has an essentially voyeuristic element. Boxes are placed on the wall throughout the spaces for the public to look into. What they expose are tiny people and scenarios, some dark and frightening, some erotic, but all highlight the viewer as someone who shouldn’t be there. A caravan scene at night captures a certain unease – with a moon shining down, caravans feel flimsy and vulnerable, an impression heightened by the knowledge that someone is watching.
Then we move from these to ‘Lump’ a piece by Gary Colclough, a pencil drawing, delicate and intricate in its execution. It is indeed a lump of some sort, but arbitrary it is not and it shows a high level of technical work.
A piece in the middle of the room looks at first like a bunch of cardboard boxes, which leaves the viewer slightly confused as to its purpose. A kind of Robinson Crusoe raft (but built less sturdily than the great man would) it is a raft built by artist Aaron Head. The work feels messy and taped together, but its charm comes in its connection with the space and environment. The artist’s work is inspired by the places themselves and includes aspects of these places within the art itself – among other things bunches of plastic flowers had been found at Vulpes Vulpes which were added to the artwork.
In all, there is a art medium for everyone in this exhibition, and where a lack of central theme could have mis-placed the exhibition, it actually leaves answers far more open to interpretation. This is an exciting new space, vibrant and ready to take bold moves, and this exhibition shows a keen eye for what works.
Catch this exhibition until 10 January 2010 and then catch the next one, from the 15 January. See www.vulpesvulpes.org for more information.