Magazine article Art Monthly

Kate Davis: Lull: Fred London March 13 to May 4

Magazine article Art Monthly

Kate Davis: Lull: Fred London March 13 to May 4

Article excerpt

Kate Davis: Lull Fred London March 13 to May 4

The transferral of objects can be a subtle and difficult task; risking removing in transit some of the elements which inform them. Works included in 'lull' initially evolved in response to the landscape surrounding Grasmere where Kate Davis was artist in residence at the Wordsworth Trust between April and October 2007. Exhibited there as 'head-hearthole', these works were guided partly by a psychosomatic response to the emotively erotic landscape Davis found herself in, one redolent of somnambulists and deep tracts of seemingly still water. Using corresponding sites, the head, the heart and the hole were worked into the fabric of a cottage, boathouse, cave and gallery enabling a conceptual 'bleed' between pieces which comprised drawings, photography, text, sculpture and installation. 'Lull' brings certain elements of Davis's residency to the fore, reworked but not necessarily revised.

Metonymy has always been present in Davis's work, generating paradoxically corporeal allusions to her physical absence in pieces such as Aphrodite Kallipygos (Aphrodite of the Beautiful Buttocks), 2007, a drawing made of minute punctures using various sizes of pin, which corresponds precisely to Davis's height. This piece is mounted unobtrusively opposite a gold-painted wall and is linked by title to it, suggesting that the Aphrodite emanates a transferable love; a love become burnished substance. It is Boat, 2007 (mirror-polished steel, bronze-cast prop), that draws the viewer into the space, however, past a small metallic paper photograph of Eros, 2007, a blue jeans-clad boy casting his tiny (and in life, needle-sized) arrow into the mouth of the cave in which Davis spent much time making notes and drawings. Boat rests at the end of the corridor, backed by the gold wall against which Prop, 2008, rests, tempting an immediate reading of the ensemble as a funerary chamber in which tools and objects are arranged for future metaphysical use. This reading of a pause in the evolution of process (termed lull) is enhanced by the space of the vessel which is designed to carry the body of a single female. The title of the exhibition, 'lull', reinforces this sensation of burgeoning momentum, reflected in a wall-mounted spinning target that builds and reduces speed, turning the three-toned, red-painted text of headhearthole, 2007, inscribed on its circumference into an optical illusion that could be read as spinning feathers or flowers, until the inscription slows and can briefly be deciphered again. …

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