Flora Parrott: Circuit: Five Deductions

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4 out of 5 stars

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How can one best articulate a sensory experience through an arrangement of objects and pictures rather than with words? This is the task that Flora Parrott has set herself in this installation of five assemblages, each of which takes an image or images as its starting point. Two photographs of a carnivorous pitcher plant are placed within a green alcove along with containers of fennel and cardamom seeds soaking in oil and gelatine. Alongside is a suspended egg structure woven from strips of animal hide and tongues that have been moulded from black soap and threaded on to copper pipe. There’s certainly a gustatory idea here, of organic matter dissolving, but there’s also the suggestion of something distasteful. In another assemblage an image of a snail on glass is stuck on to upright rectangles of plywood and particle board held together by copper rods. The feeling here is more of contrasting textures – rough and shiny, smooth and slimy.

It seems important that there’s an uncomfortable or spiky aspect to all of Parrott’s subject choices. Elsewhere there’s a skate wing, a wired jawbone and mounds of pillow lava (which erupts underwater). It’s the tension of this against the pleasingly seductive look of these installations that create their emotional charge. There’s a hint to another form of charge, too. Copper is the only material common to all five assemblages and the black tape that runs along the floor and ceiling isn’t just a visual connection between the five parts, it also contains copper wire. I couldn’t help imagining that if all that copper were connected to a power source the work would shock in a whole other way.

Flora Parrott: Circuit: Five Deductions continues at Tintype until October 22 2011.

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