The Bede Estate Part II
Assemblage is a 'festival of contemporary makers' pursuing the workshop's commitment to thrusting emerging artists and unseen, contemporary art into the public arena. The project space lurks down a quiet lane near Finsbury Park tube station and strategically draped lanterns create an intimate, ambient atmosphere. It's refreshingly unpretentious.
The star of the night has to be Rosalind Davis. Her exhibition of mixed media paintings in the Projection space reflects a fascination with grotty and disused looking buildings which have an underlying importance to the communities they serve. The pieces fuse painting with collage and embroidery and invite closer inspection to see where cotton ends and acrylic begins.
The idea here is that the tessellated canvas explores equally complex themes enshrined within the structures they are based upon. Often the buildings painted are taken from areas of serious social deprivation and are supposed to represent the lifeblood of their surrounding communities.
From a distance broad, bold brush strokes used to depict neglected buildings contrast with delicate, floral print backgrounds but a closer look reveals meticulous detail. Each individual stitch masquerades as a streak of paint which at times can look a little chaotic – something I'm told is meant to emphasise the fragility of the structures captured on canvas. It's a bit like art nouveau; the deeper you delve into the image the more attention to detail you find. My eyes are sore.
Despite their vivid and bright tones, I still find the paintings very foreboding. Whether or not they're successful in portraying 'melancholy dystopian landscapes that explore human experience and identity' I would certainly recommend checking out Ms Davis' work.