The latest in the series of Thoresby Street Thursdays sees the Institute for Boundary Interactions (IBI), Marie Toseland and Ewoud Van Rijn takes the stage for the next chapter in the gallery group’s experimental exhibition series.
The Institute (a research collective that uses science, technology, art and design to explore the complex connections between people, places and things) recently experimented with altering the weather at the Phoenix Square cinema and gallery in Leicester with unconfirmed reports that they caused it to snow in Derby. Their contribution to the Thoresby exhibition is a giant white balloon being guided around a raised platform by a number of desk fans. As the balloon dances majestically around its corner of the room in a floating pirouette, it spills out red powder across the floor from an attached metal tin and creates a haphazard map of the path the fans force it to follow. The Institute’s aforementioned interest in connections between people and places suggests a metaphor for people’s lives being dictated by their environment.
In the other half of the main room at Thoresby, Marie Toseland takes up residence with three separate subtle pieces. In fact the first was so subtle that I didn’t actually notice it for a while. Entitled ‘Being & Nothingness’ it consists of a melting block of ice (I assume it was a block but a fair amount of it had melted by the time I arrived) placed discreetly in the middle of the gallery as water slowly trickles off it and puddles on the wooden floorboards. ‘Mass IV’, another “mess” of work shows photography of a milky dessert spilling out across the floor (get the Jif out).
Image appears courtesy of Institute of Boundary
Marie, winner of the University of West England’s 2010 Rebecca Smith Award, has told me what the dessert is but I’ll keep you guessing. A mini milk maybe? Rice pudding? She also tells me that there’s a similar desert frozen in the ice block, so the photo will be recreated on the gallery floor at some undeterminable time in the exhibition. From a distance, her other work, ‘Rot’, looks as though it is a stained piece of cloth, but on closer inspection the red patch has been intricately stitched into place. Marie’s work is about looking closer and those ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ moments.
In a separate smaller room by Thoresby Street’s entrance is Ewoud Van Rijn’s ‘Short Sharp Blow to the Head’. The walls are painted pitch black and create the perfect ambience for his dark and moody artwork. This part of the exhibition is certainly short and sharp, with only three of his eye-catching drawings on show, but quality is certainly more important than quantity here. The Dutch Royal Academy of Art graduate uses images such as doomed sinking ships (appropriate on the hundredth anniversary of the Titanic’s descent into the Atlantic) and ghostly figures in brown and black with a theme of death lingering over the eerie sketches, which Ewoud states is ‘a metaphor for today's cultural and moral state of affairs’.
Institute for Boundary Interactions/Marie Toseland/Ewoud Van Rijn runs at Thoresby St until 21 April
Top image (Being and Nothingness (2011) - Marie Toseland) appears courtesy of the artist