Liverpool Biennial 2010: Tracy Lewis at Gostins Arcade.

Gostins Arcade

Art One day I’ll write about the Biennial exhibitions unseen, the moments when I’ve visited a venue too early in the day, too late and in some cases so late that the exhibition has ended. Gostins was an occasion when my need to see's exhibition didn’t quite match their schedule and so when I climbed the steps to the main shopping area were the gallery space is, the doors were closed, the lights not on. But there was more than enough in the surrounding corridors, not least some mesmerising collages by Tracy Lewis.

They’re a mix of fabric and dried flowers creating circular reliefs, dyes employed in such a way that they become removed from nature -- she's interested in creating a kind of artificial longevity. One of the objects (untitled as far as I could see) is how I’d imagine a rose bed would be if a tiny H-bomb were to dropped in it, the felled materials all rendered a burnt brown or yellowed in the heat spread in parallel around the circumference. Another, Sea Food Salad, is a wheel of mussel shells, seaweed, roses and silk in concentric circles.

Gazing at these craftworks, I found myself lazily imagining Lewis’s thought processes, why she would choose this combination of materials, and how she placed them in these particular patterns. Somehow, even in the visually busy, postered walls of Gostins, the world fell away. I may even have said out loud, “But these are just … wow …”, though admittedly that’s something I’ve said rather a lot during this Biennial in both the official and indie strands.

Lewis also has another strand of slightly more traditional decorative art objects, more practical, more commercial no doubt. Along a short corridor is a mirror framed with drift wood and decorated with tried flowers again, but also buttons and dolls and sea shells which is utterly adorable. Her website is full of images and it’s obvious that Lewis is very, very industrious. Don't miss the frame of tea cups. Her studio is available for viewing, by appointment, during the period of the Biennial, and I’m very, very tempted.

Until 16th October 2010.

1 comment:

  1. I can see why you are tempted Stuart. I saw the cup and saucer frame in Mello Mello earlier this year and one of her rose pieces in Octopi too. Her website is lovely. All those images of her home and an open weekend with music too. Go, definitely go.!