Saturday, 13 August 2016

Wendy Mayer | Curious Room | Solo Exhibition at CHARLIE SMITH LONDON

CHARLIE SMITH LONDON was delighted to welcome back Wendy Mayer over the month of July for her second solo exhibition at the gallery.

His eye is on the sparrow | 2016 | Painted vinyl, mohair, padded wooden frame, quail wings, pins | 37x37x14cm

Mayer is known for her uncanny sculptures where she employs painted vinyl or painted cast wax to present figures with unparalleled veracity. In this exhibition Mayer uses Angela Carter’s ‘A Curious Room’ as her starting point. Carter described her Curious Room as a metaphorical space where all the secrets of a person’s life are stored, and asserted that life is a process of trying to find it in order to rediscover or remember them.

Cocoon | 2016 | Painted vinyl, mohair, Shorter ceramic vase | 18x24x12cm

Eros | 2016 | Painted vinyl, mohair, ceramic vase | 26x24x12cm

Mayer’s Curious Room is a collection of sculptures that reveal the subconscious impact of half-forgotten personal rites of passage. As the artist states:

‘I am a deeply private person and am often surprised and horrified to discover that my work discloses aspects of my personality and past that I would probably prefer to stay hidden.’

Oil Can | 2016 | Painted vinyl, mohair, oil can | 26.5x23x13cm

Eclosion | 2016 | Painted vinyl, mohair, Shorter ceramic vase | 19x24x12cm

This unconscious revelation of drives, feelings and memories is allied with conscious intent. Themes such as familial relationships, motherhood, rebirth and metamorphosis are recurrent in Mayer’s work, from babies emerging from womb-like vases to autobiographical references to books read, feelings felt and places visited.

Et verbum caro factum est | 2015 | Painted vinyl, papier mache | 64x74x74cm

Land of our fathers | 2016 | Pipe organ, wax, papier mache, painted vinyl, resin, mohair, plaster, Under Milk Wood read by Richard Burton | 160x125x33.5cm

The five-piece series ‘Smotyn Du’ illustrates this coalescence of conscious and unconscious dynamics, where personal and universal vie and oscillate. Each piece consists of a fabric covered coat hanger formed from a child’s head with hands protruding from either side, with black knots on the palms, and hung from a crucifix shaped hook. Mayer is at once referencing religious rites; guilt; domestic abuse; and the Smotyn Du (or Black Spot) region of her native Wales.

Smotyn Du (Blonde) | 2016 | Painted vinyl, mohair, silk, coat hanger, metal peg | 42x12x52cm

Smotyn Du (Auburn) | 2016 | Painted vinyl, mohair, silk, coat hanger, metal peg | 40x12x41cm

Smotyn Du (Dark) | 2016 | Painted vinyl, mohair, silk, coat hanger, metal peg | 39x12x41cm

Smotyn Du (Strawberry) | 2016 | Painted vinyl, mohair, silk, coat hanger, metal peg | 45x13x43cm

Smotyn Du (Brown) | 2016 | Painted vinyl, mohair, silk, coat hanger, metal peg | 40x13x52cm

Little Bird | 2016 | Ceramic, papier mache, wax, feathers | 68x45x31cm

p.o.e.m. | 2015 | Painted vinyl, mohair, cymbals, leather case, taxidermy duckling | 38x27x27cm

Wendy Mayer was born in Wales in 1975. She graduated with a first class BA (Hons) in Fine Art Sculpture from Loughborough University School of Art and Design in 2008. Her work is placed in prominent private collections globally including the Saatchi Gallery, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Javier Baz and Kay Saatchi. She has exhibited in galleries and museums including the Saatchi Gallery, Royal British Society of Sculptors, Royal Cambrian Academy, Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery, and will feature in Strange Worlds: the vision of Angela Carter at Royal West of England Academy, Bristol in 2016. 


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