11 - 21 May 2017
Sitting somewhere between painting, sculpture and archive, Bex Massey’s work examines the role of painting and the language of display in the face of popular culture. Through the amalgamation of sculptural form and simulacra she investigates notions of worth, both in terms of allegory; the phenomena of celebrity; the throw away nature of British popular culture and the undercurrent of anxiety drifting just below the surface of daily life.
Modern living finds us presently manoeuvring through a landscape where information passes at infinite speed and as spectators we feverishly chase experiences to 'snap' and post on the inter- web or save in clouds. This acceleration in technological growth also means that glasses can be donned and we can traverse a 2D form like that of a painting. But how does it all feel? Massey argue's that this automation negates the human senses. She is therefore offering ÀhhÁ as an example of what could happen if you were able to physically enter her nature morte and drink its offerings, listen to its wallpaper and sidestep the tablecloth.
The present climate is contactless. Less so in ÀhhÁ.
ÀhhÁ is part of arebyte LASER's 2017 programme titled hotel generation - a series of exhibitions by a generation of young artists from around the UK, all responding to either contemporary Ordinaryism, information overload, collective practice or reacting to the 'extreme present'.
ÀhhÁ is the latest in Massey's current series #mamconcurs . This catalogue of works seeks to document, question and subvert women’s depiction in art history via displaying and refashioning paraphernalia appropriated from her adolescence in an ‘awkward couple’ of garish nostalgia and traditional making techniques. In so doing she enables the audience to independently manufacture their own personal histories through their associative memories to object and image. ÀhhÁ is a loose reinterpretation of David Hockney’s Seated woman being served tea by standing companion (1963). As Massey's fondest memories of having a 'cuppa' were after school, in front of the TV with her gran-she is using a Byker Grove inspired palette to discuss the aforementioned. Massey has kept a daily visual diary to help ease the jump from impetus to installation throughout the duration of this project. Examples of which can be found in month order on her Blog.
Bex Massey [b.1985, Newcastle] graduated with a BA FA Hons in 2007 from The Cass and in 2013 with a MA FA from Chelsea College of art. Since obtaining her Masters she has been shortlisted for The Signature Art Prize 2014, Young Masters Art Prize 2014, The Taking Shape Prize 2016 and Blooom Award, 2016. Her work can be found in The Leslie Collection, UK; Trollhattans Konsthall, Sweden as well as private collections across the UK, Germany & US. Massey undertook the Pages Fellowship in 2006 and the ISEA Fellowship in 2014. This year she has also exhibited in That Blitz Mentality, Wallspace LA, Los Angeles; Back/Box HUTT, Nottingham; Lexicon of artistic gesture, S1, Sheffield and completed iouae's online Inhabit residency.professional exhibitions as well as open communal events