Monday, September 29, 2008

Charles Avery at Parasol

The Islanders: An Introduction is Charles Avery's project to create an entire imaginary world, with maps, sketches, sculptures and most importantly a narrative to go along with it all.

The exhibition is fascinating, and as one wanders round reading descriptions of the people, their habits, the creatures, the gin-pickled eggs that are horrible yet addictive, one is reminded of a humorous Lost World or Gulliver's Travels.

My criticisms are firstly that the project is obviously a work in progress. Tempting though the catalogue was, I'd rather wait until completion or at least a significant milestone. Related to this, my second observation is that much of the artwork is in draft - unfinished pencil sketches, crudely-drawn colour illustrations. I think the whole exhibition could be significantly more polished. Perhaps it will be before the project is up.

Avery, a Scottish artist, was apparently kicked out of Central St Martins after 6 months. The exhibition generally gets good reviews, for example in TimeOut, the Guardian and the Independent.

I'd strongly recommend a visit - even the stories and texts alone would justify this, and free entry too (look for the glass door). The exhibition runs until November 9th at the Parasol Unit gallery near Old Street.

No comments: