Keys is the latest flash Fiction work from Alison Little.
Around us we are surrounded by keys, hung from every section, floating around, spinning. Shadows brightly identified by the white surfaces which are the parameters of our encasement in this heaven -like cell. The keys float and dangle head height like angels in an outer world. The jingles and rattling almost ghost-like, jitters of evil coming to take us from the purity of our setting. Clattering faster and faster, more and more in motion together, louder and louder, machine gun like in battle, will we be taken?
Subtly they quieten down, jingle in serenity again, bell-like, the instruments of the piano, not one of the devils jailers on a dictated mission to take us to him. We are safe within the white purity of our surroundings, the playful clacking of the brass and steel instruments of secure captivity. The tags which identify their uses, the fobs which fumble and the enlarged shadows which follow their leaders every move. Sounds which surround, which inform, which provide safety but exclude us from freedom.
A dreamscape of soulfulness suspended in our vision and the recipients of the routes of sound waves. Serenity, shadows and the safety of celebration.
Keys was written in response to an art installation all named ‘Keys’ created by Raymon Watson for the History of Hands exhibition held at the Victoria Gallery & Museum in Liverpool. In this, a collection of keys originally from the Crumlin Road Prison were suspended and used in conjunction with a sound installation. The exhibition ran from the 10.03.18-21.04.18.
History of Hands Exhibition
Victoria Gallery & Museum
The latest exhibition: Speakers, created by Nicholas Party brought some much-needed colour to the December days.
In entering the discretely fronted Oxford City centre Modern Art Gallery then making your way up to the first floor, then slipping into the Piper Gallery you encounter an array of colours. The walls are painted a yellow tone, five almost two-meter tall heads make an impact on the gallery space. The fibreglass forms have a kind of sadness in their sculptural shaping, lips poised in an unhappy motion. However, each form appears bright and vibrant due to the mass of colours painted directly onto their surface. Greens, oranges and purples are stippled on to create hair, eyes are toned with darker shades, eyebrows are added and expressions are generated. The visual impact is accompanied by a sound-scape of traditional piano and cello chimes subtly playing from each cerebellum.
Swiss-born artist Nicholas Party is responsible for this amazing Oxford city centre installation. As of many of our great contemporary painters he began his artistic career as a 1990’s street graffiti artist. From the streets to a BA in fine arts at the Lausanne School of Art in Switzerland, then crossing Europe to the Glasgow School of Art to complete an MA. This was followed by an onslaught of solo exhibitions and commissions in Washington, LA, Dallas, Edinburgh and Florence. He currently works and lives in Brussels and New York.
In Speakers, his latest commission for Modern Art Oxford he has created a theatre scape installation of feminine heads. The sculptural forms stand brightly in the gallery repressing the achievement of pioneering women of Oxford. He considers the work to be:
The heavily masculine energy of Oxford’s architecture and academic histories.
A great achievement for an artist who has not forgotten his graffiti spraying routes in the array of colours he applies to his creations.
We hope to see much more from this artist who really knows how to put heads together.
25 November 2017
— 18 February 2018
Modern Art Oxford