Competing identities....

Submitted by Jeeraik009 on Fri, 07/20/2012 - 17:34

Exploring identity can be a complex exercise. The exhibition Bricolage of Identities now showing at the Olympia Gallery in Kingston uses the body as a point of entry. The artists, Carol Crichton, Garfield Morgan, Mortimer McPherson and Gisele Gardner come to the human form with different perspectives and techniques. Crichton embellishes her own body prints with characteristic collage and markings while Morgan's more densely massed, dark imagery depicts female bodies that are disturbing in their facelessness. McPherson creates more conventional but expressive portraits while Gardner focuses on the mouth, recognizing how this orifice can reveal a great deal about a person's lifestyle, health, age or even class. Although the 'bricolage' aspect of this show suggests difference, together these works are so divergent that they compete with each other. Gardner's studied painterly style contrasts sharply with the more spontaneous imprints created by Crichton. Meanwhile, McPherson's endearing portraits that are full of personality, challenge the anonymity of Morgan's figure painting. Overall, it is Gardner's mouths that have the last say about identity. These intimate bodyscapes shout to be studied more closely as they lure the viewer into their surreal and threatening cavernous grottos.