As a regular visitor to Warrington’s museum and art gallery, I was keen to get over to see ‘In a Flux’ contemporary art exhibition. As part of last year’s Warrington Contemporary Arts festival, it provides a different outlook on art within the normal boundaries of a museum/gallery setting.
Showcasing works by The Manchester Salon, this new collaboration has created works that not only respond to the museum’s environment but evolve and change as the show progresses. Consisting of 5 artists, their work hopes to provide all-important critical dialogue and debate in the North West to engage art professionals and the public alike.
Focusing on a selection of projects, the one that catches your eye straight away is the huge pile of bricks in the centre of the space created by Jen Wu. Originating from a project based in Salford, this installation attempts to make sense of how raw building materials are not only markers of the past but also sculptural elements. In order to save history through the demolition of old, abandoned buildings these bricks are being cleaned and used to build new regenerative projects… thus reclaiming history back into the community.
Offering up an alternative to traditional portraiture are Lindsay Bull’s figurative paintings. Deliberately obscured, blurred or twisted, the portraits are a complete contrast to the fine art works in the gallery area by Henry Woods and Oswald Garside.
I am also fascinated by the works by Maurice Carlin as they are visual works completely opposite to painting. They remind me of installations in themselves as they are so specific, measured in their response and ‘constructed’. His interest lies in the ideas of categories and demographics which reflects themes of categorisation within every museum.
Overall, ‘In a Flux’ is an interesting exhibition with complex notions of time, space and suspense. The fact that it ties in so compactly with the museums own environment and artefacts increases the value of their notions hugely.