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Indepth Arts News:

"Alex Frost"
2008-02-23 until 2008-04-06
Hampshire, , UK United Kingdom

ArtSway is proud to present an exhibition of new work by the Glasgow-based artist, Alex Frost. The exhibition will include a range of new sculptures and drawings that relate directly to the residency Frost undertook in late 2007. These works play upon the concept of of the rural retreat in contrast to the artist's urban, or specifically suburban, standpoint. The works for ArtSway contain subtle suggestions to wholesome and improving lifestyles. These include floral motifs adorning a box of slimmer‚s tea, a small crop of vegetables decorating a carton of vegetable juice or an image of a yucca houseplant. These motifs all share an uncomfortable relationship with their rural setting as well as collectively referring directly to it. In one example, a large mosiac sculpture of a packet of vegetarian hamburger-mix mimics high street signage, but it's meaning is left deliberately ambiguous.

Previou projects by Frost have included a series of large-scale, misshapen, mosaic sculptures that complement the "blind drawing" series. These mosaics depict the commercial packaging of products such as Ryvita, Earl Grey tea and After Eight mints. These items were chosen for their references to sophisticated, social and grown-up lifestyles - all suggestions that contradict the playful aesthetic inherent in the work. The sculptures, versions of which will be exhibited at ArtSway, refer to civic sculptures or murals and have been sited both within the gallery setting as well as in the public domain. They have been installed in a range of urban environments - areas of wasteland fenced off awaiting development, an outdoor cafe, within a multi-purpose arts centre and on the exterior of a gallery overlooking a flyover. These sculptures and drawings simultaneously echo a handcrafted intensity and hands-off technological processes that are integral to the artist‚s work. In particular, the "blind drawings" use a technique specially developed by Frost where images are rendered in pinpricks that perforate a sheet of paper. Enamel is then painted through these perforations to create an image with a surface that refers to both circuit boards and needlework: a virtual clash between the handcrafted and the technological. Frost's work combines elements of art, architecture and sculpture to create both thoughful and playful pieces.  

The work to be shown at ArtSway uses new and recycled motifs that are fed through a "pastoral filter" with jarring results. For example, a series of mosiac panels depict logos as if seen through the surface of a pool of water; these panels reference nature through their rendering but the logos represent technological formats such as Compact Disc, DVD and Dolby. The watery rendering of these images refers more to a cultivated ha bitat, such as an atrium fountain, or perhaps a public lido.

For ArtSway, Frost will exhibit work within the gallery as well as one sculptural work that will be sited within the village of Sway.

Alex Frost's exhibition at ArtSway is presented in partnership with Milton Keynes Gallery where his exhibition, Adults, is on display until 4 November 2007. For more information pleas go www.mk-g.org.

Alex Frost,
BBQ (Vege burger Mix), 2007

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