Friday, 18 September 2015


until October 4th 2015

 pva glue, acrylic paint, sugar, spray paint, pigment, plastic component 20x20x20cm

My first impression of Fitting is of a stack of delicious, soft, powdery, sugary confection, called 'Turkish Delight', or even 'Greek Delight',  depending on where you come from.  The colour is what used to be termed ‘shocking pink'. It's fashionable and bold. On my desk at the moment I have the notes accompanying Grayson Perry’s Provincial Punk exhibition at Turner Contemporary, Margate. His cover is doused in the same fun-loving pink. Art First, in Eastcastle Street close to Oxford Circus, is not a large gallery but it always surprises. 

In Fitting  the artist injects a kind of physical humour which lends itself to slapstick.  My brain says that of course I am looking at hard non-edibles, but I want to stretch out my hand and touch them.  I know I mustn’t. By mixing paint and sugar (and strawberry syrup - see below) and making it look so delectable, can you see a glorious rebellion against the current passion for rule-ridden cookery recipes handed down to us by experts, who perhaps unwittingly instruct, constrain, warn and deskill us?

As I walk away I wonder how Fitting will cope with London dust? The image of a Victorian glass dome with a knob atop springs to mind.

PLACED, JUST AS IT IS, pva glue, polystyrene beads, silicone, acrylic paint, sugar, food colouring, polystyrene, strawberry syrup, spray paint, pigment, plastic component,  20x44x14 cm
The use again of this piercing colour helps to defamiliarize the work. Evelyn O’Connor combines traditional sculptural materials with the stuff of everyday life, presenting us at one and the same time with the recognisable and the incomprehensible. 

The exhibition focuses on chance and of 'letting go' in the creative process. The art critic T J Clark, writing in the current issue of The London Review of Books, describes the experience of making (or if you're a viewer, of seeing) modern art as 'something that is truly senseless and preposterous as it comes into being, unknown and unidentifiable. and therefore if you're lucky,  a glimpse of freedom, a unique particular, a way to slip off the mind-forged manacles'. 

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