CLARE TOMS – Guise

Hosted By 19 KAREN

October 5th - November 2nd, 2013

Artist Statement

In keeping with past work and indeed this exhibition, scale is a key aspect explored in this latest body of work. Some pieces play with scale physically in terms of their small size, as well as visually and conceptually within the work.

In the case of the miniature pieces, scale and intricate detail form the key aspects of the work. Physical distance to the artwork is narrowed; audiences experience the works as though peeping through a keyhole. The viewer is almost required to view the piece individually, alone. An intimate one-on-one encounter, just the viewer and the work, where for a fleeting moment, the greater context of the gallery is left behind. Like being whispered an intimately private secret, this act of luring and inviting the viewer in, can often hold as much of a profound and consuming effect on the audience as works of a large scale. Due to their small size, these miniature paintings aim to have a power over their audience in that they compel the viewer to physically move into the ‘world’ of the small artwork.

As momento mori pieces, we are reminded of the brevity of life. The fragility and tension of their content, is affirmed and emphasised by their physical size. Whilst exploring vanitas themes in the contemporary context, they invite audiences to notice the subtle, joyous possibilities that lie within the seemingly banal.

These works transform the familiar with the curious through the subversion of scale.

Touching on the surreal, they playfully subvert reality and explore the guises in life we construct and experience. A questioning of our own truths behind the imagery we create around ourselves.

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