Hand Labour – Carragh Amos – Exhibition Review

By Laura Duffy

Hand Labour is an exhibition by Carragh Amos at In Good Company, co-working and gallery space on Cuba Street, Wellington. The show is running during March of 2015.  The exhibition consists of delicate hand-made ceramics resting on wooden shelves or platforms, the platforms have a sense of floating as they are suspended and held to the wall by string. Two thin wooden plinths compliment the shelves, holding small clusters of ceramics. On the back wall as well as the back side of the right wall there are paintings, gold on paper. Lightly pinned to the wall. Using a continuous colour pallet of white, gold and bare wood, causes the work to flow nicely together, as well as the same amount of thought put into letting the works breathe. Nothing feels too heavy and fastened down and it all seems light and floating within the space. Using soft subtle focus lighting as well as the sun coming through the windows, the reflections of gold leaf on the paintings and ceramics creates a varying depth depending on light.  With a limited colour pallet the artist is has succeeded dancing a fine line between minimal richness.

The space is used as a co-working space so the calming yet stimulating essence of the work sits nicely, with people occupying the space, working, able to look up.

The freshness of the work flows through the space with aromas of tea and coffee. Because the space is multi-purpose, soft music creates the space to feel not too white cubey and clinical. Beneath the chill, funky vibe of the space lies an interesting conversation around mass production and the value of objects within contemporary society. Up close the viewer is able to see the fingerprints in the clay of the organic form. These objects have space to breathe yet are not so isolated that they look alone, instilling a sense of value and intimacy. Perfectly imperfect impressions of human touch with a drop of gold. The process of making, the laborious task of applying gold leaf as well as the delicacy of ceramics, adds to this.

The applicability to my practice lies within the vague notion of presenting interesting sculptural objects within a space as well as thinking about creating an intuitive notion of value within and contemplation within objects. With similarities lying amongst thinking about mass production and consumption as well as the human body.

Photo taken from In Good Company Space (Facebook page) and photography originally by PeanutButterVibes