Yesterday’s Labour is the Future’s Folly
2013 by Clare Kenny
Kenny’s exhibition is the first in Vitrine’s new gallery space; they haven’t moved far (only downstairs) but bright white walls and a window are always inviting for new work. Fitting then that their artist Clare Kenny is the first to fill it, with her work that is so dependent on architecture, space and material. Kenny’s wonderful textures creep up the newly painted walls, her fantastical pastel colours light and barely visible. Looking closely, the colours and materials that make her sculptures transform the walls; borrowed from other surfaces, they pull you in as her work collectively transforms the space. A pair of sawed off legs, one slightly shorter than the other, stand opposite a screwed up ball of what looks like the darkness of space – balled and jagged like a meteorite – juxtaposed by carefully framed prints of light and dreamy colour. The presentation of neatly framed prints alongside printed three-dimensional sculptures creates a wonderful sense of play in the contrast of conflicting presentation. Prints are even rolled as a tube, acting as a architectural pillar in the space, blurring the boundaries still. Yesterday’s Labour is the Future’s Folly sees a garden trellis covered with a grainy concrete-like texture, Kenny plays by covering an object well-known with a surface it might usually sit on. The print – which has been screwed up like the meteorite – is tucked in as an angled after-thought; the crisp and ordered trellis acting as a juxtaposing frame to this brightly coloured, process filled print. The small print is bursting with energy, it’s swirling depth ignited with the almost neon brilliance of Kenny’s pastel colours. The contrast is acute, summing up the pushing and pulling of material that Kelly manipulates throughout the exhibition.