The Circuitous Route to an Artistic Circuit: Flora Parrott at Tintype

30 Sep

Tintype Gallery has moved and I wouldn’t recommend using the google maps ap to find it.  As I walked towards the blue dot, I began to get the feeling things weren’t quite right.  This wasn’t where I had thought the gallery was relocating…something was amiss.  Arriving at the blue dot, my hunch was confirmed – it wasn’t even the right street. Typing in the street address, rather than the postcode, did cheer my ap up considerably but showed I was a reasonable distance out – a £5 cab journey in fact.  My stiletto-ed feet weren’t up to the walk in this sweltering heat.

When I did arrive at St Cross Street I began to feel more confident. This seemed a more appropriate area for a young, emerging gallery and the gallery doors were open to beckon everyone in and up the stairs.

Flora Parrott, detail of Circuit: Five Deductions, 2011. Own photograph.

Tintype has reopened with a striking exhibition of new work by Flora Parrott – an artist in whom I’m particularly interested as she is producing a work for the 2012 exhibition, In Conversation with Stuart Sutcliffe.   For this, Parrott says she is relishing the opportunity to include and acknowledge the mania of 60s popular culture and is responding to a letter of Stuart’s that struck her as particularly raw and dynamic, recognising the explosive and destructive relationships between Stuart and Astrid Kirchner and Stuart and John Lennon.

Although small, the new space looks great and Parrott’s all-encompassing works have transformed the gallery into the artist’s own electric environment.

Flora Parrott, detail of Circuit: Five Deductions, 2011. Own photograph.

Five assemblages, all interconnected by striking black lines of tape, create a circuit in the gallery. The dynamism of the individual sculptures are intended to mimic a sensation based around a skate wing, a snail on glass, a carnivorous plant, a jaw bone and a pillow lava. This use of unusual and diverse media (one ‘deduction’, for example, uses copper paint, cuttlefish dust, slate, OS board, oyster shells and found wood) shows Parrott’s constant experimentation to find textures and compositions that interact and resonate successfully in response to physical sensations.

Flora Parrott, detail of Circuit: Five Deductions, 2011. Own photograph.

Parrott is preoccupied by the sensations of natural phenomena and Circuit: Five Deductions is a means to dissect and communicate these responses, systematically dividing and organising materials into sculptural configurations that play on the senses.

Flora Parrott, detail of Circuit: Five Deductions, 2011. Own photograph.

It is the interaction of Parrott’s works and the circuitry nature of the pieces that makes them special. Yes, they are physically linked but the materials, with their natural resonances, seem to be in dialogue with each other.  Her work is very unusual: deceivingly simple on the surface, the highly complex ideas and structure of the compositions are all encompassing.

Although this exhibition is definitely worth a visit and Flora Parrott’s career is well worth following, be sure you know where you’re going.

Flora Parrott’s Circuit: Five Deductions is at Tintype until 22nd October 2011, www.tintypegallery.com.

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4 Responses to “The Circuitous Route to an Artistic Circuit: Flora Parrott at Tintype”

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