Laura Aldridge: Things Held Inside / The New Sea
The List (Issue 705)
18 October 2012
Written by: Talitha Kotzé
Like protest banners or sails on ships, a range of fabrics have been sewn and stitched together, screenprinted and hand painted. Stretched across planted poles and anchored down with heavy concrete, their seeming functionality – of protest placards, procession panels, religious drapes – transforms into meditative abstractions. An initial demand for authority becomes obsolete when closer inspection reveals demureness.
One banner in bright orange boasts a laser-cut fabric shaped in the form of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s 1968 iconic ‘Squid Dress’ – a ritualistic garment with perfect cut outs to be worn in order to reveal a woman’s breasts. Evoking the sensuousness of the original yet similarly left hanging like the skin of an animal. Instead it shows the incomparability of a dress on a mannequin to that worn by a fully fleshed being. That sense of unfulfillment is carried through other tactile shapes and textures.
The most intriguing work is a large-scale soft sculpture in the form of a teardrop. Towering above all the sails as some magical land mass of sadness made farcical by its gigantic form and homemade look of DIY purple dye. It holds welcoming traces of the artist’s hand – watermarked, stuffed and stitched together.
These large works are a result of Laura Aldridge’s residency in the gallery over the summer and the ability to work on a bigger scale to experiment with different techniques and new ways of making.
Kendall Koppe, Glasgow, until Fri 9 Nov.