Platform Gallery, Belfast
7 - 28 May 2022
In this collaborative exhibition, Katharine Paisley and Phil Keers join together to explore concepts of control and reality. The exhibition consists of painting, sculpture, installation, film, text and audio works. The title, ‘Control Room’ reflects how the audience will experience the works; in some works they can control how they engage, in some they can only exercise their influence and in other work they will be completely outside both control and reality. The works in the exhibition are heavily influenced by mythology, supersition and philosophy.
In her works, 'One for sorrow, two for joy...', Katharine explores the idea of superstitions; inherited beliefs that we can choose to believe or not. In the case of belief, these superstitions have complete control over a person's good or bad fortune.
In her first experimentation with performance art, 'Between shadows, shadows.' Paisley takes influence from Plato's allegory of the cave; in which a shadow represents a fake truth or an illusion of reality. Using charcoal, water and tempera paint, she tries to outline or contain her shadow. An attempt to cement or control her reality, which is not and cannot be achieved.
In each of Keers' work featured, he explores the idea of objects or beings born from the subconscious. The sculpture 'Burden'; a large boulder made from a wire structure and modrock plaster bandage, represents emotional baggage or lived trauma. The boulder is wrapped in chains made from clay representing the shackles of your own making. The inescapable weight of reality, further referencing Plato's allegory of the cave.
In the installation 'Black Dogs', Phil explores his experience of learning to understand his own Mental Health and more specifically his experience of suffering from Depression, having been diagnosed with the disorder in his early 20s. "The older that I get, the more I realise that I have to come to peace with how my brain works. I have to learn to live with it. Depression isn't something that I think will ever go away completely, and so it sits there angrily. Waiting for the moment to take hold again."
In their collaborative piece, Keers and Paisley invite the viewer to interact and see themselves within the work. 'Not Empty, FULL', attempts to capture the emotional response to a harsh and unfair reality.
Images courtesy of Chloe Austin