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Emma Hart at the Fruitmarket Gallery

ByElla Roch-Perks

Nov 8, 2018

Emma Hart’s exhibition at the Fruitmarket gallery is a thought-provoking series of artworks which are hugely attractive to those appreciative of contemporary art. The exhibition comprises of two exhibitions by Hart; Mamma Mia and BANGER. These two exhibits are based on subjects which contrast hugely, creating an intriguing depth to this exhibition.

Mamma Mia can be found in the ground floor exhibition space of the gallery and is a compelling series of pieces. It comprises of 11 ceramic vases, 10 of which are hung from the ceiling, with the 11th lying solitary on the cool grey floor. The hanging vases are large and impactful, with rotating fans in the shape of enlarged kitchen utensils, moving beneath the lights within the ceramics. Mamma Mia plays largely on the idea of scale and proportion, a common aspect in much of Hart’s work. Subtle imagery is scattered throughout the room, evident both when looking at it from a distance, and examining the artworks closely. The insides of the vases are intricately painted in a series of human figures and abstract designs – hidden symbols disguised in the hypnotic array of paintwork.

Up the stairs, one is confronted by Hart’s piece ‘Just Because You’re Paranoid Doesn’t Mean They Aren’t After You.’ This impactful, magnified rear-view mirror sculpture sets an abrupt tone for BANGER, which hugely contrasts the interpretive exhibition that precedes it. BANGER is a series of sculptures derived around transport and collision. In a sparse space, solo sculptures litter the room, from a bonnet dented with two silhouettes to a perception of a cracked windscreen. The message of the exhibition is portrayed immediately, with violent images displayed throughout the open space.

The minimalistic curation of the exhibition allows for a free flowing viewing experience, leaving the audience to take their time to translate the pieces. This hugely contributes to the effective viewing of Mamma Mia in particular, which requires thought and time to fully appreciate and take in. Upstairs, the same open curation is adopted. This doesn’t contribute to the viewer’s experience of BANGER as well as it does Mamma Mia. The scattered lay-out of the upstairs exhibition makes it slightly harder for the audience to fully grasp the concept of the exhibit. BANGER is certainly a piece whose subject matter and abstract style are capable of creating a real impact. However, the vast space between the pieces makes them disconnected and almost confusing for viewers.

Emma Hart’s exhibition is well worth a visit, especially to the downstairs Mamma Mia artistry. The clever curation of this room and the interpretative nature of the piece, as well as the intricacy of the painting and ceramics themselves certainly make for an enjoyable gallery experience.

Until 3 February 2019

Image: Ella Roch-Perks


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