I was kindly invited to attend the opening event for the exhibition Above & Beneath by the curator Clare Gormley who was Winner of the Islington Exhibits Curatorial Award. The premise of the exhibition was to explore the way the in which the mind works through art work, as well as explore the thin line between mental health and mental illness.
Housed in a brilliant white and sparse unit, the aura of the exhibition reminded me of a hospital and reinforced the concept of mental health. The idle observation of art pieces that you tend to do in other exhibitions was not done here, as the art pieces forced you to engage with them and provoked the mind. This was particularly the case for the art piece by Sinead Thorpe, Public Encounter, which actually had you interacting with the art piece.
Flies by Laura Navin, has to be the stand out for me. Flies by rights are dirty creatures, flying about to God knows what, however Navin used creamish clay to meticulously create hundreds of sterile flies. Despite the cleanness of these flies, there was still that skin crawling sensation that is often felt when thinking about Diptera creatures. The monotonous of the creation of these flies shows a somewhat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which typically manifests itself as extreme order and cleanliness. The art piece is almost showing a paradox between ordering something that will always be dirty.
If you are looking for an intelligent exhibition, that also pokes into your subconscious, I would recommend this exhibition. Click here for more information about the exhibition which is open until 31st July.