P L A Y
6th September – 4th October 2019
Stryx, Unit 13, Minerva Works, Fazeley Street, Birmingham
This September, Stryx presents P L A Y, an exhibition as imagined through the distinct styles of all fourteen of the gallery’s studio holders. Spanning different media – including painting, performance, sculpture and video - the exhibition will highlight the ways in which artists have embraced, subverted and reinvented the (supposedly puerile) stuff of play, by playing it up, playing their cards right, playing God, and playing nicely together.
I remember back when I was little, coming home from school and doing what I thought were fun dances for my best friend which would culminate in me taking my clothes off. Looking back, I suppose I was giving her some kind of naïve strip-tease - we thought we were playing. Play and playtime seem to be something that functions as an essential part of your childhood until it’s either trained out of you or it becomes something else. I’ve been re-watching TV shows from when we were kids – like Art Attack (Pencil N Paper ALERT!) – when art and play were always together. The set with the massive water colour palette as big as a minibus that I thought you could probably sleep in and sweet Neil Buchanan who would talk directly to you in an excited, encouraging sort of way whilst messing about with clay, old newspapers and the all-important PVA glue. Why do we stop using “kids” art materials and move on to professional art supplies? When did we sacrifice our playtime for the work / life balance?
For this summer’s studio holders’ show, we pay attention to Sol LeWitt’s gentle reminder that ‘Your work isn't a high-stakes, nail-biting professional challenge. It's a form of play. Lighten up and have fun with it!’ As the world around us grows gravely more serious, this exhibition strives for an imaginative and all-encompassing approach to art. One that you can enjoy.
Artists in the exhibition include Kirsten Adkins, James Dawson, Rupi Dhillon, Daryl Georgiou and Rebekah Tolley-Georgiou, Brenda Hickin, Dominic Macmillan-Scott, Jack Miles, Dorota Romanowska, Elvin Sanders, Emily Scarrott, Larissa Shaw, Emily Sparkes, and Anastasia Starikova. Curated by Rupi Dhillon, Emily Scarrott and Emily Sparkes. Writing by Emily Sparkes.