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Cafe Morte: Lost for words exhibition review

I have just got back from the exhibition by collective Cafe Morte who currently have an exhibition at Falmouth University in the Project Space from the 7th to the 10th of January.

Jess Russell

Jess and her work have long inspired be since we met last year when I was on my foundation. Her ability to make the mundane appealing is a great talent. She captures her audiences attention by creatively displaying aspects of the world people often overlook and dismiss. The fragility of her work in the show really appealed to me because of how intricate each section of dust looked against other pieces in the show. I plan to go back when the show is a bit quieter and get some better photographs of the work. As the private view was very busy seeing the more intimate work was tricky at times.

Joanna Hulin

She knows how much I love her work and application of media. However this was the first time I was able to see Joann's work in the flesh. Being able to look up close to the work of an artist and take in each mark is something that you get when you look at her work. This is what makes it very special and moving. For the first time I was also able to see how she uses reclaimed wood to work on. This also adds to the aesthetic of the work. The idea of decay comes through with broken sections of wood. However this works very successfully with the composition. She has a real strong use of colour and this adds to the drama of her work and it has a real strong dominance in the exhibition because of the technical skill and use layering with the paint.

Lucy Willow

I first came across the work of Lucy this summer when I saw the beautiful dust drawings. Her work in the show titled 'Boy with dead goldfinch going into lost for words show' moved me so much. The intimate, delicate nature of the piece was so captivating. I think when someones work has the ability to move you in a way like this the artwork really speaks for itself. I find her application to the notion of death very perceptive and how she translates this through different materials is very interesting and really invites the viewer to question the work. The scale and intimacy of her work really moved me to as it was small and delicate it created a real sense of vulnerability. This was a piece of work that in my current state I related to a lot. It is the sense of fragility and wanting to be comforted that I got from the work which moved me.


The mark-making queen and an artist who has helped me understand my own practice even more. Her work was displayed next to Joanna's and Lucy's and I found this part of the very successful in how the work reflected each other. Saying this though I felt that her work was slightly lost amongst other part of the exhibition. Only because of the delicate nature and idea that her work represents. However saying this I think it was great that people were interacting with her work in the way they did. I saw people approaching it up close. I am hugely motivated by her work because of the status she gives mark-making. This exhibition was a great way to showcase that the mediative nature of repetitive mark making.

I find the use of mark making very calming. However in a private view setting I was quite anxious anyway but seeing this grounded me slightly. I find I relate more to intimate work like this because of how it requires a different type of interaction from the viewer.

Chris Slesser 

Chris' work has interested me because of how he uses material to create new and interesting structures. How he uses the interactive experience within his work to make his viewer question the ambiguity of death is something that really made me think. His work had a real presence in the room and he has a strong eye for combining material and video to create this dramatic performance piece. It's through his use of material that he is able to isolate the body as if it is stuck in a sense of limbo. His work in the show is very strong and I found it calming to look at. How it has been displayed against the window to work with the outside light encourages a different viewpoint depending on when it is viewed. This works well with the sense of ambiguity within his work and the changing nature of the environment around the exhibition space.

The work in the show made me think about how my own practice relates to the idea of death, and other recurring themes that can be found in these artists work. I highly recommend this show as the they have all worked very hard with the work and putting the show together.


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