1 January 2005
a-n Magazine (p.9)
When commercialism and limited possibilities characterise the art establishment, it is hardly surprising to find young artists, once again, making art about art and about the art world. Meiying Collins’ contribution to this group exhibition is a ‘doll’s house’ white-cube gallery constructed inside a cardboard box and showing the drawings of untrained, unknown Liam Patrick John Collins. White Polygon Gallery, with its miniature video screen, could be mailed anywhere for a few pounds and when online, as it has been, it might be a gallery in Hoxton or Soho. The questions this democratic piece raise go to the heart of this exhibition and indeed of the gallery enterprise itself.
Colony is a modest, new space near to the Custard Factory and the new Bull Ring in Digbeth, the central area popularly regarded as the upcoming arts quarter of the new Birmingham. It is the invention of Mona Casey and Paul McAree, local MA graduates, who curated the show and also appear in it. The gallery hopes to open officially in the spring, here or elsewhere in the city, and this exhibition could be regarded as an attempt to impress.
Dave Rowland’s video work in which he appears as a human fountain continues a dialogue with past art that was initiated by Bruce Nauman. Casey and McAree’s painting AAAggghhhh comments on Modernist theories of painting as self-expression whilst Goldsmith’s graduate Ellie Harrison exhibits pendulum clocks whose weights have been replaced by fruit and bread – as the food decays the clocks lose time. In keeping with all the work in the show, this piece reflects on the nature of art but in a way that is witty but not overly serious – which is where a lot of this type of art can fall down.