Monday, February 23, 2004

Art review : Anne Bevan and Janice Galloway, 'Rosengarten'

It is a feeling of haunting, soft beauty that pervades when you enter Rosengarten, a collaborative show inspired by research in to obstetric instruments and the mechanics of childbirth.

9 tables are laid out in a grid of 3 by 3 and house a collection of sculptural objects by Anne Bevan, which are framed by wall mounted texts by Janice Galloway.

The first row of 3 recreate the looping shapes of forceps in bronze, plaster and fabric. The central table displays a video, flanked on either side by cylindrical vials and vessels, in sets of 3 within 3, that tremble delicately as you step up to them. Here Bevan has also pulled Galloway’s text in to the pieces; etched words whispering through the glass. In the right corner of the grid, natural sponges and mother of pearl are employed in an investigation of the ultrasound.

Bevan engages with the obstetric forms but you also feel an infinity lies within the materials she uses, a sense of investment, which is echoed in Galloway’s text. The two elements are essential to one another. The text subtly lifts you out of the materiality of the sculptures, enhancing your emotional engagement with the work, whilst the scale and form of the objects creates a bodily reaction that borders on the physically uncomfortable.

'Rosengarten' showed at the Hunterian Museum, 31 January - 17 April 2004

This review was commissioned by and published in The List, February 2004


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