The famous ‘dazzle camouflage’ used to disguise wartime ships inspires a playful new show at The Harley Gallery this week.
Unlike other forms of camouflage, the intention of dazzle was not to conceal but to confuse the viewer, making it difficult to distinguish objects from their background. These startlingly modern designs made edges disappear, and obscured the ship’s direction of movement.
Similar ideas of disrupted perception and optical confusion have inspired the new show, Razzle: All that Jazz.
Razzle: All that Jazz sees three artists at the invitation of Nottingham’s Primary Studios use The Harley Gallery to create an evolving show of overlapping works that disrupt the space, creating a wilful confusion between wall and floor surfaces and artworks, as well as between decorative and pictorial kinds of image. Lead artist Craig Fisher says:
“We are responding to the decorative arts of The Portland Collection to re-interpret the idea of what decoration can be. We will work together in response to each other’s contribution in an experimental way, with no fixed outcome.”
Alongside Craig Fisher, Louisa Chambers and Rob Flint will work in the gallery on selected days each week for the duration of the show, giving visitors the chance to watch the show evolve as they create works that overlap and disrupt each other. Geometric and patterned work made directly by hand onto gallery walls will be interspersed with sculpture and painting.
Harley Gallery director Lisa Gee says: “It will be really interesting to give over the gallery space to the artists. It’s very different to how we normally work as it has potentially unexpected outcomes. But that is also what makes it so joyful. We’re really excited to see how this evolves.”
The artists are planning to work at the gallery on 15th, 16th, 22nd, 24th, 25th and 29th Feb.
The other aspect of ‘If a Pair is Two, What is Three?’ Part 2 employs video and photography and runs concurrently.
One in the Middle
Frank Abbott, Rob Smith & SmithAbbott
Video, photography and installation will be used to explore the idea of being somewhere. Find out how the three artists conjure up a chance encounter with someone who becomes an artist in their own right for the duration of the exhibition.
There will be a closing event with discussion and performance at 2pm on Sunday 28 February.
Admission to The Harley Gallery is free. Open daily from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday; 10am to 4pm on Sunday. For more information, visit www.harleygallery.co.uk