This afternoon I went to the Printhaus to hear Lois Williams discuss her work with Mike Tooby. I’d referenced a piece of her work when making my Family Ties hanging and had been fascinated with her Reconstructed Thing on display at The National Museum in Cardiff.
Unfortunately the exhibition wasn’t signed and I found it with difficulty, after being directed to the toilets. It’s a good job that there weren’t many people there as the space was tiny. The building had been divided into two distinct sections. On was set up as a tradition white gallery space, well-lit, with Lois’s watercolours displayed on a bare wooden shelf. However there was a rope across the entrance so preventing the viewer from entering the miniscule room.
But before this Mike visited Lois’s studio, a very old building she’s been using since the 1970s, in order to select objects, paintings, artefacts, magazines, anything which caught his eye and brought them to Cardiff. They were not arranged as a mock-up of Lois’s studio but placed in a different combination. The lighting had been carefully thought about and apart from a small opening in the false ceiling to allow an overhead shaft to fall on the ladder (which Mike admitted did not work) the piece relied on natural light from the doorway.
Unfortunately I had just my phone with me so the images I took are very unsatisfactory.
I’d gone with the hope that I’d be fired up with enthusiasm about Lois’s work but I was disappointed. Found objects, vintage, memories, all of these are growing from the wonderous to the passe. It seems we are stuck in the past, cooing over a rusty tin bath, gracing it with reverence usually afforded to such works as a Bernini sculpture.