13 – 23 May, 11:00-18:00
Private View: 12 May, 18:00-21:00
Glass Box Gallery, Earls Street, Coventry
Artists include: Bruce Asbestos – Andrea Bergart – Jonathan Baldock – Frances Disley – Dave Evans – Justin Fitzpatrick – Hannah Knox
The use of ‘mask’ for the title refers to a cultural item which is both decorative and playful, but also plays an active part in cultural storytelling. Masks in ritual ceremonies can be traced as far back as the end of the Stone Age. Members of pre-modern society would have learnt about their cultural identity and history through an involvement in ritual activities that heavily included the arts. In these earlier times art was mixed media, and the act of ‘artification’ transformed events and activities emphasising the shift from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Art originated as a facet of play, both involve imagination, surprise, unpredictable and self-reward. Gradually over millennia art acquired its own independence.
The artists in this exhibition bring the activity of this playful engagement with materiality out of the studio and into the public space. They create artworks around themselves, but also around their environment. There is also a philosophical and socio-cultural aspect to the artworks presented that questions why something maybe considered art, and other things may not, whilst also exploring whether contemporary art practice has a purpose, a role or a responsibility.
Exhibition curated by Matthew Macaulay and Gwennan Thomas, project is in collaboration with Coventry University.