Pulsing with energy

Installations is at The Town Hall Galleries, Ipswich until June 12. The Process of Painting is at The New Wolsey Theatre until June 15.This year the Pulse Fringe Festival 2008 has added the Visual Arts to its expanding list of attractions.

Installations is at The Town Hall Galleries, Ipswich until June 12. The Process of Painting is at The New Wolsey Theatre until June 15.

This year the Pulse Fringe Festival 2008 has added the Visual Arts to its expanding list of attractions. The work is intended to provide a platform for emerging practitioners wishing to show new art for the first time.

Outside Gallery 3, at the Town Hall Galleries, you'll find two contemporary installations. Dominique Rey's Untitled is made of etched glass, metal and silicone lights. It's well constructed, and according to Rey 'draws on connections between the architectural forms from early 20th century cinemas and family vaults or tombs of that time'. Imagine a deco style doorway, located in the Valley of the Kings, with funfair elements (bright light bulbs), and Venetian glass, and you'll get the picture. So let's make an intellectual leap. The demise of 30s cinema? The death of family entertainment? It's interesting, but perhaps lacks coherence.

Liz Ballard's installation 3 Table Paintings, ice, paper pigment, tables, appears more spontaneous; a series of puddle-like coloured markings on three grey plastic tables. In fact Ballard has used invisible masking tape to dictate its form; the outline of the River Orwell. As the ice melts the paint dries and its tracings become permanent. Again, it's a novel idea. However, had I not read about its connection with the River Orwell I would have been unaware of it; the plastic tables are ugly, and yes we've all read The Emperor's New Clothes.


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Richard O'Sullivan's DVD Blood Landscapes is in a different league. A triple-projection video, it takes you on a journey from downtown Los Angeles into the plundered wilderness of the American West. The central screen shows the destruction of city dwellings; dirty nets billowing from broken widows, litter and debris all around. On either side images of nature flourish; beautiful skies, mountains and woodland. The video shifts from the figurative to the abstract; punctuated by a soundtrack of mechanical rhythms. It's an evocative portrait that questions the boundary between the natural world and urban life; poignant and powerful to view.

Juliet Holton's three paintings The Process Of Painting, located in the bar at the New Wolsey Theatre, also have power. They explode with colour. Holten works on canvas using a mix of media; gloss, varnish, spray paint, pva, oil and ink. These are spontaneous works in which the reactions of the media dictate the finished paintings; producing ripples and wrinkles and marbling effects. For some they may be too bold; but they possess energy, have raw appeal, and convey joy in the unpredictability of paint.

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Sonia Carvill

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