I am not going to ponder the symbolism of the copious amounts of cream dripping down Dale Grimshaw’s face and to which I became accidental voyeur to tonight, nor shall I speculate on the type of research material he might have used in the year that this show has been in the making. Actually, I’m not going to ponder that because the symbolism & imagery in another work struck me more.
The painting of the semi human form with the engorged and adipose hearts hanging from it’s neck was such a striking piece that all my internal questions of Dales creamed up face became insignificant. This painting alone brought home to me, quite violently, just how dangerous overindulgence really is.
The Paintings in this show are intense, some beautiful and some grotesque but such is the nature of consumption in the society in which we all live.
There is one portrait that stands out just by it’s stark white background and minimal imagery; a woman surrounded by ripe green apples and leaves, her eyes closed and at peace. Is this Dale’s solution to the madness of a moreish society… an ecologically green, (and from the looks of it) vegetarian Temperance.
On a different note altogether, I found the sudden invasion of The First Thursday coach party really unpleasant. For the five minutes that the room was held hostage by the visiting coach party I felt like an exhibit at the children’s interactive section of the local zoo with visitors being encouraged to wander with the inmates for a fuller experience. As I waited in line for refreshments a posse of green badged people pushed past me, took over the bar downed some drinks then barged back out.
I’m sure there is a nicer way to introduce people to art other than Time Out’s First Thursday and as far as I can see a coach load of people descending on a quiet and already crowded gallery and behaving like they are stopping off at a motorway service station to take a leak is definitely not it.