Fluid Connections

September 09 - October 11, 2009

Pauline Rhodes



Fluid Connections - detail

For more than four decades, Pauline Rhodes has established a formal language based on a range of materials and textures variously stained with rust, and has then built a practice that judiciously places these elements in contexts both inside and out.

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In this her latest installation, we see a poetic landscape punctuated by intensities of red and green alongside fragments that have been recycled and seen before. But there is here a new overlay of text on object. Camp tables, piping and other receptacles, along with deck chair frame, sticks and a saw horse, have been given a skin of lightly rusted rice paper in the form of ripped pages from Le Monde Diplomatique. There are some exerts from the Washington Post and The Guardian Weekly, but the point is that the texts are readable (in part) and that the news is international. We are offered glimpses of global politics from the nineties and early years of the new millennium. In so doing, Rhodes offers black ink on a clean white ground that visually lifts the installation, freshens it against the warm brown floor and merges it with the white walls to enhance the sense of space she has generated in the room.
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detailFor this is a generous and beautifully interwoven installation. Wrapped coils and segmented arcs make physical connection between forms variously leant, draped and left standing, while the gallery's difficult steel column is articulated like never before. Four loosely hung canvases buttress one end of the room. Amongst light filigree of rust, equally delicate pencil lines fold and flow in an evocative shallow space. They have a haunting parallel fluency to them - a light but beautiful strength moving within an eerie painterly space.

 Jonathan Smart
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